If your occupation requires you to sit or stand for long periods of time, you have an increased risk of getting varicose veins. You can adjust your habits, and be mindful of small things to reduce pooling of the blood in your leg veins. As you are sitting at your desk, try not to cross your legs, especially at the level of your knees. Be creative and try doing some simple leg movements and stretching that flex and contract your calf muscles to keep blood flowing in your lower legs. Try raising your legs one at a time about 15 degrees while bending your ankle up and circle your ankle, or slightly raise each foot in succession as if walking in place. Take as many opportunities as possible to stand such as when answering your telephone and other tasks where standing may be entirely appropriate and cause no negative impact on your work production.
If your job requires standing for many hours, ask your employer if you could have a chair to sit down occasionally, or possibly they will provide a standing desk for you. If you are using a standing desk, include a foot rest where you can alternately raise and lower your foot. If you have no other choice than to remaining standing, try to walk a few steps as often as possible which will take the pressure off your feet. Think of every opportunity you can to move and arrange your work area in such a way that your movements will cause your calf muscles to flex and contract on a regular basis. You may even choose to wear good quality compression support stockings.
Instead of just lying down straight away, take a few minutes to lie down with your legs propped up with pillows so that they are slightly above the level of your heart. This gives gravity a chance to help more your blood back to your heart.
Use leisure time wisely and make the effort to participate in a low impact rhythmic type of exercise such as walking, swimming, biking, dancing, or rowing. Have fun with inverted postures in yoga or learn to do qigong. Your feet will put on a lot of miles in your lifetime and will depend on your good sense, so be sure to choose shoes that have good support and shock-absorbing insoles to lessen the impact of each step. Good shoe support is especially important when walking on concrete or other hard surfaces. Whenever you can, head for the park or the beach, and walk on a somewhat softer surface of grass, dirt or sand.
In addition to allowing proper circulation of your blood, exercising will help maintain your weight. Being overweight, as you can imagine, also puts more pressure on your legs. In addition, obesity can cause a buildup of fatty tissue in your legs which can hinder your blood flowing freely in your leg veins.
Maintaining a healthy diet will also do wonders to reduce your risk of having varicose veins. People who have blood sugar problems often have circulatory problems, so limit your consumption of foods that tend to increase your blood sugar and insulin levels such as grains, sugars and starches. Do not overuse salt. Avoid high omega-6 vegetable oils. Choose coconut oil, olive oil or avocado oil instead. Hot dogs and other processed meats are convenient, but they may lead to inflammation of the valves that allow your blood to flow properly. Choose healthier protein sources such as red meat from cattle that have been grass fed, organic chicken from chickens that have been allowed to roam freely, and wild salmon. Eat well balanced meals that contain lots of colorful non-starchy vegetables and herbs. Dark skinned fruits and berries such as purple grapes, blueberries, blackberries and cherries are recommended. Healthy fats are necessity for your body, so be sure your diet includes avocados, olive oil, nuts, and seeds. Beets, artichokes, milk thistle and dandelion will support a healthy liver needed for healthy veins. Avoiding constipation is important for your veins so make sure your diet is rich with healthy fiber. Drink plenty of water and keep your body comfortably hydrated.
For extra nutritional support of healthy veins, supplement with a good Vitamin C with bioflavonoids, Vitamin E, selenium, and a whole food B complex vitamin with B2, B6, B9 and B12 with zinc, and purified omega-3 fish oil. Garlic, primrose oil, horse chestnut, witch hazel, gotu kola, butcher’s broom, prickly ash, hawthorn, yarrow, horse chestnut, and comfrey all have elements that may support healthy veins.
It may be fashionable to wear those skinny jeans and other tight clothing, but those types of clothing are definitely not healthy for your body. Clothing that is too tight will cut off the circulation and the natural flow of blood through your veins. Avoid all types of tight clothing, including leggings, panty hose and other undergarments. Do not wear belts or uncomfortably tight waist bands as they will cut off blood flow to your main artery that carries the blood in your legs back to your heart. You can tell if your clothes feel uncomfortable, so don’t let outside opinions or influences tempt you to wear clothing that does not support your own health. Wear flat shoes with just a small heel that will allow better flexing of your calf muscles.
As with all health concerns, the habits of smoking and regular alcohol use will increase your risk of varicose veins. Nicotine from smoking can cause your arteries to narrow and harden making it more difficult for your blood to flow freely. In addition, chemicals and toxins present in tobacco may cause thickening of your blood and reduce your oxygen possibly leading to blood clots. Drinking alcohol increases your heart rate and blood pressure which can lead to circulation problems.
As with all herbs, food, and exercise be sure to consult your doctor, especially if you are pregnant.