If you want to prevent swollen feet during long haul flights, there are several things you can do. Swollen feet can be very uncomfortable when you’re flying long haul and making some small tweaks to how you travel can make all the difference.
Our podiatrists in Sydney share their top 5 tips to prevent swollen feet during long haul flights – although you can apply these tips to shorter flights as well.
1. Walk Around
Walking around during your flight is one of the most important things to do to prevent your feet from swelling.
It might seem like you’re being a difficult passenger, especially if you aren’t in an aisle seat and have to clamber over your neighbours, but it’s so important to keep your legs moving. This helps to keep the blood flowing through your legs. The general recommendation is to do this at least once an hour during your flight for optimal comfort and circulation.
2. Keep Your Feet Moving
When you’re seated, unless you’re living it up in business or first class, chances are you’re going to have limited leg room. While it’s not really possible to stretch your legs from your seat, you can do some simple foot and ankle exercises instead.
Squeezing and separating your toes, raising your heels, pointing your toes, and rolling your feet around in small circles are all easy and take just a few minutes. Do these every hour in your seat during your flight.
3. Stay Hydrated
Drink plenty of water during your flight. Don’t raid the booze cart just because it’s free! Drinking alcohol and caffeine will lead to increased dehydration, so stick to water. It will leave you feeling more refreshed at your destination and your feet will thank you too.
Plus the more water you drink, the more often you’re likely to get up and go to the toilet, which gets you up and walking about!
4.Wear Comfortable Clothes
You may want to dress up for your flight (let’s face it, we all secretly hope for an upgrade when we fly long haul!), but consider your comfort before all else.
Tight fitting clothes and shoes will limit your circulation which will in turn contribute to swollen feet and legs. Opt for loose fitting clothing for maximum comfort and circulation. If you’re concerned or your doctor or podiatrist has recommended them, wear compression socks or stockings.
5.Position Yourself Right
Sitting may seem ridiculously simple, but the way you choose to sit can have a big impact on how your body copes during a long haul flight. Don’t sit cross legged, or tuck one leg under the other as this can cut off circulation to your legs resulting in unnecessary swelling.
If you can elevate your feet a little, using the footrest under the seat in front, this can alleviate some pressure in your feet and legs.
Talk to our qualified podiatrists in Alexandria about ways to keep your feet and legs healthy during your long haul flight. If you have a history of DVT, it’s important to stay as healthy as possible during any flight travel.