Friday, 11 January 2013

Why do I get swollen ankles? And, more importantly, how do I stop the swelling?

One of the biggest issues I'm facing as a result of being overweight is swelling of the feet, ankles and legs. I've been suffering particularly this week as I've recently had a long-haul flight... Of course, that was Monday and it's Friday now. So, why do I still have legs like tree trunks?
If I were athletic, I could blame my swollen feet and ankles on being on my feet too much... but I live a fairly sedentary life at the moment - so this couldn't be further from the truth. Yes, my weight will be putting pressure onto my feet, but I am not on my feet enough for this to be a real issue.  
I think a big part of my swelling problem is water retention - plain and simple - caused by poor circulation... which is probably the combined result of sitting still for too long and carrying weight that my heart is getting stressed by. 
So, what can be done about my swelling feet? There are special compression shoes and compression socks available on the market which will bring down the problem quickly... but I'm really hoping for a long term solution to swollen ankles.
There are some natural remedies available, including diuretic green tea or a cup of hot water with lemon.  Gingko Biloba should also help to improve circulation.
But - above all else - I think keeping my feet elevated is key when I'm resting. This will ensure my hear can pump efficiently - delivering blood to every corner of my body. And, guess what? It costs absolutely nothing!
Once this bout of swelling goes, I need to focus on reducing my weight and getting active through regular walking. (Unfortunately it hurts a bit to walk when my ankle area feels so tight!)  I'm aiming to start regular walks this weekend. Just a mile a day to ease me into it.

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