Tips for healthy legs and feet

Whatever the underlying cause of your leg or foot problem, here are some things you can do to help improve your legs and feet.

Healthy diet

Ensuring you eat a healthy diet and maintain a healthy weight is just one of the ways you can help. The way to achieve a healthy weight is to eat a well-balanced diet and take enough exercise.

Get healthy eating tips

Keeping active

We know living with leg and foot conditions can be challenging but it is still important to be as active as possible and keep fit. Move around and stretch regularly, and wear comfortable clothes and shoes. Regular exercise can help to ease any stiffness and strengthen muscles, as well as helping you to keep to a healthy weight and improving your self confidence.

We’d recommend:

  • If you are able to take light to moderate exercise, aim to walk for about 30 minutes at least three times a week
  • If walking is a problem, then there are re gentle exercises that can be done while sitting down – move your feet around in circles, then up and down. This helps get blood back to your heart.
  • Avoid standing for a long time

Find fitness ideas


Smoking reduces the amount of blood at reaches the skin in your lower legs and so reduces healing. If you smoke, try to cut down or quit. It is hard to quit, but there’s lots of support to be found through your nurse or doctor, including Nicotine Replacement Therapy.

How to quit


There are lots of emotions to deal with if you’re suffering with a leg or foot problem. Sometimes you can feel low or anxious. Consider exploring self help options or advice to help improve your mental well-being.

Further support

Skin care

Look after your skin. It’s important to keep your skin clean and well moisturised. Avoid soap as this can be very drying. Instead, use a moisturising soap substitute when washing, bathing and showering, and always moisturise your skin afterwards.. You may want to use a bath emollient or oil as well as a moisturising lotion, cream or ointment, as these clean and hydrate the whole body.

How to guide

Managing pain

Wounds on the legs or feet can be painful. Pain killers such as paracetamol may be helpful along with rest and elevating your leg or foot. You may need to take time off work so discuss this you’re your GP.

Download this leaflet as a pdf
– Knees to toes: what you need to know (PDF download 566kb)

Other support

Accelerate Based in East London, Accelerate can accept national referrals from your GP / specialist to our world-class centre where we pioneer and trial experimental new treatments for chronic leg ulcers / wounds, lymphoedema and mobility challenges.

Contact details
020 3819 6022
Find out more on the Accelerate website

The Lindsay Leg Club Foundation Promoting and supporting community based treatment, health promotion, education and ongoing care for people who are experiencing leg-related problems - including leg ulcers and other wound care issues.

Contact details
01473 749565
Find out more on the Lindsay Leg Club Foundation website

Lymphoedema Support Network (LSN) is a national UK charity which provides information and support to people with lymphoedema.

Contact details
020 7351 0990
Find out more on the Lymphoedema Support Network website

NHS Choices the official NHS website, which provides vital information and support about leg and foot signs and other symptoms.

Contact details
Call 111 - for non-emergency medical advice
Find out more on the NHS Choices website

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