Weightlifting is a fantastic exercise option that gives you strength and endurance, burns calories, strengthens your bones and gets your blood flowing. However, many people find after an intense weight workout that their veins are more pronounced or that they bulge a little more than usual. This can lead to an often-asked question: does lifting weights harm my veins?
How Weightlifting Works
When you lift weights, you are training your muscles by causing their tissue fibers to create stronger bonds and exert greater force. This is the cause of the “burn” feeling that people experience while doing strength exercises. Weightlifting is an anaerobic exercise that relies on drawing energy from the glucose found in your cells rather than relying on oxygen. However, since your muscles still require circulation in order to work correctly, your heart rate will increase and veins will still end up circulating blood heavily.
Weightlifting, particularly with high-intensity interval training (HIIT) plans, does tend to put pressure on your veins because of the controlled lifting movements that you’re doing. This often results in veins dilating and enlarging to accommodate a higher blood volume, a state that can last a while after you’ve finished working out and cooling down. Athletes who focus specifically on weightlifting may even find that this enlarged vein state becomes a constant presence. However, this is not something to worry about.
Weightlifting and Varicose Veins
This vein dilation is not a symptom of varicose veins. The fact that your veins are becoming enlarged is actually a good thing, as it means increased circulation. Every form of exercise should do this to an extent, even if your veins are not highly visible. Since varicose veins result from issues surrounding poor circulation, regular exercise will not be a risk factor. The main time in which it would become a risk is if you are often lifting overly heavy weights for the purpose of intense bodybuilding, which is a discipline all to itself.
Now, this is not to say that other, more common risk factors (like genetics, pregnancy or overweightness) will not put you at risk for developing varicose veins when working out. But if you are lifting weights with proper form and technique and not often doing more than your body can handle, you won’t have to worry much about varicose veins.
Wellness and Lifting Weights
If you already have varicose veins and want to do weightlifting, then you’re welcome to begin (after consulting with a physician or exercise professional, of course). You’ll simply want to be a little extra careful, as this could result in cramping, pain or a heavy feeling in your legs. Wearing compression stockings while doing this can help protect you from any discomfort you may feel. In fact, wearing compression socks during any kind of workout is a good idea, as it improves circulation all the more.
Of course, the health of your muscles is connected to every other aspect of your wellness, from nutrition to hydration to the tightness or looseness of your muscles and tendons. IV Hydration treatments can give you essential vitamins and minerals to help you recharge from an intense workout or improve your energy level. Also, massages can ease any muscle pain you might feel from exercising. And if you want to lift weights but already have a painful varicose vein condition, our in-office procedures can help alleviate these problems, as well. If you’re in need of any of these wellness solutions or want to learn more about how to keep yourself holistically healthy, contact us today!