Zum InhaltZum Hauptmenü

Swollen legs in the summer heat

Recognise this? It is summer and during the course of the day, your feet and legs swell more and more and get heavy? You are not alone with that – the summer heat causes a lot of people trouble. But relief is at hand!

füße in wanne mit wasser
© MoRox – stock.adobe.com

Why do legs swell up in the summer heat?

Warmth expands vessels, cold contracts them. Blood vessels expanding in heat is a clever reaction from your body. Because through this expansion your body can better diffuse the excess heat and maintain its normal temperature. But your blood circulation slows down as a result. The oxygen-poor blood expands the veins of your lower extremities because it can no longer be pumped sufficiently upwards towards your heart. If your veins expand, the walls of your veins lose their elasticity and water can escape into the surrounding tissue. That creates these typical swollen feet and legs, which predominantly affect women in summer. Anyone who then sits or stands the whole day makes it additionally difficult for their legs to do their job of transporting against gravity.

What helps against swollen legs in summer?

There are a few tips to give you quick relief once your legs feel heavy and look swollen:

  • Cool your legs: when your feet swell in the summer heat there is no better feeling than a cool foot bath. Cold water revives immediately and your feet feel instantly lighter. It could be a simple bucket with cold water, a few steps through a cool stream, a splash of water or even a cooling gel with refreshing mint. The effect is the same: your vessels contract due to the cold, your blood can be better transported from your legs and the swelling reduces.
  • Put your feet up: when you have water in your legs, it is helpful to put your feet up and thereby help with the onward transportation. The elevation helps the blood flow out of your legs and the swelling subsides.
  • Move your legs: standing or sitting lets the blood flow nicely into your legs. If the summer heat then causes your blood vessels to also expand, copious amounts of fluid gather in your legs, which only re-starts with movement. Even if your legs feel heavy in the summer: exercise alleviates the symptoms because your blood is pumped more easily upwards by the activation of the muscles, and it can circulate better. Do a little vein gymnastics during the day, towards evening go on a little bike ride or swim a couple of laps in the lake.
  • Drink: we automatically sweat more in summer. Your consumption of water should also be increased accordingly. Many people forget when it is hot to keep having a glass of water throughout the day, so that their body is well supplied around the clock. The consequence can be oedemas in the legs as the body starts to store that small amount of water which is available to it. So make sure you drink enough in the summer heat.
  • Comfortable shoes: airy sandals are the best choice in summer. Because when your feet swell up during the day, tight-fitting shoes are quite uncomfortable. Also, walk barefoot through the cool grass during your lunch break.

If all of the tips do not help and the swelling stays, or your legs repeatedly swell up, you should definitely have your veins examined by a doctor. It is perfectly normal for your legs to swell up in the particularly high temperatures of summer. But water retention in your legs can mask other illnesses as a cause, and these need to be treated.

How can I prevent swollen legs?

Special precautions are required in order to be well positioned for summer. Healthy veins also effectively transport blood in the heat, and water retention in your feet or legs does not arise.

  • Move around all day throughout the year. Regularly go for a walk, do sport, spend your free time actively and do not forget to move your feet and legs now and again at work.
  • Make sure to take on board enough fluids as soon as the temperature starts to rise.
  • When done regularly, contrast showers are like training for your vein walls.
  • A healthy, balanced diet supports the health of your veins. That includes a lot of fresh fruit and vegetables, which is good for the whole organism, especially as a light cuisine in summer.
  • Use as little salt as possible when cooking. Because salt stores water and can be responsible for swelling in the legs.
  • Medicines like Veno SL® 300 can also counteract water retention when taken regularly.

Anyone who has a family history should not blame their swollen legs solely on the heat. Maybe it is the herald of venous insufficiency which could progress to oedemas, varicose veins or thrombosis.