How 30 Minutes a Day of Light Exercise Can Increase Lifespan and Reduce Leg Pain

What if you didn’t have to pay hundreds of dollars in gym memberships or spend hours at a time on vigorous workouts to dramatically improve your health? What if you could still increase your lifespan and help prevent against varicose veins, blood clots, and leg pain in just 30 minutes a day? New research shows that you can!

30 Minutes a Day to Keep the Leg Pain Away

A recent study from the American Journal of Epidemiology shows that exerting some form of movement or light exercise for half an hour every day can help decrease the risk of death by around 17%. That number jumps up to 35% when the 30 minutes of exercise a day includes more active exercises.

If you don’t have a 30 minute time slot in your day to dedicate to a short walk, split your exercise into smaller increments throughout the day. Get up more often to get a drink of water or walk around while you’re on a quick phone call. Just as long as you get your 30 minutes in that actively changes up what would have been an otherwise sedentary daily routine.

One of the researchers in the study notes, “We used to think that exercise had to be done at a moderate or vigorous intensity. We used to think it had to be done in 10 minutes or more at a time…Our results kind of shift the narrative a bit. A one-minute burst here and a one-minutes burst there actually can still be healthful.

The Dangers of a Sedentary Lifestyle

Decreasing sedentary time is the key here. For many individuals, though, this may seem like an insurmountable task, especially if their jobs require sitting all day.

But it’s those long periods of uninterrupted sitting that can sometimes lead to health complications, including cardiovascular problems such as venous insufficiency and varicose veins. These are conditions developed by poor blood circulation and often results in an acute pain in limbs and extremities. Blood vessel walls begin to weaken, losing their structure and causing blood to collect in vessels rather than flow freely.

Legs are the most common area to experience vein problems, especially when an individual sits for long periods of time every day. Left untreated and without any changes made to the individual’s lifestyle, symptoms can worsen.

Symptoms of varicose veins and venous insufficiency may include:

  • Ankle and leg swelling
  • Itchy skin
  • Leg cramps
  • Restless leg syndrome
  • Edema in legs or ankles
  • Dry skin
  • Other types of leg pain

On top of the leg pain that may be experienced, blood clots can also form and pose a dangerous threat if they find their way to vital organs such as the lungs or heart.

Disrupting a Sedentary Routine with Active Habits

The good news is that this study indicates that even small changes to your routine can make big differences to your overall health. And it starts with just 30 minutes of walking or other light exercise a day!

Begin today to add more movement into your day-to-day activities. What can you do to decrease the proportion of time you spend sitting with light exercise here and there? As the researchers in the study found, “Just getting up and moving a little bit, even at light intensity, could be enough to lower your risk.”

If you are experiencing leg pain or notice varicose and spider veins creeping up in your legs, schedule a consultation appointment with Heart of Dixie’s vein specialists at our vein centers in St. George, Cedar City, Kanab, and Fillmore. We can create an exercise plan for you and provide varicose veins treatment to relieve your leg pain.

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