Now that warm weather is here to stay, it’s time to enjoy the heat; but with warm weather often comes something I like to call “the swell”.
Swollen feet and ankles are something that often come with the summer months because the heat causes your veins to dilate causing fluids to leak into the surrounding tissue. While this part is a normal reaction to heat, this widening causes your heart difficulty pumping the blood causing it to pool at your ankles and feet resulting in swelling.
10 ways you can beat the “swell” this season.
Not only is dealing with swelling uncomfortable, it can also hinder you from putting on your favourite pair of shorts and enjoying the weather. It’s definitely not pleasant, but there are several things that you can do to beat “the swell” during summer months.
- Elevate your feet: This helps the blood get back to your heart with more ease reducing the swelling. I recommend doing this 3-4 time a day for 30 minutes.
- Avoid the heat: It can be tough during the summer months but reducing the amount of time you spend in the heat helps reduce swelling. Sit in a cool room, find a shaded spot outside or invest in a cooling spray for your feet.
- Cold compress: Applying a cold compress, cooling ankle brace or cool towel can help with swelling. Not only will it help reduce the swelling, but it will be refreshing in the summer heat.
- Compression stocking: Wear these stocking to improve circulation and reduce water retention by applying gentle pressure to the leg. You can find them in knee lengths or pantyhose styles. (discuss with your family physician medical grade compression stockings).
- Diet: Certain foods and drinks can trigger swelling so it’s best to eat them in moderation. These foods include: white flour, processed/sugary foods and drinks, coffee, black tea, and alcohol.
- Limit salt intake: High levels of sodium can cause water retention. Try cutting back on foods that have lots of salt or use no salt flavours to help give your food all of the flavour without the salt.
- Hydrate: Making sure you stay hydrated helps keep your body functioning at it’s best. You should be aiming for eight glasses a day. If you have trouble drinking all eight glasses try making fruit infused waters to help give your water a boost and a fresh taste.
- Massage: Massaging your feet and ankles to promotes lymphatic drainage. You can also use a cooling cream for added relief.
- Exercise: Swelling can happen when we spend a lot of time sitting down. If you find that you spend a lot of time in the office or sitting down, take a few minutes to move your feet by doing simple stretched or talking a quick walk.
- Consult your foot care provider: Talking to your foot care provider will provide you professional insight into the root cause of your swelling. Together you can create a plan to help meet your needs, ease your discomfort and prevent future swelling.