Lifestyle changes

Varicose veins can be treated by a few simple lifestyle changes. Whilst this removes the existing veins it is important to realise that there is always the risk of a recurrence.

In other words, new varicose veins can form at any time so it is an ongoing process. Once you have been diagnosed with this condition it is a case of looking at ways of easing any pain or discomfort.

The aim is to prevent a recurrence of varicose veins.

So what changes do you need to make to your lifestyle?

Lose weight

If you are carrying a few extra pounds or have been diagnosed as clinically obese then you need to look at ways of reducing this excess. Being overweight or obese is one of several risk factors for varicose veins because of the extra pressure this puts on the veins.

Try and maintain a healthy weight. If you are uncertain about the best way to do this then have a talk with your GP. He or she will deal with you in a sympathetic manner and will suggest a diet and exercise plan.

The aim is to lose weight slowly over a long period of time and then sustain it.


If you have a sedentary occupation such as a desk job or are not generally active then you will need to incorporate some physical activity into your daily routine. It is important that you exercise for a minimum of 30 minutes each day to boost your cardiovascular fitness as well as being a means of losing weight.

The key is to find something you enjoy doing. This does not have to be a gym but should be an activity, whether that is walking, dancing or swimming which appeals to you. Plus you are more likely to stick at something if you enjoy doing it.

Sit down or move around

If you sit down for a large part of the day then have regular breaks. Get up and walk around if you can and avoid sitting with your legs crossed or in the one position for a long period of time.

If you have a job which requires you to remain on your feet all day then you will probably be aware that this is a known cause of varicose veins. If you can, try and move around every so often or if not, shift your position so that you are not stood upright for too long.

Try shifting your weight from one foot to another. If possible, have short breaks where you can sit down and take the weight off your feet.

Wear sensible shoes

Many women enjoy wearing high heeled shoes but they can compress the muscle and veins in the lower leg which increases the risk of varicose veins.

Try to avoid wearing high heels for a long period of time. Alternate between these and a pair of low heeled shoes and rest your legs whenever possible.

These lifestyle changes can also be seen as a form of prevention. For more information about how to reduce the risk of varicose veins, visit our preventing varicose veins section.

Guide to Varicose Veins

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