Some people are more prone to developing varicose veins than others regardless of any environmental factors related to physical activity, clothing or diet. There is no single act determining whether or not you will have varicose veins but if they do run in your family, there are some steps you can take to prolong the onset. You cannot prevent varicose veins from developing but you can take steps to keep existing troublesome veins from worsening or delay others from forming. Proper circulation helps mitigate the development and progression of varicose veins so keep these tips in mind to maintain good blood flow in your legs:

    1. Exercise – Regular physical activity improves and helps maintain circulation in the legs. Exercise can also help you reach a healthy weight so get moving and get rid of those extra pounds you are carrying around adding pressure to your legs and circulatory system. In addition, strengthening the muscles in your legs and feet help power the return of blood flow through your lower body, which means the stronger your legs, the more efficient you are in returning blood to your heart.
    2. Avoid Long Periods of Standing – Standing for extended periods of time increases pressure in the legs and feet. Some occupations require prolonged standing and in those situations, it is helpful to shift positions frequently and move around at least every 30 minutes. If your job does require standing, inquire to see if you can us a high stool or chair to have the option to sit.
    3. Work Towards Improving Your Posture – A good reference to follow is to keep your shoulders in line with your hips and let your head and neck fall in line with your spine. Avoid crossing your legs as this can greatly restrict circulation in the lower body. Good posture allows blood to flow freely allowing ease of circulation throughout the body.
    4. Be Mindful of Your Wardrobe – If the shoes, pants, etc. don’t fit – don’t wear them! Avoid tight-fitting clothes on your legs, groin and waist opting for softer, less clingy clothing. Toss out those high heel shoes and opt for comfortable, low-heeled or flat shoes and make sure they fit properly. If you do have varicose veins, compression hose, or support hose, create slight pressure up the leg keeping blood from pooling in veins and decreasing inflammation of the legs.
    5. Put Your Feet Up – Elevating your feet and legs above your heart for 10 to 15 minutes at a time allows for improved circulation especially after long periods of standing.  Allowing gravity to take effect while elevating your legs and feet helps to prevent blood from pooling in the veins.

Identify one of the items above and start implementing this in your life. Start small and work your way towards incorporating more healthy tips into your daily routine.