Pushing your body through water isn’t just a terrific form of exercise; it’s also a great way to improve circulation throughout your entire body. Combining vigorous arm and leg movements with the natural resistance of water increases your heart rate and the amount of oxygenated blood pumping throughout your body. Swimming also helps push blood out of your legs and other extremities back toward your heart.
Does swimming make varicose veins worse?
Is there a negative connection between swimming and varicose veins? The short answer is no, but it’s also important to understand it’s not a cure. Many vein care specialists recommend swimming (and other low-impact aerobic exercises) to manage the painful, unsightly symptoms of varicose veins that have already occurred; however, exercise will not completely reverse them. If you have not developed varicose veins yet, regular swim sessions may also help lower your risk of developing them in the future.
If you aren’t a strong swimmer, or never learned how, you can still gain the benefits of exercising in the water without swimming. Simply treading water or kicking your legs while holding on to the side of the pool or using a floatation device (like a kickboard) are simple ways you can reduce pressure on your veins while being active in the water. Like swimming, treading water is an excellent way to exercise your entire body while increasing your heart rate. Other water movements include slow jogging, walking and leg lifts. Each of these exercises will not only help improve circulation and reduce pressure on your veins, but they will also help tone muscle, improve flexibility, reduce stress and improve oxygen use throughout the body.
Benefits of swimming with varicose veins
Let’s talk about the benefits between swimming and varicose veins:
- Strengthens your vein and leg muscles
Blood flows through your leg veins in response to the contractions of your leg muscles. The stronger your muscles are, the better your blood can flow.
- Reduces pain
Swimming lessens the effects of gravity on your legs, which means it’s easier for your veins to heal. It is also a great way to reduce pressure on your veins.
- Improves circulation
As you swim, the pressure from the water pushes the blood from your legs (and other extremities) back toward your heart more efficiently.
In addition to relieving painful symptoms of varicose veins, swimming may also help prevent their development by shrinking varicose veins that have not yet appeared on your skin.
Concerned about your varicose veins? Visit a Virginia Vein Care location near you and talk to one of our skilled vein care specialists about our minimally invasive vein treatment options including endovenous radiofrequency ablation, endovenous laser ablation, ultrasound-guided sclerotherapy and ambulatory phlebectomy treatments for varicose veins. We’ll work with you to determine which treatment is right for you and your specific vein care needs.