Dos and Don'ts
- DO lift your legs! Ankles can swell like sourdough bread, thanks to water retention. Luckily, avoiding the baguette look just takes a little movement. Exercises that work the calf muscles help move blood and excess fluid out of the ankle area. Regularly walking, running, bicycling, and aerobic dancing can work wonders. If ankles swell while seated at work, try lifting your legs up parallel to the floor every few minutes. During breaks, walk around the office or up the stairs. Spend a portion of the lunch hour on your feet, exercising.
- DO keep your feet up. While resting, reading, or watching television, prop a pillow under those tootsies. A little help from gravity can go a long way in draining fluid from swollen limbs.
- DO cross off the notion that crossing your legs is the way to sit. Doing so limits the blood flow through the thigh veins, in turn aggravating the swelling in the lower legs.
- DO toss out tight clothing. If you have to squeeze into your pants, you can be guaranteed that pressure is being placed on your upper thighs and waist, in turn restricting the removal of fluids from the lower legs.
- DO limit alcohol intake.
- DON'T smoke.
- DO stay away from junk food. Not only is it bad for you, but the excess salt tips the scales.
- DO eat 6 small meals a day, rather than 3 big ones.
Water retention is usually nothing more than an uncomfortable occurance. If the bloat hits you once a month, these home remedies might help you shed that extra water and find some relief. To learn more, see Home Remedies for Premenstrual Syndrome or to view all of our home remedies and the conditions they treat, go to our main Home Remedies page.