Travel is one of the most loved activity for many. More than a million people travel on long-distance flights, that are usually more than four hours long. From the United States to China, it takes about 14 hours and 56 minutes! During these long-distance flights, travelers are usually confined to their seats than being active. Staying immobile for more than 4 hours is a serious risk, that can result in a blood clot.
What is a Blood Clot?
Blood clot, also called Deep Vein Thrombosis, can form in the deep veins (below the surface; not visible) of your legs during travel, due to inactivity and confined space for long periods of time. The longer you’re in stationary, the greater is your risk of developing a blood clot. Even though the blood clot will dissolve on its own, there is a serious risk when a part of the blood clot breaks off and navigates to the lungs causing blockage (pulmonary embolism). The blockage may be fatal.
Symptoms of Blood Clots
About half of the people with blood clot have no symptoms at all. Common symptoms that occur in the affected part of the body (usually the leg or arm) are:
- Redness of skin
- Swelling of your leg or arm
- Pain or tenderness without any explanation
- Skin that is warm to the touch
There are many ways to reduce your risk of blood clots during travel.
- Be alert of the symptoms.
- Move your legs frequently and exercise your calf muscles to improve the blood flow.
If you’re at risk of blood clots, it would be beneficial to talk to your doctor to reduce the risk of blood clots.
The most effect exercise to prevent blood clot is walking. Walking down the aisles every two hours will help out with blood flow.
- Foot Pumps: place your feet flat on the floor, and then raise your toes toward you and hold for few seconds. Lower your toes and balls of your feet to the floor, then raise your heels and hold for few seconds.
- Ankle Circles: raise both feet from the floor and make a circle with your toes.
- Leg Raises: if there’s room available in front of you, raise your left foot off the floor. Straighten the leg slowly, the return it back to the floor. Repeat the same with the other leg.
- Shoulder Rolls: raise your shoulders and circle them back and down five times. Then reverse