Pamper your legs with proper posture

woman sitting

Although standing for an extended period is associated with varicose veins, sitting also can exacerbate this health condition. Proper posture, such as sitting up straight and using a footstool to elevate the legs, helps to reduces the development – and the symptoms – of varicose veins.

To maintain good posture, sit with your back supported, plant your feet flat on the floor and sit up straight with your shoulders back. Do not cross your legs, which can increase varicose veins, especially spider veins and reticular veins where the kneecap meets the calf.

There are other ways you can pamper your legs to promote venous health.

Dress for vein success

A pair of high heels can make a woman’s legs look long and lean but wearing high-heeled shoes for prolonged periods can restrict blood flow in the legs and worsen varicose veins.

To help maintain healthier blood flow, it is best to avoid clothing that is tight around your waist, legs and groin area. Wearing tight clothing including skinny jeans, girdles, body shapers, elastic knee socks and snug belts can restrict blood flow from the legs to the heart and cause it to pool.

On the other hand, compression socks and hose and spandex workout pants can be beneficial. The compression from the flexible fabric promotes blood to circulate.

Grab the lotion

The skin protects your body, including the veins in your legs. A daily application of moisturizer can heal dry or cracked skin, improving the health of your legs.

Eat right

Being overweight can put pressure on pelvic and leg veins and lead to varicose veins. Shedding extra pounds takes pressure off your veins. Losing just 10 percent of your body weight can be effective.

Salt, or sodium, and sugar can cause water retention and contribute to varicose veins. Excess fluid in the legs can cause swelling and put pressure on veins.

Exercise regularly

Regular exercise can strengthen your heart and improve your circulation. Walking and yoga are great ways to encourage blood circulation in your legs.

Moving is better than standing still. Shift your weight often and stretch or walk around least every 30 minutes to keep the blood from pooling. Cycling and swimming for 30 minutes are good forms of exercise. However, lifting heavy weights and distance running can put stress on your veins.

Elevate your legs

Before or after work, raise your legs above your heart for 15 minutes. Elevating your legs when you’re sitting can take pressure off the veins in the legs and increase blood flow.

Are you ready to discuss minimally invasive treatment options for your varicose veins? Dr. Van Cheng of the San Diego Vein Institute is a Harvard University educated medical doctor who specializes in treating venous concerns. 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