We asked people living with leg and foot problems, nurses and clinic volunteers to share their tips to keep your legs and feet healthy as part of your everyday lifestyle
Look after your skin. Keeping your skin in good condition helps prevent risk of infections (cellulitis).
- Moisturise with an unscented moisturiser every day
- Check your skin for breaks or cracks
- Make sure any broken areas are healing well ( if not visit your GP practice for advice)
Take cold water showers from the front of the foot to above the knee.
When removing the hair from your legs, be mindful of your skin.
Exercise and activity
Keeping active and using your leg muscles helps with your circulation and helps the lymphatic system to drain any excess fluid. This will reduce the risks of swollen legs and ankles. Everyone can exercise although it may be at different levels depending on any other health problems. So whether it is walking or running or just carrying out exercises sitting in your chair, moving a little more will help.
- Ask any health care professional about circulatory exercises but anything which moves your feet and ankle will help
- Keep active – “sit less and move more”. Try to do light to moderate exercise such as swimming or walking for about thirty minutes at least three times a week
- Try not to stand still or sit with your feet down and still for long periods as gravity will cause an increase in fluid in your legs – keep on the move!
- Elevate your feet as much as you can
Get your legs up! Elevation is a great thing. Lie down somewhere comfy and elevate. Give yourself a good book – let your skin breathe while you relax!
- Maintain a healthy weight. We know that excess weight increases the chances of developing problems in your legs especially swelling. The way to achieve a healthy weight is to eat a well-balanced diet and take enough exercise
- Stop smoking or aim to reduce the amount you smoke. Smoking decreases the blood flow to the legs and makes healing more difficult. So stopping will help to keep your legs healthy.
Keep using your legs – Stay active
If you are prone to swelling in your legs and feet or there are problems with your veins then compression may be helpful.
- Compression garments will help maintain your healthy legs.
- They should fit well and provide support
- They are usually worn daily but your health care professional will advise you on what would be best for you
- Although they may feel a little uncomfortable at first they should not cause pain and it is worth persevering or if you cannot manage discussing it further with your health care professional as may be you need a different option of compression or just a different style.
Remember to wear your compression stockings.
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