Bodybuilder Bulging Veins: Is This a Problem?
Are Bulging Veins a Problem for Bodybuilders
Strength training, weightlifting, powerlifting, bodybuilding… All of these things focus on the same thing, right? Wrong. Bodybuilding is an entirely different activity. While it still involves training in the gym to build muscle, the focus is more on appearance rather than purely working on strength.
Bodybuilders practice specific diet and exercise to develop their muscles through muscle hypertrophy, typically for the purpose of participating in competitions. To achieve their fitness goals, bodybuilders maintain a pretty strict, high-intensity workout plan. Bulging veins are inevitable in bodybuilders who work out with such intensity. Bodybuilder’s veins bulge in various places on the body, like the neck, arms, chest, legs and hands. This occurs as oxygenated blood is pushed through the body and muscles during these strenuous workouts, causing an increase in blood flow back to heart and lungs that the veins must work harder to circulate. As a result of this, superficial veins (those that are closest to the skin) become larger, more visible and will start the bulge. Bulging veins in bodybuilders is actually advantageous in the competition world.
Is Bodybuilding Good for Vein Health?
But… isn’t working out supposed to be good for vein health? Yes, engaging in frequent exercise can help reduce the risk for varicose veins, blood clots and other venous diseases, but this “exercise” is referring to normal cardio and weightlifting, walking, yoga, etc., not the kind of workouts that bodybuilders are doing, which put a strain on the body in general, especially the veins. Bodybuilders who have a family history of any kind of vein conditions or blood clotting are at an even bigger risk for developing varicose veins.
Bodybuilders should consider their life outside of the gym as well. Other risk factors for varicose veins include sitting or standing for long periods of time, recently recovering from surgery or an illness, medication or supplements that could cause blood clotting or poor circulation, or having an injury that caused you to be immobile for a long period of time. For women, previous pregnancies and hormonal birth control are also risk factors, and for men, an additional risk factor is going through testosterone replacement therapy.
Men and women who are bodybuilders should make it a point to visit a vein specialist so they can better learn the signs and symptoms of venous disease, and continue their exercise plan with peace of mind. Dr. Susan B. Fox, DO, is board certified in vascular medicine and venous disease and can consult with patients who are concerned with developing bodybuilder varicose veins.
Popping Veins in Bodybuilders
If bodybuilder veins popping is something you are experiencing and are worried that it could be a precursor to varicose veins or other venous diseases, there are certain lifestyle changes that you can adapt to help reduce the risk of developing varicose veins, prevent them from developing or even treat them if they already exist.
One of the first and most important things that Dr. Fox recommends to her varicose vein patients, bodybuilders or not, is to wear compression socks, stockings or sleeves. These help promote healthy blood flow and circulation. You can even wear them while you are working out to reduce the amount of strain being put on the veins.
There are other changes you might need to make to your workout routine too, modifying high-impact exercises with lower impact options. Vein specialists at Fox Vein & Laser Experts can make suggestions based upon the severity of your condition, but it is also important to discuss your health concerns with your personal trainer and see what they recommend.
Keep your legs elevated above the heart for about 15 minutes per day. This helps reduce any swelling you might be experiencing in the legs or feet, and can also reduce blood pooling in the veins. Certain shoes can also wreak havoc on your legs. High heels, for example, add pressure on the veins. If varicose veins are an issue for you, save the heels for times when you won’t be on your feet for too long.
Contact us at Fox Vein & Laser Experts
Incorporating these things into your daily life is only a supplement, however; there is no substitute for an actual vein health evaluation with a vein expert. Sometimes, symptoms are invisible and you won’t know that there is a problem until it has already developed into something worse. Be proactive, and schedule a consultation at Fox Vein & Laser Experts. If there is something wrong, Our Vein Doctor Miami, Dr. Fox can catch it early and provide safe, effective and minimally invasive treatment options that have no downtime, so your fitness schedule will never have to suffer.