Why do legs swell up in summer?

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Why do legs swell up in summer?

Summer is a much-loved season for its warm climate, long sunny days, and vacations. However, with the arrival of high temperatures, many people experience an annoying and uncomfortable issue: swollen legs.

This condition, also known as edema, can be particularly uncomfortable and limiting, especially for those who are required to spend several hours of their day standing or sitting.

It can significantly impact the quality of life, causing pain, heaviness, and discomfort.

What are the main causes of swollen legs?

This feeling of heaviness and swelling in the legs depends on the fact that the venous blood struggles to rise. In optimal conditions, in fact, the blood is conducted from the feet towards the heart, and is then pushed to reoxygenate in the lungs. If the valves in the veins do not work correctly, the blood will flow back up with difficulty resulting in fluid stagnation in the feet, ankles and legs, accompanied by swelling and a sense of heaviness.

The origin of this discomfort, caused by various triggering factors, is amplified by the high temperatures typical of summer.

Let's look at some of them:

water retention: heat promotes the dilation of blood vessels, increasing capillary permeability and thus facilitating the passage of fluids into the tissues;

venous stasis: high temperatures can slow down venous return, especially if many hours are spent standing or sitting, causing blood and fluid stagnation in the lower extremities;

sedentary lifestyle: long periods spent standing or sitting without moving can aggravate the situation;

hormonal fluctuations: during the summer, some people may experience hormonal changes that affect water retention;

sodium-rich diet: excess salt in the diet promotes water retention, worsening the swelling;

dehydration: dehydration can lead the body to retain more fluids, worsening the swelling;

Very hot temperatures could also lead to more serious venous disorders, such as the formation of small visible veins, the occurrence of mild to severe cramps, or in more delicate cases, the development of actual varicose veins.

Although swollen legs are often a temporary and benign issue, it is important to pay attention to symptoms that could indicate more serious conditions. In some cases, leg heaviness may be the result of a more serious pathology that needs to be addressed with appropriate therapy and only after a specific vascular consultation.

In most cases, however, small consistent measures over time can make a difference and help manage all those discomforts related to high temperatures and/or "bad" habits.

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Remedies and practical advice

physical exercise: walking, swimming, and stretching exercises can improve blood circulation and prevent venous stasis. It is not necessary to invest an excessive amount of time; small sessions of physical activity each day are sufficient. For example, a good practice could be to dedicate 5 minutes every hour to taking a few steps to keep the muscle pump active, which pushes blood from the feet to the heart;

balanced diet: another factor not to overlook is diet. Maintaining your ideal body weight helps avoid putting excessive pressure on the lower limbs. Additionally, a diet rich in fruits and vegetables and minerals helps combat water retention, which is facilitated by the consumption of salty and refined foods;

avoid crossing your legs for long periods;

limit the use of high heels and/or flat shoes;

place a lift at the foot of the bed: elevating the legs above heart level can facilitate venous return and reduce swelling;

do not wear tight clothing;

massage your legs with circular movements;

Drink water or herbal teas frequently throughout the day to prevent water retention;

Use creams with a restful and draining action, such as our Ice Gel Rinfrescante Gambe!

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This product is ideal for those who sit or stand for several hours and for all situations that force you to maintain a static position for a long time.

Swollen legs in summer can be a significant annoyance, but with the right precautions and the use of suitable products, it is possible to prevent and relieve the symptoms.

Remembering to maintain an active lifestyle, adopt healthy habits and use specific products for the well-being of the legs definitely helps in improving the quality of life during the summer months.

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