Swelling after exercise is normal; here’s how to deal with it

Reasons for bloating range from water intake to ill-fitting clothing

Have you noticed your body getting bigger after working out? Turns out, it’s normal.

Body swelling is common when exercising, especially when taking a high-intensity interval training class, running for a long period of time or exhausting yourself while lifting weights.

“There are a variety of reasons that you may feel bloated after a workout,” Patrick Griffith, a physical therapist, told Healthline. “However, post-workout bloating is normal. In most cases, it’s not cause for concern.”

So, what do you do if you’re experiencing swelling during a workout and your hands and feet get a little tight? Here are five things to try.

Get the right shoes

Ill-fitting shoes can not only cause your feet to swell, they can also cause ankle, knee, back and foot injuries.

“It’s very important not to wear clothes that impede blood flow in any way,” said Thomas Bottiglieri, a sports medicine specialist at New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center.

Take off jewelry

Jewelry, especially rings, can cause swelling in your hands and arms because of the restriction of blood flow. Some metals from jewelry combined with the friction of skin and sweat can lead to allergic reactions.

SHAPE magazine recommends you avoid jewelry made of nickel, brass, copper that are gold-plated — and stick to pure gold, sterling silver and silicone.

Watch your form

“Anyone experiencing exercise-induced swelling should monitor their posture and their hand position during exercise,” Bottiglieri said. “The solution may be as simple as fixing a tweak that’s preventing blood from flowing properly.”

It’s easy to lose form while running, doing dead lifts or even squatting — especially when you’re about to max out on reps. Taking a break and getting in tune with your body is a great way to help prevent swelling and injury. If you can, exercise in front of a mirror so you can watch your form.

Take smaller sips

Yes, it’s true that drinking while working out can cause bloating. This is because of the amount of water you take in mixed with the amount of air that’s being swallowed.

Much the way diet experts say to “eat slower,” the same applies to drinking while working out. Being overhydrated can cause you to feel sluggish, but being dehydrated can lead to passing out. It’s best to find the happy medium and take smaller sips when necessary.

Some other causes of swelling or bloating after a workout can be drinking too much water, poor nutrition, heat and heavy breathing.

The good thing about swelling and bloating from a workout is that it’s not permanent and clears up on its own.