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mother and daughter walking in the forestWorried about getting painful varicose veins? There’s no way to completely prevent twisted, enlarged and sometimes painful veins, and several different factors out of your control can increase the likelihood that you will experience them. The risk of varicose veins, for example, increases with age and a family history of the condition. But there are some factors that you can address, such as extra weight and a sedentary lifestyle. The good news is that you don’t have to run a marathon to add a healthy dose of activity to your day. Instead, try incorporating small, impactful activities into your lifestyle.

Here are a few ideas to get moving:

  • Walk and talk. Need to talk to someone at work or home? How about talking to them during a walk? Simply adding a few minutes of walking a day can make a huge difference! If you can’t walk in person, use Bluetooth earbuds to make it easy to chat while walking.
  • Track your progress. How can you add more steps to your day? Use an activity tracker to log your steps. Then start with a few small changes. Taking the stairs instead of the elevator. Or try parking farther away in a parking lot. Set daily and weekly goals.
  • Rediscover your inner child. Adults shouldn’t miss a chance to get in on the fun of a playground or pool. Playing or walking alongside children encourages physical fitness and sets a good example.
  • Tackle housework or gardening. Cleaning and yard work can help add activity to your day. Gardening is also a great low-impact activity.
  • Get a walking buddy. Whether it’s walking, jogging, swimming or another activity, adding a social element is a proven strategy to help you stick with your commitment to daily exercise. Look for weekly walking groups in your area. By being active with other people, it’s more likely to become a habit.
  • Walk the dog. Both Fido and your heart will thank you. Owning a pet has so many benefits. If you have a dog, you know they love to go on walks! That enthusiasm can encourage you to go on a walk daily with your furry pal.
  • Remind yourself to move. Set an alarm on your smartphone to remind you to get up and walk around.
  • Take a bicycle ride. Cycling is great for building your leg muscles.
  • Go swimming. Swimming is an incredible activity for all ages and is easy on your joints and back.

Aside from getting enough exercise and watching your weight, a high-fiber, low-salt diet can help prevent varicose veins or help reduce their severity. You’ll also want to avoid high heels and tight hosiery and sitting or standing in the same position for long periods of time.