Leg Exercises For Vein Health Specialist

Comprehensive Vein Treatment Center

Imtiaz Ahmad, MD

Board Certified Cardiovascular Surgeon & Vein Specialist Certified by The American Board of Venous & Lymphatic Medicine located in Trenton, NJ

Leg Exercises To Improve Venous Return In Your Legs


I am going to introduce to you a very simple routine that can be done anytime and anywhere. No need to change into exercise clothing. Any shoe with non-slip sole will do. These exercises are meant to improve blood flow in your leg veins – commonly referred to as Venous Return. Before starting this program, you must check your posture and try to maintain a good posture throughout this routine.

VENOUS RETURN from the legs is dependent upon the strength of the leg muscles. To improve the health of the veins in the legs you need to improve strength and tone of these muscle. The muscles surrounding the following joints need your attention.

  1. Hip
  2. Knee
  3. Ankle
  4. Feet


20 reps should be done for each group of muscles. You can start with 10 and gradually increase to 20.


HIPS

  1. Flexion
  2. Extension 
  3. Abduction 
  4. Adduction


KNEES

  1. Extension
  2. Flexion


ANKLES

  1. Flexion
  2. Extension
  3. Eversion
  4. Inversion 
  5. Rotations


FEET

  1. Toes-Extension and Flexion

      2. Big Toes- Extension and Flexion


In addition to the above routine you should perform additional exercises as follows:

  1. Aerobic exercise to be done daily.
  2. Resistance training with weights to be done 2-3 times a week.


Aerobic exercise is achieved by daily walks with added cycles of high-intensity interval training commonly called HITT and CYCLIC EXERCISE.
You should aim to walk 5 miles (10,000 steps). I suggest using Fitbit or iWatch for assistance.


HIIT (high-intensity interval training) also known as CYCLIC EXERCISE can be achieved by any one of the following techniques:

  1. A short sprint for 20 seconds followed by rest in addition to regular walking or
  2. Use Stationary Bike or
  3. Climb stairs rapidly for 20 seconds followed by rest or
  4. Hold your breath and perform as many squats as you can do. It could be 10 to 20 reps or more followed by deep breaths.


You should check your heart rate at the beginning of the HIIT cycle and again at the end of the cycle. Rest or walk slowly until your heart rate returns to the starting level. This is one cycle. Every day you should do at least 5 to 7 cycles.

Follow the same routine of checking the heart rate if you chose any of the methods mentioned above. (If on a day you don’t have time, just do the cycles only-this gives you the same benefit).

The idea of these short periods of intense activity is to induce temporary hypoxemia - this stress stimulates the genes in every cell of your body leading to improved function of cells everywhere in the body including immune cells, heart cells, brain cells, liver cells and so on. 

This short high-intensity interval training (HIIT) also known as CYCLIC EXERCISE produces multiple health benefits because of vascular pulsations that stimulate the production of Nitric Oxide Synthase that in turn releases Nitric Oxide. This compound causes dilatation of blood vessels and may dissolve plaques if present. HIIT also releases anti-inflammatory cytokines- IL-10 and ACTH. These cytokines along with short period of hypoxemia help to prevent or reverse many diseases like type 2 diabetes, arthritis, and many neurological conditions. Multiple studies have demonstrated improvement in patients with early Parkinson’s disease and in Alzheimer’s disease.

Contrast to cyclical exercise, STRENUOUS EXERCISE, prolonged like in marathon running or prolonged cardio type, leads to an immune and vascular pro-inflammatory state due to excessive production of inflammatory cytokines-IL-2, IL-6, TNF alpha) causing increased inflammation in the body that is responsible for degenerative diseases like type 2 diabetes, arthritis, and many neurological disorders. 

Many studies show that anti-inflammatory cytokines level in the blood increase following HIIT. This leads to improved health.

Prolonged low-intensity exercise leads tohigh levels of inflammatory cytokines in the blood causing inflammation in the body. The examples include the usually recommended cardio training that involves continuous prolonged running to maintain a calculated heart rate and marathon running.

Resistance training with weights can be done with free weights or in a Gym-my preference is free weights. I prefer using light weights. Keep it simple so that you can continue to do this for your entire life.