(HealthDay News) -- Varicose veins are swollen, dark veins that commonly appear in the legs. They're usually not harmful, but can cause significant pain.
While not all varicose veins can be prevented, the National Women's Health Information Center says there are things you can do to reduce your chances of getting new varicose veins:
- Apply sunscreen to help protect your skin.
- Get regular exercise that focuses on strengthening the legs and improving circulation. Walking or running are good choices.
- If you're overweight, lose weight to reduce pressure on the legs.
- Sit with your feet on the floor, rather than crossing your legs. And when you can, prop up your feet.
- Avoid sitting or standing for too long.
- Support the legs with elastic support stockings, but avoid tight-fitting clothing.
- Stick to a diet that's low in salt and high in fiber.