Low Impact Leg Workouts for Healthier Legs and Veins
High impact, hardcore leg workouts put pressure on your leg veins. If you have varicose veins or poor circulation these workouts can make your varicose veins worse. However, low-impact leg workouts can improve healthy blood circulation, prevent blood clots, and enhance overall vein and leg health.
Vein Health, Exercise, Vein Circulation
Your heart pumps the blood through the arteries to your tissues and the veins return the blood to your heart. However, healthy venous blood return from the feet to the heart depends upon clear veins, functional vein check valves, and the calf muscle pump. Exercise of the calf muscles improves your venous return while lowering the risks of blood clots and varicose veins.
If you have a family history of varicose veins or have had children, your risk of vein problems is increased and exercise is even more important. Additionally, working long hours standing or sitting means:
- Increased gravity effect on the veins of the legs and
- Less calf muscle pump activity.
Over time, your leg veins can fail. This leads to blood pooling in your veins, leg swelling, bulging varicose veins, discomfort, and leg pain.
The best low-impact leg workouts:
- Strengthen your leg muscles especially the calf muscle pump
- Develop muscle supports for the deep veins and valves
- Assist in the venous blood flow and healthy circulation
- Are performed with good lifting technique to limit vein reflux
Start Doing These Leg Exercises to Activate the Calf Muscles and Improve Circulation
Daily Leg Workout Options
Moving daily is important for healthy leg circulation. A major cause of varicose veins is sedentary lifestyle, so daily movement will help remedy this. These easy leg workouts will improve circulation and strengthen veins.
Calf Raises: Sitting and standing calf raises are a great way to engage the calf muscles, even if you’re at work. These are great if you’re sitting or standing all day at work, especially if your legs feel heavy, achy, or fatigued.
Calf Rocks: From a standing position, move as if you have a ball or roller under the bridges of your feet and rock back and forth. This activates the calf muscles and stretches in two different ways.
Walking: Take daily walks with your family, a friend, or a co-worker, or take your business calls on the go. Walking stimulates the calf muscles and improves circulation while also aiding in weight loss.
Weekly Leg Workout Options
Commit to one of these three times a week for 30 minutes for added benefit. You can even mix it up a bit and choose three, doing each for one day a week. Do whatever works best for you and will help you stay motivated.
Cycling: Mix it up a bit on the daily walks and opt for a bicycle ride. Take the kids, go solo, or purchase a stationary bike to use at home while you binge watch your favorite television shows.
Swimming: If you have bad knees or hips or require something even more low impact, swimming is a great way to stimulate healthy blood circulation. Swim laps and tread water to strengthen calf muscles and your veins.
Take the Stairs: Up and down, opt for stairs over elevators when you can. Go up and down the stairs in your home a few times to get a good leg workout. Don’t have stairs? Purchase a bench or stepping block to use in your living room or office.
Sitting Stretches: Go old school with your leg workout. Sit down on the floor, legs stretched out in front of you or to the sides. Flex your toes to stretch the calves and reach down to touch your toes. It’s okay if you can’t reach them; your calves are getting a workout either way.
Elliptical Machine: If you have an elliptical or a gym membership, the elliptical machine tends to be a lower impact alternative to a treadmill, providing you with cardiovascular benefits while activating the calf muscles.
More Tips for a Successful Leg Workout Routine
- Schedule your exercises, including work breaks and meetings. Add it to your calendar or set a phone alarm reminder. If you want to remember to take a meeting on the go, add a note to your calendar for during the meeting.
- Make plans with an accountability partner for your activities. Schedule your daily walks and weekly leg workouts.
- Reward yourself when you stick with your routine.
- Purchase compression sleeves, stockings, or leggings that help with circulation and improve leg comfort during your workout. Graduated compression will also activate your calf muscles and enhance circulation when you aren’t exercising, improving your leg and vein health even when you can’t do your leg workouts.