No one wants to get varicose veins and there are a number of ways of preventing varicose veins from appearing or reappearing if you have had treatment to repair or remove them. While pregnancy, hormonal changes or an underlying family predisposition to the condition may make varicose veins hard to avoid, there is a lot you can do to help fight them off.
If you know that you are already at high risk, because you have already had varicose veins or close family members have already had significant problems, try wearing compression stockings or tights. Because the way the legs are squeezed by the stockings, you can ensure that no undue pressure is being placed on your venous valves and your circulation is being properly supported. They need to be worn from the moment you get up until you go to bed at night which may not always be practical.
Following a sensible diet and exercise regime has an important role to play in the prevention of varicose veins. Exercising regularly by simply getting out for a thirty minute brisk walk four times a week can really make a difference to your cardiovascular health in general as well as strengthening your legs muscles which also improves the circulation.
Be sure to consult your doctor before you start a programme of exercise if you have any other health problems. A diet that is rich in bioflavonoids, Vitamin C and Vitamin E goes a long way towards preventing varicose veins as these vitamins and antioxidents are instrumental in repairing and strengthening veins and capillaries.
Be sure to include dark berry fruits like cherries and black currants in your diet (as these are a great source of bioflavoniods and vitamin C) as well as lots of other fresh fruit and vegetables and watch your salt intake to ensure that you are not damaging your heart and circulatory system with an excessively high intake. It is also very important to keep your weight down as extra body fat puts too much pressure on the legs and can cause varicose veins to appear.
If you can avoid standing for extended periods of time, make sure you do. However even if your job does require you to stand for 85% of your working day, there are still ways to lessen the risk of developing varicose veins.
When you are standing still, make sure you move your weight from one foot to the other, walk about when you get the opportunity and raise your heels up and down several times an hour to get the blood pumping properly in your legs. It also pays to remember that when you get to the end of a long day of standing, make sure you put your feet up (preferably above heart level) for at least an hour.
Likewise, if you have a sedentary job that involves sitting down for extended periods during the day, remember to get up and walk around a couple of times an hour as this again will encourage the blood in your legs to flow properly and remember to rotate your ankles.
It is also worth noting that crossing your legs at the knee can also severely impede efficient blood flow so cross your legs at the ankle instead. Make sure that when sitting and relaxing at night, you have your feet up as this reduces the strain on the veins.
What you wear is also important. Tight clothes that restrict blood flow can increase the risk of varicose veins, and so do high heels. Walking in heels works the buttock muscles rather than the calf muscles which means that the massaging action of walking is lost. If you know you are in danger of developing varicose veins it might be best to stick to low heeled shoes.