Summer in Alabama is hanging on, and so are the warm temperatures. You throw on your new pair of sneakers and head to the lake to take advantage of it. After lounging in the heat for much of the afternoon, it’s time to head home. You reach for your sneakers to wear back to the city, but something’s terribly wrong. They don’t fit anymore! You loosen the strings and wiggle your way in, but it’s too late. The heat has caused your feet and ankles to swell, making for an awkward walk to the car.
You’re not alone. Many Americans experience the untimely episode of swollen feet and ankles. In the hotter months, your body can heat up in a big way. To help you cool off, your blood vessels constrict. This causes your body to work harder to transport blood back to our heart. Add gravity, and the fluid moves downward to your ankles and feet, collecting and seeping into tissue. This leads to swollen feet and ankles—also known as heat edema.
Fortunately, there is something you can do about it.
How to Avoid Swollen Feet and Ankles
Drink 8-10 glasses of water each day.
When the temperatures rise, so should your water intake. This is especially true if you are taking in a lot of salt, which can cause you to retain fluids.
Don’t remain stationary for too long
We all need to kick back now and then. Just be sure to add in movement so you don’t stay stationary for long periods. Go for a walk or a swim to keep your circulation moving.
Spend time in an air-conditioned space
Take a reprieve indoors to rest in cool temperatures. If the air is out, plug in a fan, prop up your feet, and enjoy the moment.
Elevate your feet periodically
If you notice swelling starting to happen, prop your feet up several times a day to help your heart pump fluids out of your feet and lower legs. While sleeping, you can prop your feet on a pillow for added benefit. This is especially helpful if you have diabetes.
Eat foods that act as diuretics
While taking in water is great, so is eating foods known to assist in eliminating excess fluids in the body. Good sources to try are green beans, leafy greens, pumpkin, pineapple, lemons, onions, and beetroot.
Massage our feet and ankles
Assist your circulation by massaging your feet and ankles. You can even try essential oils to make the process easier and more relaxing.
Avoid hot baths
While a hot bath can soothe the muscles, it can also make your blood vessels constrict, causing circulation issues. Try a warm bath instead, followed with a tall glass of water and elevated feet.
Taken in doses of 200 milligrams twice a day, magnesium can help you stay hydrated for lower water retention. Bananas, nuts, spinach, and avocados are terrific sources to seek for high magnesium levels.
To learn more about how to avoid heat edema, contact us.