The holidays are fast approaching and for many of us that means cold temperatures and traveling to visit with family and loved ones while spending hours in confined spaces to get there. If you have ever gone on a plane or long car ride and taken your shoes off and found it difficult to put them back on upon arrival, here are some tips to keep in mind.

Being crammed into a tight plane seat for several hours can do more than just cramp your style. Hours of immobility can be extremely dangerous to vascular health.

Economy class syndrome, otherwise called DVT or deep vein thrombosis, is a blood clot that can develop in the legs, especially on flights longer than 8-10 hours.

The best way to prevent DVTs is to stay mobile and active during your journey. Here are some tips for vein care and exercises you can do to maintain vascular health while traveling.

Take a stroll.

The key to vascular health is staying active. One of the easiest ways to keep the blood flowing is by walking.

A quick stroll around the plane every hour or so, especially on flights longer than 4 hours, will go a long way in keeping your leg veins healthy.

If you are stuck in a cramped hotel room, walk around the building or make use of the hotel gym and pool.

Wear comfortable, loose clothing.

The more comfortable you are, the better. Loose-fitting clothing will less likely
impede blood flow in the legs and make it easier to get around and move.

Keep hydrated and avoid alcohol.

Dehydration can slow circulation, contributing to the occurrence of blood clots. Alcohol can be a contributing factor to dehydration, as well as making you
feel sluggish.
Skip that in-flight beer and fill up on water to keep hydrated and motivated to move while traveling.

Do some sitting exercises.

If you find that you cannot get up often enough, there are some exercises you can do while sitting in your plane seat.


  • While pointing your foot towards the ceiling, squeeze your toes and hold for 3 seconds. You can repeat this exercise 10 times with both feet every half hour.


  • While in your seat, stretch your feet up and down, rolling your ankles.
These small exercises can be enough to keep your blood flowing.

Wear compression stockings.

If you are at risk for vein issues, compression stockings can aid in preventing DVTs while traveling.
Compression stockings prevent leg swelling and allowing blood to flow properly throughout your feet and legs.

The last thing anyone wants is to end up ill after traveling to be with loved ones for the holidays, so keep these exercises and tips for vein care in mind. For more information about vascular health, contact NJVVC today!

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