Cankles are a thicker area of the lower leg where the ankle and the calf come together. The word "cankle" is not really a medical term, but rather a popular slang term that combines the words "calf" and "ankle." People with cankles often say that they have fat ankles. So how do you know if you have cankles? In a typical leg, the ankle area is thinner than the calf. But the legs of people with cankles are slightly different. People with cankles have a calf and ankle area that is about the same size. There is almost no calf definition and the lower leg looks fatter than normal. So are cankles normal? Sometimes they are. You might have cankles because your parents had them and it’s because of genetics. But there are different causes of cankles and some might indicate an abnormal medical issue. Here is how to get rid of them.
1. Weight Gain
As weight goes up, so does the number of fat stores in the legs. More often than not, cankles are caused by gravity pulling fat stores down toward the ankle and calf area. Getting to a healthy weight through diet and exercise can really help. Infusing your workout with total-body fat blasters that do serious overtime on your calf muscles is recommended. Also, try jumping rope, sprinting, and churning out jumping jacks.
2. Medical Treatments
Some doctors can help you get rid of cankles if the area is enlarged because of fat rather than swelling. For example, certain liposuction treatments can help add definition to the area so the calf muscle is more noticeable and the ankle area looks slimmer. However, these medical treatments can be expensive and like all medical procedures, they carry some risk.
3. Standing Dumbbell Calf Raises
This could be a great exercise to get rid of cankles. Stand with your feet hip width apart and toes pointing forward. Let your arms fall to your side, grasping the dumbbells. Slowly lift your heels off the floor without bending your knees. Hold and lower to the starting position. Make sure to do as many reps as you can.
4. Fluid Retention
A sudden loss of discernable ankles is often caused by fluid retention. And, it’s either due to sodium intake or pregnancy. While sodium encourages the body to hang onto water and bloat, pregnancy often comes with poor circulation, which can cause blood to pool in the ankles. Compression socks can help quickly relieve swelling. But, if you want to keep up the results, you need to address your diet. Focus on avoiding sodium-rich foods, such as processed and fast foods. Preventing dehydration through adequate fluid intake can also help prevent fluid retention.
5. Jumping Jacks
Start standing, and then jump your feet out to the side a few feet. Simultaneously, raise your arms above your head. Next, jump your feet together as you bring your arms back to your side.
6. Healthy Diet
Sometimes cankles are caused by diet-related swelling. For instance, if you eat a diet high in sodium you may retain water all over your body. You may notice it more in the ankle area. There are some natural herbs that help reduce water weight, but you can also eat fewer processed foods. Also, make sure to put away the salt shaker to reduce the sodium in your diet.
It seems simple, but the more you walk throughout the day, the more calories you burn. Plus, it's a low-impact way that also tones your lower body. For an added challenge, try walking uphill.
Remember, it’s very important to shift your focus from being critical of your body to loving yourself. Don’t let a single body part become an obsession. Cankles will soon be a thing of the past if you work on training these muscles and adopting a mindful, healthy lifestyle.