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How to Exercise for Water Retention

When you retain water, you may have a bloated feeling and notice swelling in your abdomen or your extremities. Common causes of water retention include high-sodium diets, hormone fluctuations and certain medications, such as steroids. To reduce water retention, exercise on a regular basis. Physical activity helps your circulation so your veins can return fluids to your heart.

Participate in aerobic exercises that work your legs. Aerobic activities that involve pumping your feet -- which include jogging, cycling, brisk walking and tennis -- can help relieve fluid pooled in your legs and ankles.

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Exercise your arms. Water retention can affect your hands and arms as well as your legs. If you want to relieve symptoms, get your arms moving during cardiovascular activities. For instance, pump your arms while jogging and brisk walking. Aerobic activities such as kickboxing and dance also give your arms a good workout.

Stretch daily. Elevating your legs during stretching exercises can help you treat water retention with gravity. Lie flat on your back on an exercise mat with a solid wall in front of you. Lift your legs and push your glutes and hips close to the wall. Place your feet on the wall to form a “V” shape. Inhale and exhale as you stay in this position for approximately five minutes.

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Drink plenty of water. If you are not getting enough fluid during exercise, your symptoms of water retention may actually worsen. Drink at least eight glasses of water daily and sip water before, during and after workout sessions.


Changing your diet along with exercising can help relieve water retention naturally. Steer clear of foods high in sodium, such as fast food, soy sauce, lunch meat and processed meals.


Inform your medical doctor about your water retention, and ask for recommended exercises to help alleviate the condition.