Meghan Trainer may have been writing about her butt – but I’m going lower… the ankles.
Traveling abroad last week I had the chance to look down and study ankles. Large swollen ankles and thin svelte ankles. Why was I looking? Well partially because mine were swollen and hurt. Traveling approximately 6,000 miles in a tin can called an airplane (legs down, salted food up) – no surprise. What did surprise me was the number of older people walking to the farmer’s market, butcher shop, bakery, etc. that had great ankles. They were moving and active. There is something to be said about only having a very small refrigerator that makes you walk to get food.
The other thing that did surprise me was watching the Americans (they are generally easy to pick out: wear sneakers, heavier than their European counterparts, on cell phone, dragging unwilling children around who are also on their phone), they did have much more swollen ankles! I just couldn’t help making the observation and comparison.
I started to think – why so much swelling?
- Travel – yes, my feet took a few days to return to their normal selves.
- Medications- such as antidepressants, calcium channel blockers, NSAIDs and diabetes medications – have to ask, do we take more medication in the US than other countries (you answer that one)
- Obesity – yes the weight of the world does bad things to those “dogs”
- Chronic disease such as congestive heart failure or kidney disease.
What to do?
- If your ankles are swollen because your heart is not pumping well and you have fluid retention accompanied by shortness of breath and fatigue – by all means, see your doctor.
- Cutting down on the salt may help – yes, it’s hard to do when there are so many temptations.
- Hydrate – unless you must limit fluids. Hydrate means WATER, not soda, coffee or alcohol.
- Get out and move to improve your circulation, yep – it will help. I also like my compression stockings (which I did not do on the trip over – but did do on the trip home- ahhh what a difference)
- And sometimes, just putting those tired dogs (aka feet) up for a bit and taking a break – after all, you are on vacation!
Just try to determine why those ankles are bigger than normal. They may not look like the legs above, but get yours in the best shape possible.
For more info: http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/swollen-ankles-and-feet