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Maintaining Vein Health During Travel

Posted on February 24, 2022

Traveling for work or pleasure (hello, spring break!) can be enjoyable, but some of the vein complications associated with long trips definitely is not. Whether you’re traveling by train, car, or airplane, the fact that you’re relatively inactive during travel can cause complications that can lead to issues like blood clots in the legs. That may seem extremely scary, but you can avoid these issues by tweaking your travel habits and incorporating some basic prevention measures into your travel day.Here are some tips to help you maintain your vein health while traveling:

  1. Walk AroundWalking around can truly make a difference when it comes to your vein health on a long trip! Sitting for long periods of time, especially in cramped spaces like a car or plane seat, can lead to several circulation issues, including Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT). The objective of taking a short walk is to get those calf muscles moving, which will propel venous blood out of your lower legs and back toward your heart, which is where it should be moving. Aim for a short walk every hour to keep your veins in tip-top shape.
  2. Wear Compression StockingsWhether you’re hitting the tarmac, the train car, or you’re in for a long day of driving, you’re going to want to pull on a pair of compression stockings. They work by improving blood flow and can prevent swelling. Just make sure that they aren’t too tight or they can constrict blood flow, which is exactly the opposite of what you want them to do.
  3. Drink Lots of WaterHydration plays a major role in keeping those veins healthy on a non-travel day but becomes exceedingly more important when traveling! When your body is dehydrated, your blood thickens, which is a major problem when you have issues with your veins. Make sure to drink lots of water, but avoid alcohol, which has a dehydrating effect.
  4. Prop Up Those FeetAfter a long day of travel, it’s important to prop up those legs! Rather than making your veins put in extra effort to flow against gravity and up back to your heart, give them a break and elevate them at least 6 inches above your heart. It’s a little thing that makes a huge difference for vein health, so ask your hotel for extra pillows to get the job done!
  5. Do Some Foot ExercisesOf course, there are some circumstances where you can’t get up and walk around (rush hour traffic!), so you have to find another way to get those legs moving! In those cases, a good way to keep the blood flowing in your legs is to do petal pushers or by lifting and lowering your feet off the ground to stretch out those calves. Try to do some kind of lower leg movement every 10 minutes when on a long journey.

If you have additional questions about traveling and vein issues, it’s always a good idea to talk to a specialist. For an experienced, compassionate vein specialist to help you maintain your vein health, request an appointment with Varicosity Vein Center today. We strive to develop an optimal plan for each patient so that they can improve their vein functionality and quality of life. Let us help you keep your legs in optimal shape for all the miles ahead!

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