Love your legs again!


Long, lean, beautiful legs might not be in the cards for everyone, but it’s possible to love your legs and look your best – even for varicose vein sufferers.

Give your legs some love this month to improve how you feel and the appearance of your legs. Subtle lifestyle changes can make a difference. Below read more about how to love your legs.

Me time

The benefits of daily self-care should not be underestimated. Self-care can be an act as simple as carving out 30 minutes to take care of you.

One of my favorite ideas is to soak in a warm bath. The warm water expands and dilates the arteries and veins, promoting good blood flow.

Not a bath person? Sip on a cup of warm tea: the warm water dilates veins, and drinking tea is calming and reduces stress.

Just breathe

Stress affects our bodies negatively. It raises blood pressure, which is hard on the venous system. I encourage my patients to take high blood pressure seriously and to discuss with their regular doctor their numbers and how to reach optimal readings. For the purpose of tracking blood pressure, reliable home blood pressure monitors can be purchased at your local pharmacy.

Remember to take a deep breath and just breathe. Give some thought to which activities relax your body and mind and incorporate those activities into your lifestyle. Exercise, meditation, yoga practice and spending time outdoors are all known to reduce stress.

Get moving

It is important to keep your legs strong and active because the leg muscles help push blood through the veins. Leg exercises promote healthier looking legs, which prevents the appearance of new varicose veins.

Both aerobic and cardio exercise force the body to take in more oxygen, which is distributed to your muscles. This type of exercise gets your blood pumping more vigorously, strengthening your heart and lowering your blood pressure. Low impact exercise, such as yoga, also promotes blood circulation.

Keep in mind that sitting for long periods slows down the blood flow in the lower limbs. If your job requires you to sit at a desk during the day, set a timer to get up and move every hour – take a short walk outside or up and down a flight of stairs.

Adopt a healthy diet

A diet that is high in fresh fruits and vegetable, lean protein, fish (especially salmon) and whole grains, is a vital component to vein health.

Drink plenty of water and minimize alcoholic beverages so you stay hydrated. Staying hydrated keeps your blood moving efficiently. When you are dehydrated, your body pulls fluids out of your blood, and results in thicker blood. Set a personal goal to drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water daily; and increase your water intake on warm days and when you exercise.

If you are overweight, losing weight will help keep new varicose veins from forming.

Consult with a vein specialist

Are your varicose veins painful? Have you tried to improve the appearance of your legs with little luck? If so, it is time to consult with a vein specialist. You don’t have to put up with the irritation, pain and inconvenience of varicose veins.

Dr. Van Cheng is a Harvard University educated medical doctor who specializes in treating venous concerns and can discuss your treatment options with you. Dr. Cheng is located at 336 Encinitas Boulevard, Suite 130, Encinitas, CA 92024. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call (760) 944-9263 or visit