Swollen feet due to the warm weather?

Oedema is the medical term used to describe swollen feet.


Helen Cosgrove
@AVogelUK


04 August 2015

Swollen feet due to the warm weather?

When the sun comes out it’s inevitable that your ankles and feet do too! No longer hidden under trousers, tights or boots, at this time of the year our lower limbs and toes are freer to bask in the summer sun (when it makes an appearance) in shorts, skirts and flip flops. But with the sun comes heat and with heat often comes ‘the swell’!

Why do my ankles and feet swell in hot weather?

This phenomenon is actually a result of your body's natural cooling mechanism. When you are too hot your veins dilate (expand), allowing fluids to leak into surrounding tissues. The widening of these blood vessels in warm weather is perfectly natural as it’s our bodies’ way of trying to keep itself cool. However, when this happens your veins struggle to pump blood back to the heart and have trouble fighting gravity, which pulls fluid down to the ankles and feet, causing it to pool, resulting in swelling and discomfort. 

What can make this problem worse?

Swollen ankles and feet can be exacerbated by a number of factors including:

  • Too much salt in your diet. This causes a salt:water imbalance which the body tries to correct by retaining extra water.
  • Prolonged sitting or standing. As we walk, the movement of our legs helps to pump blood up from the lower limbs. However, sitting or standing still means that your body has to work harder to pump blood against gravity.
  • Age. As we age our circulation can become slower and our hearts can become less efficient at pumping blood around the body. This makes it easier for fluids to pool in the lower limbs.
  • Pregnancy. Pregnancy already puts extra strain on the vascular system, as the body has to deal with an increase in fluids as well as an increase in weight. Swollen feet and ankles are a common side-effect of pregnancy anyway, so this only worsens in warm weather.

So what can you do to relieve this problem?

10 natural ways to ease swollen feet and ankles in warm weather

If your swelling is being caused by heat there are many natural ways you can help cool down your lower limbs, improve poor circulation and help return fluid to your blood vessels, including:

1. Elevate your feet

If you feet and ankles are swollen, this is one of the first things you should do to help reduce the swelling. Gravity really isn’t your friend when it comes to swelling, so you need to reverse its effect on your limbs by making sure you elevate you feet as much as possible.

It is recommended to raise your legs/feet higher than your heart, 3-4 times a day for 30 minutes each – depending on the severity of the swelling. When you go to bed you can also put a pillow under your ankles to help drain the excess fluid.

2. Avoid heat as much as possible

If you are prone to swelling when it is warm, try to stay a cool as possible. Easier said than done sometimes, but one way to do this is to ensure you don’t sit in direct sunlight. Find shaded areas to sit in or seek out air conditioned rooms where possible.

Keep a mini fan handy to keep you cool and try a cooling foot spray – which can refresh and cool down hot feet and ankles quickly.

Avoid excessively hot baths, hot showers and saunas as these can worsen swelling. Try to keep your water temperature warm but not too hot, and at the end of a shower a good tip is to blast your legs with a jet of cold water to boost circulation.

3. Stay active

Although excessive and intense exercise or activity can contribute to swelling in the lower limbs, gentle exercise such as walking and swimming is good for you as it helps to boost your circulation and get fluid build up flowing again. A good way of ensuring you don’t over-heat and add to any swelling is to exercise at cooler times of the day, such as the morning or early evening.

Swimming is particularly good for swollen feet and ankles as it not only cools them down and keeps you off your feet, it also promotes gentle movement and stretching which helps to get fluids moving, while the water pressure can also help to improve circulation. Anything that pumps the calf muscles helps, even if you’re just treading water in the pool or simulating this movement while sitting at work.

4. Drink plenty of water

Whatever you do, don’t limit the amount of water you drink thinking this will lessen the amount of water you retain. Not drinking enough water can make the salt concentration in your blood to go up, which makes your body retain any water you do drink and cause swelling! Excess salt is a big contributor to swelling, so by drinking more water you can help to dilute the amount of salt in your system and flush it out.

Try to aim for at least 8-10 glasses of plain water a day. If you struggle to drink plain water then try adding slices of cucumber and lemon to it. This not only makes a refreshing drink, but cucumbers and lemons are also great for fighting the swell due to their anti-inflammatory properties. Tasty and powerful!

5. Watch your diet

As I have mentioned, one of the main causes of swelling is excessive salt, so you need to be mindful of how much you consume in your diet. To limit your chances of swollen ankles and feet it is best to pass on the table salt and look at a low-sodium alternative or reduced salt varieties of foods which are usually high in salt, such as soups, sauces, crisps and smoked meats. Try to avoid eating highly processed foods as these often have a high salt content.

Summer is a great time for adding more fresh fruit and vegetables into your diet and there are some that are better than others when it comes to helping your swollen feet.

