Frank Mikulka's Weekly Fitness Tip
Coping with Varicose Veins (August 30, 2005)

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Iíve noticed in the last few years that I have developed varicose veins in my legs. Now that Iím exercising pretty regularly will this worsen the condition? Thank you for any help. (Carla, Garden City)Answer

There really is no clear-cut answer, but we have found that circulation problems can contribute to this condition. Of course, I am assuming that you are not in pain, for if you experience any pain, check with your doctor. If you are doing any of the following, this can worsen your varicose veins:

  • Prolonged sitting or standing in the same position
  • Sitting with your legs crossed
  • Being overweight
  • Being sedentary
  • Pregnancy
  • Vitamin C deficiency (weakens the collagen structure in the vein walls)
Here are some possible solutions:
  • Keep moving instead of sitting or standing in one position
  • Wear comfortable, loose fitting clothes so as not to restrict blood flow.
  • When you have had a rigorous walking or standing on your feet day, elevate your legs and rest when you come home.
  • Check your diet and make sure that it is low in fat. Include fiber to prevent constipation in order to be regular.
  • Choose exercises that will promote blood flow. For example, swimming is good. Avoid high impact exercises.

Listen to Frank Mikulka’s Weekly Fitness Tips every week on Debbie Mandel’s Turn On Your Inner Light Show every Tuesday evening from 7:00 to 7:30 pm on WGBB 1240AM. Also available on