The holiday travel season is upon us and one of the more stressful aspects of the holidays can be travel. In particular, airline travel can negatively affect your vein health. So, now is a good time to review some of the issues that may occur when you travel now or anytime of the year and how to protect your vascular health.
Most of us do not like being crammed into an airplane seat for any length of time. Everything from turbulence to delays to unruly passengers adds stress to the event. As vascular doctors, we also warn our patients that being seated impairs the flow of blood in your veins and puts you at risk of potential blood clot development.
Varicose veins can be irritated during air travel, and blood clots can develop in the vein system of the lower legs. This can put you in grave danger.
Airlines are aware of this issue! Many have taken this danger to heart by placing, in the seat back in front of you, laminated cards encouraging passengers to focus on regular movement of legs and ankles to keep circulation going through the leg veins.
Healthy Vein Exercises
Exercises like rotating your ankles while you’re in your seat, walking the aisle every so often, and doing standing calf raises next to your seat are advised on these warning cards and also advised by vascular doctors and vein therapists.
But, it’s not just air travel you need to worry about for vein health. For those not flying but driving, taking a train or a bus, it is wise to do these leg and ankle workouts as well.
Dress for comfort. Avoid those tight jeans and wear something roomier so that veins do not get constricted during your trip. Avoid alcohol as well, since this can cause dehydration, which can slow your circulation and contribute to the development of blood clots. Instead, drink plenty of water prior to, during and immediately after your flight to help you stay hydrated in a cabin’s dry environment.
And, get up, move around, and keep ordering water rather than alcohol. If you follow this simple advice, you’ll help protect yourself, your veins, and most importantly, enjoy your trip and destination.