Ask our vein clinic about the benefits of yoga

Posted: Monday, March 10, 2014   |   Revised: March 5, 2014

If you have varicose veins or spider veins, you’ve probably heard it many times before: To improve your circulation and help prevent the formation of new varicose veins and to ease the symptoms of existing ones, you need to get regular exercise. While that sounds good, the actuality, at least for most people, is that getting exercise – especially exertion-heavy cardio or aerobics – doesn’t always elicit feelings of joy and enthusiasm. That’s especially true if you’re out of shape, lead a very sedentary lifestyle, or have discomfort in your legs or joints.

But there is some good news: You don’t need to enroll in physically draining cardio or aerobics to improve your circulation. You can get an excellent workout simply by engaging in a regular program of gentle yoga stretching and toning.

Yoga has been around for thousands of years, and it offers many benefits to those who practice it on a regular basis. For people with varicose veins and other circulatory issues, yoga can strengthen the circulatory system by promoting blood flow and also by reducing stress, a key influencer of blood pressure. Yoga reduces stress by helping you focus on regular, relaxed breathing and also by releasing chemicals called endorphins, which help elevate your mood.

You don’t need to do complicated yoga stretches or be a yoga expert to get the benefits of yoga, either. Basic stretches can be very effective in promoting healthy circulation. And while enrolling in a class is always a great idea, online video sites and DVDs make it easy to learn stretches right at home.

Many yoga stretches, or poses, involve elevating parts of your body including the legs. These exercises can be especially helpful in reducing the pressure on the tiny valves inside your blood vessels and in preventing blood from pooling inside the veins, causing pressure to build up along vessel walls.

In addition to promoting circulation, here are a few other benefits yoga offers:

  • Better muscle tone: Improved circulation helps increase the supply of oxygen-rich blood to your muscles, and that helps repair damage and reduce the discomfort of other types of exercise, including walking and other activities of daily living.
  • Better strength: The stretching routines involved in yoga use the resistance of your own body to build up muscle, another factor that can make regular activities less fatiguing.
  • Better flexibility: Yoga focuses on balance and stretching, which helps you become more flexible. That means you’ll improve posture and increase endurance, both of which can help you feel more comfortable.

Of course, just because yoga is easy doesn’t necessarily mean you should jump right into a regular program. To make sure your legs are ready for a regular program of any type of exercise, it’s a smart idea to visit our vein clinic first to make sure you’re healthy enough for regular exercise. While basic yoga poses are generally safe for just about any fitness level, it’s always a good idea to consult with the doctors at our Michigan vein treatment center first to make sure your health is protected.

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