Excess weight around the ankles makes your legs appear heavier and shorter than they really are. Thick ankles are not always a sign of being overweight or unhealthy. However, if you would like to have slimmer ankles, there are things you can do. According to Suzanne Schlosberg, author of "Fitness for Dummies," losing weight from your ankles requires regular exercise and proper hydration. With persistence, you can slim down your ankles and make your legs appear longer and leaner.
Increase your water intake. Poor hydration can cause your body to store water weight over your ankles and other joints. This is because your body is retaining fluids to keep you from getting dangerously dehydrated. Drinking enough water every day will cause your body to release this water weight. To stay properly hydrated you should consume 8 to 10 eight-oz. glasses of water each day. To make staying hydrated easier, drink a glass of water upon waking and a glass of water before and after each meal.
Perform three sets of 10 to 15 calf raises daily. A calf raise exercises the muscles of your lower legs and helps burn ankle fat. To perform a calf raise, stand up straight with your feet hip width apart and arms at your sides. Slowly rise up onto the balls of your feet and hold for two seconds. Release back down to starting position in a slow, controlled motion. This concludes one repetition of the calf raise. To increase intensity, wear ankle weights when performing calf raises.
Execute 30 to 60 minutes of cardiovascular exercise three days per week. Cardiovascular exercise engages all of the muscles of your body and encourages overall fat loss. This will help your ankles slim down, not only by engaging the muscles surrounding the area, but also by raising your metabolism. An increased metabolism causes your body to burn calories at a faster rate, resulting in overall weight loss. Examples of cardiovascular exercises to choose from include swimming, cycling, jogging, rollerblading, hiking, skipping rope and jumping jacks.
Always consult with a physician before beginning a new diet or exercise program. Make sure that you stay hydrated when exercising; failure to do so can cause dizziness and fainting.