How to Improve Circulation in the Legs and Feet When Traveling

How to Improve Circulation in the Legs and Feet When Traveling

Debra Murray

One of the most difficult aspects of traveling is the time that is spent sitting in one place. Movement is next to impossible because of the limited space that is in a car or on a plane, so people are forced to shift their weight as little as possible for hours at a time. If the destination is over two hours away, this puts people at risk for developing a blood clot because of blood pooling in their legs and feet. This is especially common in those who smoke or take birth control pills. Blood clots are dangerous because they can break free and cause a heart attack or stroke. Luckily, there are a few ways to increase the blood circulation of the body to reduce the chances of a blood clot developing though. 


Compression Stockings 

Compression stockings are basically tight fitting socks that go up to the knees. They help to constrict the legs and feet, which prevents blood from pooling in them. They can be purchased at most medical supply stores. Sometimes, insurance plans will cover them if a doctor writes out a prescription for them. It helps to have more than one pair of them when traveling, so they can be hand washed and dried in between use. 


Move When You Can 

Although the time available for moving around is limited during travel, when the car stops for gas, or the plane has been in the air for a while, it is important to at least stand up for a few minutes. Rub some topical natural cream on your legs too, like Foot and Leg Comfort from Emu Therapy, it will help to increase blood flow. It also helps to point your toes and raise your legs sometimes. Never leave your feet flat on the floor for a while because it will make the blood pool to them more easily. 


Take an Aspirin Before You Leave 

 Aspirin thins the blood, which decreases the risk of a blood clot, so it helps to take one before traveling. Aspirin only lasts for a few hours in the blood stream, so if the destination is very far away, a person may need to take it more than once during the trip. Full-strength aspirin isn't required. Baby aspirin is gentler on the stomach, and it is just as effective. 


Avoid Sleeping Pills 

 Since traveling is monotonous, some people choose to sleep the whole time. This doesn't pose a problem unless they use some type of over-the-counter or prescription sleep-aid. Sleeping pills double the risk of a person developing a blood clot because they reduce heart functioning. And sometimes, they lower blood pressure too much. If the heart isn't beating as fast as it normally would, blood can't flow as well. Tranquilizers and sedatives have to be avoided as well because they have the same effect. People who have anxiety from phobias during travel can talk to their doctor about safer medications that don't contain benzodiazepine, since this is the main problematic ingredient in tranquilizers.



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