Beat the bloat

If water retention has you feeling like you’re about to pop, try these natural remedies.

Beat the bloat
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Break a sweat
Cardiovascular exercise promotes water loss by boosting circulation, which moves fluid from your extremities back toward your heart and kidneys, where it’s turned into urine. It will also make you sweat, which helps you excrete both water and sodium. No need to go all-out; a fast walk is enough to do the trick.

Take the plunge Pregnant women know that there’s nothing like being submerged in a pool to help relieve fluid retention. The way it works is the pressure of the water pushes the body fluids back into the blood vessels and on to the kidneys. Even better: Do water aerobics and get two-for-one benefits.

Apply some pressure “Massage, especially lymphatic-type massage, can help alleviate bloating by moving fluid out of the body’s tissues,” says Elson M. Haas, M.D., director of the Preventive Medical Center of Marin in San Rafael, Calif., and author of The Detox Diet, Third Edition (Celestial Arts).

Take a load off Elevating swollen feet and ankles above the level of your heart promotes the return of excess fluid to the kidneys. And don’t sit with your legs crossed, as this inhibits the removal of fluids from your lower body. Wearing tight jeans can have the same effect.