Compared to many Americans, Austin folks are a pretty fit bunch. We cherish opportunities to exercise, especially when it also means enjoying the beauty of Lady Bird Lake or the Greenbelt. Running in particular is the exercise of choice for thousands of Austinites… but are those with varicose veins barred from it?
What causes varicose veins? [Video]
First, there is a myth to clear up about running and varicose veins. Some are worried that running causes varicose veins to form–but it’s simply not true. In fact, running can actually help prevent varicose veins by improving your blood circulation.
If they are beginning to form, though, varicose veins might keep you from running. Some symptoms of varicose veins include swelling, heaviness and fatigue–which can make running less enjoyable or even painful. If you want to continue running at the onset of varicose veins, keep these things in mind:
- Running is a high-impact activity that will likely aggravate swelling, so reduce that impact by avoiding hard pavement. Instead choose a softer, more shock-absorbent surface to run on like grass, dirt or the rubber of an athletics track.
- Wearing compression stockings while you run won’t be the most comfortable option, but the pressure will increase blood flow help you not feel as fatigued.
- Keep an eye on your vein health, and stop running if bulging veins become acute.
If your varicose veins are already a problem, it is best not to run. You may still get exercise by going on walks, swimming or engaging in any other low-impact physical activity. To return to a more active lifestyle, it is imperative to seek treatment for your varicose veins. Dr. Zimmet offers five different non-surgical treatments for varicose veins.