Are puffy legs standing between you and your skirt collection? Your calves and ankles are swollen and tender, even a little tingly. If you are pregnant or sit or stand for long periods of time, you may be a prime candidate for puffiness.Jump To Full Article Below
Puffy lips are a sexy look, but puffy legs? Not so much. Leg swelling occurs when fluid builds up in leg tissues. Pants may hide the condition, yet understanding the causes is the best strategy for preventing fluid build-up.
A common trigger for leg swelling is gravity. When you stay in one position for a long time (chained to your desk, maybe?), you increase the risk that fluid will flow down to your extremities. Not moving around also wreaks havoc with circulation: blood can’t properly reach your legs.
Leg swelling is very common among pregnant women. Carrying a baby puts extra pressure on the circulatory system and affects how blood flows to and from your legs. In response, legs puff up.
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to prevent and reduce leg swelling. A few in the right direction:
- Break away: If you spend a lot of time sitting or standing, take frequent (every 30 minutes or so) breaks. A short walk or a little stretching can go far to boost circulation and prevent fluid from pooling in your calves and ankles.
- Fly right: Long flights can send fluid build-up soaring. To prevent leg swelling while traveling, follow the airline’s recommendations for in-seat exercises (usually found in the seat pocket or in-flight magazine). If you can, stand for several minutes every hour or take a stroll down the aisle.
- Stay hydrated: It’s a myth that drinking water will make your legs retain more fluid. On the contrary, a steady supply of H2O will help to flush out toxins.
- Curb salt and carbs: Step away from the crackers and breadbasket! A diet high in sodium and carbohydrates can contribute to fluid accumulation. Fill up on fresh fruits and vegetables at the beginning of meals, and you’ll be less likely to indulge in salty, heavy foods that promote puffiness.
- Get a raise: Elevating legs on a couple of pillows while watching TV or reading is an easy, relaxing way to prevent leg swelling. Other tricks: try sleeping on your side (especially if your fluid build-up is related to pregnancy) or slipping a pillow under your feet while you sleep.
- Chill, baby: Icing problem areas can help reduce leg swelling. Heating, on the other hand, can increase it. Steal a tip from runners and place a bag of frozen peas on swollen ankles and calves to bring down fluid and ease inflammation.
- De-puff prettily: Silky new designs in compression hosiery from Solidea look and feel luxurious. Yet they also deliver gentle firmness to alleviate leg swelling. The high-tech graduated compression actually stimulates upward blood flow - a great way to prevent puffiness all day long. Legs, say hello to skirts!
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