Certain foods are natural diuretics, which increase and encourage urine production, and can provide relief from fluid retention. Unlike prescribed diuretics, natural ones do not strip your body of essential vitamins and minerals. Foods that have this diuretic effect include beetroot, leafy greens such as lettuce and spinach, pumpkin, green beans, asparagus, onion, lemons and pineapple.

6. Support your legs, ankles and feet

Support tights or compression socks can help prevent swelling. They may be a little difficult to get on, but their tightness is key! They provide measured pressure to reduce the size of dilated veins, increase blood flow and help to prevent the pooling of fluids in ankles and feet, which causes swelling.

7. Avoid being stationary for too long

After a long day at work, especially if you have been sitting or standing all day, it is normal to have some swelling in your legs, ankles and feet, since gravity has been at work all day.

One way to avoid this is to ensure you have regular ‘walking breaks’ to ease discomfort and get fluid moving and blood flowing upwards again. If you sit at a desk all day long, try finding a way of propping your feet up – even a slight rise can make a big difference to your swelling.

Try not to sit with your legs crossed as this can restrict blood flow and make swelling worse. It’s best to sit with your feet flat on the floor or crossed at the ankles.

Follow my tips for exercises to do at your desk if you find that you spend too long sitting down at work!

8. Massage

Massaging your feet and ankles is a good way to get fluid moving and reduce swelling. The best way to do this is by massaging gently, using both hands and working upwards from feet to knees in a circular motion. Or better yet get someone else to massage them for you, as this ensures that you don’t bend your knee and restrict flow.

Essential oils such as peppermint oil and grapefruit oil mixed with a carrier oil such as almond oil are great to use when massaging swollen feet and ankles.

9. The power of magnesium

Magnesium is an important mineral for blood circulation so it’s no surprise that a deficiency in the amount of magnesium in the body can often lead to swelling. A dose of 200mg taken twice a day can make a difference.

You can also look to your food to increase your magnesium intake by eating more magnesium rich foods including dark leafy greens, such as spinach and kale, nuts and seeds, fish, avocado, bananas and dark chocolate.

10. Conkers are great for your lower limbs

I don’t mean that you should play the traditional game of conkers (even though it is fun), but rather it’s the seeds from Horse Chestnut trees which can help tighten the membranes of the blood vessels, encouraging better venous circulation.

Venagel Horse Chestnut Gel

Horse chestnut extracts in gels such as Venagel are soothing, help reduce swelling and provide cooling relief to legs, ankles and feet that feel weary, heavy and uncomfortable. Plus, the act of massaging the gel in helps to stimulate blood flow!

How to use: Massage a small amount of the gel onto the skin 2 to 3 times a day using an upwards motion. Pay special attention to the ankles and the areas that feel most uncomfortable.

 

 

"I have been using the Venagel gel nightly and when my legs are feeling hot it helps to cool them before sleeping.”

Other things you can do…

There are many other natural ways that you can ease swelling when it has occurred including applying ice packs to your swollen area, cooling foot soaks with Epsom salts and wrapping your feet and ankles in damp towels.

What else you should be aware of

Although uncomfortable and often embarrassing if your swollen ankles and feet are on show, swelling is usually temporary, unless it is being caused by an underlying health condition. If proper rest, together with these self help treatments don’t reduce swelling or if you have high blood pressure, then it is important to seek medical advice from your doctor as it may be a sign of a more serious health condition.

Do you have any tips for avoiding or easing swollen feet and ankles?

66 Comments

Add your comments

Your email address will not be published. All fields are required.


Check input OK
Check input OK

             

  • MARTINEZ AUCOIN's photo avatar
    MARTINEZ AUCOIN — 02.04.2018 00:17
    It’s impossible to find someone who has not or never dreamed of winning the lottery.All of us buy lottery tickets play slot machines in order of winning but end up been disappointed with the outcome of the results, We always think of so many different explanations for it, but maybe one of them is correct- those who cannot win have never used services of a professional voodoo spell caster and ordered lottery spells. Hello Every One Out Here I'm Martinez Aucoin, from UK. This is certainly a shocking and genuine live Testimony!!!! It was hard for me to believe when I saw a comment on the internet regarding how Dr Ogudu help people win the lottery by sending them the winning numbers.There is only one lottery spell that works so quick and effective. Lottery spells don't require anything more than great talent. Imagine having your luck on your side and your hand just floats to the right ticket. Spells have been used to get out of debt, but few realize that they can be used for the lottery system. Choose any lottery you want to play and then order spells to make the odds shift in your favor. Good luck is but a lottery spell away! Now that is easy. Get out of debts Lottery spells bring you money Feel the power of being higher. Do not wait for fate to win the lottery, give fate & luck a helping hand to give you 100% success rate at winning the lottery with lotto spells cast by Dr Ogudu, These winning numbers are a guarantee that you must win the lottery. I gave it a try and I won £800,000. My dreams came through when I emailed Dr Ogdud and told him I needed the lottery numbers. I have come a long way spending money on tickets just to make sure I win. But I never knew that winning was so easy until the day I met the spell casters online which so many people have talked about that they are very great in casting lottery spell. So I decided to give it a try.I contacted these spell casters and he did a perfect spell and gave me the winning lottery numbers. I won (Eight Hundred Thousand Pounds) Dr Ogudu truly you are the best, with this spell casting. You can win millions of money through a lottery spell. Email: OGUDUSPELLTEMPLE@YAHOO.COM WHATS-APP NUMBERS;;;;;; +2348106058254

