According to accident statistics, flying on a plane is overwhelmingly safer than driving a car. At the same time, a long flight affects health: it raises the stress level, dehydrates, exposes you to germs, puts a big stress on your ears, causes bloating, and increases the risk of thrombosis, especially in your legs. In this article, we’ll tell you how to keep your legs and feet healthy while traveling.
What is the most dangerous place on the plane?
The American Illinois College of Physicians recognized the window seats as the most harmful seats on the plane. Passengers at the aisle often get up to stretch and this is extremely important if the flight takes more than two hours.
The longer the flight lasts, the more blood circulation in the lower extremities is disturbed. At first, due to the overloads that we experience during take-off, the vessels actively contract and the outflow of blood slows down. When we sit for a long time motionless, the blood stagnates even more in the limbs. All this can lead to the edema of the feet and ankles, and also significantly increases the risk of blood clots. Overweight people, pregnant women, and those who are currently taking contraceptives are at high risk of edema and vein thrombosis.
How to prepare for a flight?
To reduce the risk of edema, try to change your diet the day before your flight. Salt causes fluid retention, therefore avoid foods high in sodium such as pizza, sandwiches, canned vegetables, processed cheese, dried meats, pickles, sauces, poultry, canned meats, and seafood. Don’t forget to drink plenty of water the day before your flight in order to prevent dehydration. Don’t consume alcohol and sedatives, if possible.
Put on compression stockings in the morning before the flight. Also, if you have long been planning to buy orthopedic insoles – it’s time to order them. The use of orthopedic insoles stimulates blood circulation in the limbs and reduces the risk of edema. Keep in mind that buying insoles of mass production is a waste of time and money. Each foot is unique that’s why the orthopedic insoles must be individual and provided by your foot doctor.
Feet swelling prevention
A foot massage is good for those who suffer from leg varicose veins. It stimulates blood flow and prevents feet swelling. Feet exercise is another good option to prevent edema. Point your toes up and down, side to side to get your feet moving. It will also help you get rid of swelling. If possible, elevate your feet to stimulate blood circulation and try to stretch out and prop your feet up across the seats. In most cases, leg and foot swelling isn’t dangerous if it lasts a short time. However, excessive foot or leg swelling which lasts for several hours after exercising indicates a serious health condition such as deep vein thrombosis. Before the trip, consult your doctor and if necessary take blood-thinning medication.
If you have vessel or heart problems, try to avoid very long flights since they can sometimes cause fainting, dizziness, and increase the risk of heart attack, angina, and other heart-related complications that can be fatal.