Exercise Improves Blood Flow
Exercise helps promote blood flow from your legs back toward your heart. To get the most benefit:
• Spend time each day doing exercises that work the leg muscles. Walking, swimming, and cycling are great choices.
• If you’re new to exercise, start out gradually and build up to 30 minutes on most days.
• If you have a health problem that keeps you from being active, ask your doctor for help. He or she can recommend appropriate exercises for you.
Elevation Reduces Swelling
Elevation keeps blood from pooling in the leg veins. This lowers the pressure in the legs and reduces swelling.
• Raise your feet above heart level. This works best if you lie flat on your back. You may want to use a few blankets or pillows to prop up your legs. Do this 3 to 4 times a day for about 20 to 30 minutes.
• Put your feet up while you do sit-down tasks. Elevating at hip level doesn’t reduce swelling, but it may help keep it from getting worse.
Limiting Skin Problems
Keeping skin moist helps prevent dryness and itching. Proper skin care also makes ulcers less likely to form. Your doctor may advise you to apply
special lotions (emollients) to your skin daily. This works best right after you bathe or shower.
Maintaining a Healthy Weight and Diet
Being overweight puts extra pressure on your veins. To maintain a healthy weight and improve symptoms, you may need to adjust your diet.
Follow any diet instructions you receive from your doctor. Limit salty or processed and canned foods since they’re likely to be high in sodium. Too
much sodium causes your body to retain water and increases swelling