    Reply

    • BILL's photo avatar
      BILL — 13.04.2018 03:45
      I was crushed when my lover of three years left to be with another woman. I cried and sobbed every day, until it got so bad that I reached out to the Internet for help.And i saw a testimony of a spell caster Dr DAN who help alot of people like my case and i said let me give it a try so i contact him for help on website http://blessedspellhome.website2.me/ and he cast a love spell for me which take just 48 hours and now i am a happy woman.For what you have done for me,i will not stop to share your goodness to people out there for the good work you are doing.I hope God bless you as much as you have help me to get my Love back,visit him on blessedspellhome@gmail.com is the only answer to your problems. call him +1(310)-751-7818

      Reply

    • BILL's photo avatar
      BILL — 13.04.2018 03:45
      I was crushed when my lover of three years left to be with another woman. I cried and sobbed every day, until it got so bad that I reached out to the Internet for help.And i saw a testimony of a spell caster Dr DAN who help alot of people like my case and i said let me give it a try so i contact him for help on website http://blessedspellhome.website2.me/ and he cast a love spell for me which take just 48 hours and now i am a happy woman.For what you have done for me,i will not stop to share your goodness to people out there for the good work you are doing.I hope God bless you as much as you have help me to get my Love back,visit him on blessedspellhome@gmail.com is the only answer to your problems. call him +1(310)-751-7818 .....

      Reply

  • sarah's photo avatar
    sarah — 30.03.2018 15:17
    i am very happy today with my family. My name is rose sarah living in USA, My husband left me for a good 3 years now, and i love him so much, i have been looking for a way to get him back since then. i have tried many options but he did not come back, until i met a friend that darted me to Dr.Jude a spell caster, who helped me to bring back my husband after 2 weeks. Me and my husband are living happily together today, That man is great, you can contact him via email liberationlovespell@gmail.com… Now i will advice any serious persons that found themselves in this kind of problem to contact him now a fast solution without steress.. He always hello, now i call him my father.contact him now he is always online email (liberationlovespell@gmail.com) or contact him on his whatsapp mobile line +2348034062173

    Reply

  • Ashley's photo avatar
    Ashley — 30.03.2018 14:22
    My names are Ashley Vivian, Am here to share a testimony on how Dr Raypower helped me. After 1/5 year relationship with my boyfriend, he changed suddenly and stopped contacting me regularly, he would come up with excuses of not seeing me all the time. He stopped answering my calls and my sms and he stopped seeing me regularly. I then started catching him with different girls several times but every time he would say that he love me and that he needed some time to think about our relationship. But cannot stop thinking about him so i decided to go online and i saw so many good talk about this spell caster called Dr Raypower and i contact him and explain my problems to him. He cast a love spell for me which i use and after 24 hours, my boyfriend came back to me and started contacting me regularly and we moved in together after a few months and he was more open to me than before and he started spending more time with me than his friends. We eventually got married and we now have been married happily for 3 years with a son. Ever since Dr Raypower helped me, my partner is very stable, faithful and closer to me than before.You can also contact this spell caster and get your relationship fix Email: urgentspellcast@gmail.com see more reviews about him on his website: http://urgentspellcast.website2.me Call: +1 (424) 330-8109

    Reply

Venagel - Horse chestnut gel for tired, aching legs

100ml

£ 9.99

Buy now

Relief for tired, heavy legs. Fantastic after a night out, a day's shopping or during long journeys.
More info

What's being asked

What can I do to ease the symptoms of varicose veins?

The seeds of horse chestnut have been used for ages to treat varicose veins. Horse chestnut seeds ...
Read more >

My tinnitus is driving me mad. Is there anything I can do?

The herb Ginkgo biloba is traditionally used for tinnitus so it may be worth trying this for ...
Read more >

What can I do to improve my memory?

A good diet, full of wholegrains, vegetables, pulses, seeds, nuts and dried fruit, will provide the ...
Read more >

How well is your memory working?

Quick and simple tests to assess how well your working memory, short-term memory and long-term memory are working.

Take the test

Here’s what I recommend

As the A. Vogel Circulation advisor, I recommend Gingkoforce® Gingko biloba tablets to help support your circulation.

Learn more
Tired of not sleeping? Get your 6-day personalised sleep program