Have you ever gotten to the end of the day and noticed your legs look bigger than usual? Or you’re putting on a pair of shoes, and it seems like you’re feet have grown?
Maybe you’re familiar with one of these common scenarios:
- You’re at work and on your feet all
- You’re watching the game and munching on salty chips with friends.
- You’re trying to catch some sleep on a long flight
When you finally make it home or to your hotel, your legs have swollen up and resemble balloons.
You’ve experienced what’s referred to medically as edema or swelling caused by excess fluid throughout your body’s tissues. Swollen legs can be a frustrating thing to deal with, and are actually quite common, but they don’t have to get in the way of your daily routine.
Of course, we always recommend you see your doctor to discuss health conditions, especially when it comes to swelling issues. With that said, read on to learn some ways to combat leg swelling.
What Causes Swelling in Legs?
First, we need to understand what causes legs to get swollen.
When fluid builds up in your legs, it means your blood vessels there are carrying a lot more fluid than they should, causing your legs to look and feel swollen. Edemas can occur when you’ve been standing on your feet all day, have consumed a lot of salty foods or beverages, or because you’ve been sitting for a long period of time.*
In a recent US News article, vascular specialist Dr. Vinod Kumar says almost 10% of adults experience lower-leg swelling by the day’s end. And swelling is often aggravated by our daily activities like long periods of sitting or standing or travel by plane or car.
Swelling in the legs and feet at the end of a long day is sometimes referred to as “everyday edema.” In these cases, gravity is the main culprit. The good news is – simple changes to your daily routine (and wardrobe) can often help provide relief. We’ve listed a few below – you might be surprised by some of the ways to combat swelling.
Tips to Combat Swollen Legs
Avoid sitting or standing for long periods of time. If you are able, mix it up during the day by taking breaks from your desk. Or, if you spend most of your day standing, take five to sit or – even better – prop your feet up on a chair.
Exercise can treat a litany of medical conditions, so if you feel you’re not getting enough or if your doctor recommends you add some cardio into the mix, check out some of our suggestions in how you can stay in shape and have fun at the same time.
Cutting back on salty foods has been shown to reduce leg swelling. Put down those pretzels and opt for some salt-free crunchy snacks instead.
Staying hydrated is crucial for your overall health. Drinking more fluids can help flush your system, relieve swelling and boost your energy levels! Experts recommend drinking half your body weight in ounces of water every day.
If you’re on a long flight, switching positions and getting up to walk around for a bit or stretching your legs can help a great deal.
One of the best remedies for swollen legs is compression socks. Graduated compression legwear not only helps to increase blood flow throughout the body, but it can provide welcome support for tired, achy legs. At VIM & VIGR, we have plenty of fashionable and comfortable options for you to choose from.
Here are some tips on where to wear them!
* Edemas can be a symptom of serious medical conditions, so it’s important to check with your doctor immediately if you are experiencing swelling in lower extremities.