Holidays often include sitting on a plane for several hours. And while doing nothing but relaxing may sound enticing, it’s not great for your legs and feet. Swollen ankles and feet are always a likelihood when you fly, and it can lead to deep vein thrombosis and blood clots. Today, Dr. Hubert Lee at CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists in Bellevue, WA, shares 7 tips for preventing this condition.
7 Ways to Prevent Swelling While Traveling
- Stay hydrated. The day before you travel, when you’re at the airport, and when on the flight itself, be sure to drink plenty of water. If you feel like indulging in a bit of something stronger, that’s fine, but don’t get carried away and keep drinking the water as well.
- Wiggle your feet and legs. This may be challenging to do without bothering someone if you’re not in an aisle seat, but you can still move your feet and legs. Rotate your feet at the ankles, raise and lower your heels, and squeeze and point your toes for a few minutes every half hour.
- Wear comfortable socks and shoes. If you can, remove your shoes so they don’t compress your feet, but remain thoughtful of your seatmate. If you’re wearing shoes or boots that lace up, be sure you loosen them to give your feet room. You might also try compression socks as they stimulate blood flow.
- Elevate your legs if possible. If you can, elevate your feet to encourage circulation. And don’t cross your legs, as this hinders blood flow even more.
- Move around if you can. While this won’t be easy on a full flight, by planning ahead, it shouldn’t be unmanageable. If you’re sitting in an aisle seat, you won’t need to worry about disturbing other travelers. Get up and walk at least once an hour if possible.
- Watch your diet. Be aware of your diet the day before traveling and on the day itself to avoid too much salt. Retaining water can make your ankles and feet swell, so try to avoid salt as much as possible. Avoiding processed and takeout food can help modify your salt intake.
- Give your feet some TLC after the flight. After you travel, give your feet and legs some extra TLC to get everything circulating again. Boost your circulation by going for a stroll around the block to stimulate healthy blood flow.
If you need more travel tips, contact Dr. Hubert Lee and his team at CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists in Bellevue, WA. You can schedule an appointment online or by calling us at 425-455-0936.