Do your feet swell up as the temperatures get higher? If they do, this is perfectly natural response and is a result of your bodies cooling mechanism. In this blog I am going to give you six natural ways to help.
When you get too hot, your veins dilate (expand) which is a perfectly natural, however they can struggle to pump blood back to the heart and with fighting gravity, which pulls fluids (lymph) down to the ankles and feet, causing it to pool, resulting in the swelling and discomfort that you experience.
So, what exacerbates this condition?
- Too much salt in your diet, then leads to a salt: water imbalance which the body tries to correct by retaining water.
- Prolonged sitting or standing, when we walk, the movement helps to pump blood up from our lower limbs, however when we stay still, our body is forced to work harder to pump against gravity.
- Age: As we get older, our circulation can become slower and our heart less efficient at pumping blood around the body, making it easier for fluids to pool in the lower limbs.
- Pregnancy: Pregnancy already puts a strain on the vascular system as we know, and varicose veins and swollen feet and ankles are a common side effect which only worsens with the warmer weather.
What can you do about it?
- Try to stay in the shade and don’t cross your legs while sitting, by doing that you are impeding the lymph flow, getting up and moving often is a good idea meaning that you are also helping your daily steps.
- Normal exercise is good at a medium intensity, unless if you are in an airconditioned gym then you can do a harder workout. swimming is also excellent to move the fluids.
- Lie down with your feet elevated above your head for 10 minutes or longer if you can during the day, while you are sunbathing, you could have something under your legs to raise them up.
- Use a cooling foot spray or lotion, even water in a spray bottle can help. I’ve included a simple peppermint foot spray at the end of the article. If you are not used to using peppermint products on your skin, please do test it on your inner forearm first to check there is no reaction.
- As I have mentioned, salt isn’t a good idea so look at foods that are low in salt and avoid processed foods as they are high in salt. Some foods are natural diuretics which increase and encourage urine production such as beetroot, lettuce, spinach, pumpkin, green beans, asparagus, lemons, and pineapple, Eat foods rich in potassium and magnesium such as potatoes, beans, beetroot, spinach, bananas, and dark chocolate. There are more but that’s a few to start.Regarding water, drink eight to ten glasses a day, if you don’t like water put fresh lemon, cucumber, or lime pieces into it and add herbs such as mint or lemon balm to help the taste as some tap water isn’t nice.
- Massage, this can be a good way to get fluid moving and reduce the swelling, so you massage gently using both hands with long strokes from your foot to knee keeping your leg straight, better still, get someone to do this for you as then you can relax and enjoy it.
Foot Spray recipe,
- 3 tbsp of Aloe Vera gel
- 3 tbsp of Witch Hazel
- 5 drops of Peppermint essential oil
- Mix all ingredients well in a spray bottle,
- Spray on your feet and massage in well.
I hope you enjoyed this article and find the recipe useful. Do let me know what you think of the recipe.