Why Do Spider Veins Appear During Cardio?

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Spider veins or varicose veins are commonly found in the leg along the calf muscles or around your face that become enlarged or swollen. These veins are caused by poor blood circulation and often appear as thin branched-out lines that are discolored with blue, red, or purple tints. While it may be a bit concerning when you see spider veins during your workout, there’s no scientific evidence that links the permanent development of spider veins to exercise, and those that do appear during normal activities don’t require an invasive or medical procedure to have them removed. In fact, many scientists suggest at least 20 to 30 mins of low-impact exercise to help prevent the formation of varicose veins. 

So why do spider veins occur during cardio then disappear? The short answer is that it may be because your workout is putting too much pressure on your body. Varicose veins that may occur during your cardio workouts could mean that your workout is too much of a strenuous activity causing you to have twisted veins that swell and temporarily take on the appearance of spider veins. 

Learn More: Are the Purple Lines All Over Your Body Spider Veins or Varicose Veins?

Intense Workouts Causing Spider Veins

If you’re seeing spider veins during your cardio workout which then disappear after, it simply means that your cardio may be too strenuous. While cardio is good for your health, high-impact cardio like running on pavement and jumping exercises put extra pressure on joints, tendons, and ligaments. Due to this, your veins swell and give the appearance of enlarged veins or spider veins. While this may look concerning, the swelling caused by cardio is temporary. After your cardio, the pressure is relieved causing the veins to no longer swell and blood to properly flow. 

Forms of Exercise and Varicose Veins Prevention

While falsely believed to cause varicose and spider veins, exercise can actually help in spider and varicose veins prevention. Cardio and exercise have always been contributing factors to a healthy lifestyle which includes having healthy blood flow. When you regularly do cardio and other exercises you’re ensuring good blood flow throughout your body which targets the root cause of spider vein formation and the appearance of veins in the process.

The appearance of varicose veins caused by a workout is primarily due to the intensity of the exercise program, flow of blood, and how much your body can tolerate. With the extra pressure on your body amounting to roughly twice your weight, multiple things including blood circulation are affected, possibly causing leg swelling, fluctuating blood pressure, and visible veins. 

Exercise can prevent the formation of permanent spider veins and vein issues, however, when an activity is too high-impact, it can inadvertently place excess weight and pressure on your veins. This causes vein issues that disrupts the proper flow of blood and will likely cause the appearance of spider veins during your workout.

Choosing the Correct Type of Exercise to Prevent Spider Veins

Afro young fitness girl using mobile phone while training on exercise bike at home to prevent spider veins

With cardio and regular exercise being a key factor in staying healthy, removing it for the sake of not having temporary spider veins is just not an option. What you can do is choose lower-impact daily activities that won't be too much of a strain on your body. By participating in low-impact exercises, you’ll be able to reap all the same health benefits while avoiding the possibility of temporary spider veins. 

Here are some low impact exercise options that you may want to try:

1) Walking Instead of Running

Running has always been a very popular option for people wanting to get in a quick cardio session. However, running, especially on concrete or hard surfaces, can sometimes do more harm than good. The pressure running places on your legs not only risks injury to your joints but can also lead to temporary spider veins as it causes the veins to swell.

Instead of running, try walking instead. Walking offers similar benefits to running all while being a low-impact activity.  Like running, walking can burn calories, improve heart health, and aid in cardiovascular health without risking damage to your joints or veins. If you want an alternative cardio workout to running to have healthy veins while avoiding temporary spider veins, then walking is definitely a great choice. 

2) Indoor Cycling and Outdoor Cycling

In general, both indoor and outdoor biking are great workouts that can help you maintain a healthy weight and stamina while being low impact. However, with the rise of spin classes and bike trails, what you do on the bike could determine whether or not you see spider veins during your workout. 

Indoor cycling or stationary biking is a low-impact physical activity that can help you lose weight and improve your health without placing too much pressure on your joints. If kept to the basics, this workout shouldn’t cause your veins to be inflamed or swell removing any chance of getting temporary spider veins. 

However, if your indoor cycling session can be likened to Soul Cycle classes with intense movements and choreography, it could cause the appearance of spider veins during the workout. When adding choreography and other movements, indoor cycling becomes a high-impact exercise and can put extra pressure on your body preventing proper blood flow which will cause your veins to swell. 

Like indoor cycling, when kept to the basics outdoor cycling is a great low-impact activity that has a multitude of health benefits. Due to being low-impact in nature, outdoor biking will most likely never cause spider veins to appear. Outdoor biking is intensified through racing and complicated trails, and it will require more effort from your body and put extra strain on it. If you choose to intensify your outdoor cycling and increase its possible impact on the body, it could lead to spider veins appearing. 

Whether you choose to do indoor or outdoor cycling, it would be best to keep to less strenuous exercises to avoid excess pressure causing your veins to swell. 

Learn More: How to Get Rid of Spider Veins and Varicose Veins Naturally

Other Factors That Cause Spider Veins During Exercise

While changes in the type of physical activity you do could prevent you from getting spider veins during your workout, there could be other factors behind your spider veins as well. These factors include age, gender, and weight. All of these factors can cause temporary spider veins as well as permanent spider veins. 

According to studies, people above 50 are more susceptible to varicose veins due to the weaker state of their veins. Women are also more likely to experience spider veins as compared to their male counterparts. Lastly, weight can also play a part in the visibility of spider veins during your workout. Depending on different variables, it’s possible that your workout in conjunction with your weight is adding too much pressure on your body. This in turn results in your veins swelling and causes the appearance of spider veins. 

Prevent and Treat Spider Veins At The Vein Center Doctor

vein doctor examines the spider veins on clients leg

Varicose veins that occur during your workouts are not a cause of concern but there are treatments to target them if you would like. At Vein Center Doctor, our team of vein specialists offers expert advice and medical treatments for patients looking to tackle spider veins, varicose veins, or any other deep vein issues through safe and medical services. 
Led by Dr. Rahul Sood, Vein Center Doctor is a state-of-the-art vein treatment center that prioritizes your vein health and targets your vein issues at the root. Call us today to know more about services or book an appointment online.

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