Ten tips to help survive heavy legs when flying

Posted on February 16, 2015 · Posted in Blog

Long flights usually lead to heavy legs and swollen ankles. However, one can develop those same symptoms by being in a car, bus, boat or even at home. Poor circulation as a result of prolonged periods of sitting, cramping your legs, or not moving them, will allow the build-up of blood and fluid in your legs and ankles. Due to this, one will experience pain in the legs, swelling, cramping, and varicose veins.

If you plan to be on a long trip, here at 10 tips for you to follow to avoid complications:

How to deal with heavy legs during the journey

• Move your toes: Activity in your feet and ankles will help maintain regular blood flow. Without movement, your blood will collect in your lower extremities, and as such, cause pain and swelling. To prevent this, rotate your ankles clockwise and then counter clockwise. Also, you can raise your toes off the ground, spread them apart, hold for a few second, and relax. Repeat this routine at least once every hour.

• Stay cool: Heat and intense exercise will encourage the dilation of the veins. To prevent this, make sure to stay in a cool environment. You can achieve this by keeping the air conditioning on, or even by using a fan.

• Pay attention to your outfits: Loose-fitting outfits, flat shoes, and compression stockings are your best option as to what you can wear during a flight or a long trip. Compressions stockings are designed to encourage blood flow towards the heart, and by doing so, relieve your legs from swelling and pain.

• Be mindful of your position: Curling up and crossing your legs will restrict your blood flow. Try to sit in an upright position, and get up from your seat from time to time.

• Stay hydrated: Drinking fluids, especially water, encourages blood flow and helps get rid of toxins in the body. For that reason, keep a bottle of water by your side during your trip.

• Get up and walk: During a long trip or flight, make sure to stand on your feet and walk. Stretch your legs and move your body to promote circulation.

How to deal with heavy legs after the journey

• Walk: Walking and stretching your legs will help you regain normal blood circulation. Try to walk around regularly to avoid poor blood circulation.

• Raise your feet: Whenever you get the chance, raise your legs above the level of your heart. Elevating your legs will help your body in its efforts to redirect the blood back towards your heart from your lower extremities.

• Get a Massage: While having your legs elevated, massage your feet from the toes towards your ankles and legs. This will also actively help in moving the blood towards the heart.

• Use Cold Water: Cold water helps restrict the veins. Rising your feet, ankles and legs in cold water will not only provide you with a good night’s sleep, but it will also reduce the swelling in your legs.