People often describe cankles as an unattractive feature, but in reality, it is a symptom of serious health conditions. Cankles are defined by Merriam-Webster’s dictionary as “a wide or thick ankle that appears indistinguishable from the lower calf.” While they may sound harmless enough on their own, one must be aware of how these shapely ankles might actually signify something more dangerous below the surface.
Cankles are a problem, but there’s no need to worry because we have some tips on how you can care for them!
1. Exercise your legs more often
One of the most common causes for cankles is excess weight. Having excess weight around your ankles could be caused by an unhealthy diet and a sedentary lifestyle. If you have some extra pounds to lose, this might just be what you need!
What to do: A new workout routine might help you to lose fat, specifically from your cankles. Although there is no specific exercise for the calves and legs that will get rid of this type of fat, there are some effective exercises that have been proven to be helpful such as squats, calf raises (which target different areas), donkey kicks.
Cause: Water retention
We need sodium to help our brain function and maintain the fluid balance in our body, but we should only have a certain amount of it. The American Heart Association recommends no more than 2,300 mg per day and for most adults, an ideal limit of 1,500 mg daily. On average, we eat around 3,300 milligrams of sodium per day. This excessive intake causes our bodies to hold onto water because there’s too much salt in our system.
What to do: To maintain the recommended level of sodium, avoiding salt is not enough. If you want to reduce sodium, try cutting down on processed foods. You should also add more potassium-rich food into your diet so that the body can maintain its balance of electrolytes and minerals.
One of the many reasons for swollen ankles during pregnancy is that your body retains more fluid to meet your baby’s needs. But, this one probably isn’t so bad – it means you’re growing a little person! Pregnancy legs are real, and they can be a bit of an eyesore. They’re like elephant trunk stumps for your ankles. But don’t worry because all of these effects are temporary.
What to do: In the meantime, try to be patient and cut down on salt – not water. But don’t forget that one of your happiest days is coming soon so you should also raise your feet 8-10 inches above heart level for 10-15 minutes a few times each day.
Cause: Vascular Disease
People who have problems with their circulatory system, often report swelling as one of the most common symptoms.
What to do: Get a professional opinion about whether or not you have vascular disease. In addition to their medical advice, try wearing graduated compression stockings as they help blood flow upward toward the heart instead of downward towards your feet. Raising your legs above your heart may also be helpful.
5. Drink natural diuretic fluids, like tea and coffee.
Cause: Fluid retention
Your body consists of 70% water, so it is very serious about maintaining the right amount to ensure all systems run smoothly. However there are a lot of factors that change this balance and your body tries to conserve fluid in the waist down area; examples include kidney or heart problems, pregnancy side effects from certain medications as well as lack of physical activity.
What to do: If you have cankles due to water retention, it’s best for you to see your doctor about the root cause. In addition, there are some natural diuretic drinks that may help flush out excess fluids – dandelion tea and parsley tea in particular!
Cause: Genetic Disposition
Sometimes our problems are inherited. If your grandmother and mother had the exact same problem, you’ll just have to deal with it yourself and come up with solutions unique to you. Alternatively, don’t see cankles as a negative thing- embrace them!
What to do: There are a number of tricks you can try to help get rid of your genetically inherited cankles. However, it’s important to make sure that issue is not related to any health conditions which cause swollen ankles and legs. You can try all some tricks and find your way of dealing with cankles. An active lifestyle, a healthy diet plan, and a positive mindset are some suggestions for you to deal with inherited or genetic cankles on your own. But if you’re very serious about getting rid of them your doctor may suggest invasive methods.
7. Take caution on your medications
Cause: Diseases such as kidney disease, heart failure, etc.
If you notice your calves suddenly merge with your ankles, chances are that it’s because of the medications for kidney and heart diseases. The meds have swelling on their list of side effects so be careful about this when taking them.
What to do: If a medication works for you, then it shouldn’t have any negative effects. However, if your legs start to swell after taking the pills and this happens often enough that it is concerning, consult with your doctor. In many cases, swelling can indicate more serious health conditions which you should not try curing yourself.
If you don’t have any serious health conditions and think there’s no need to change anything other than your calves, we have a couple of smart tips for you. The main point here is simply to distract attention away from your legs.
- Wearing tasteful makeup, jewelry, and other accessories to accentuate your neckline will highlight not only the appearance of these features but also your face.
- Go for full skirts when choosing dresses and skirts.
- To make your legs look longer, avoid ankle strap shoes and stay away from flat ones. Instead, wear pointy toe stilettos to elongate the leg visually while avoiding too much contrast between shoe and calf.
- Draw attention to your best features by trying some clothing tricks.
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