Do you do a lot of long-distance travelling? If so, you may find yourself cooped up in an aeroplane as you travel across time zones, and as you may know, it can be very difficult to remain active in this situation. Yet as you age and especially if you live a rather sedentary lifestyle anyway, you do need to be careful with this type of scenario. What do you need to know and what steps can you take to be proactive?
The Risk of Being Sedentary
Whenever you sit in one position for a long period of time, the circulation in your legs can be affected. In fact, the circulation can slow down and issues with the valves within your vein structure can make it difficult for the blood to return to the heart. In this case, a blood clot can develop within your circulation and lead to a potentially serious condition known as deep vein thrombosis. You may have heard of DVT and you should take steps to ensure it doesn't affect you.
Diet and Exercise
To begin with, you can tailor your diet to give you a better chance of preventing this condition. Your first step should be to avoid eating junk food or any products that are naturally high in cholesterol, but you should definitely make sure that you drink more water on a daily basis. Some people believe that red wine has valuable flavenoids that can help to prevent blood clots, while others believe that you should use extra-virgin olive oil on your salads due to its phenol content.
Once you've taken care of dietary changes, get into the habit of exercising on a regular basis. As discussed, this can be a lot easier when you are on the ground, but you can nevertheless do some exercises when you are in the air.
Don't Just Sit There!
As you are sitting, move your toes up and move your foot around in a circular motion several times. Then, with your ankles on the ground tap your feet up and down in a rhythm gently (so as not to annoy your neighbours). It may help to play some music in your earphones and tap along with each beat.
Next, clasp your hands together beneath your knees and gently pull them up towards the middle of your chest as far as you can. You can do this one at a time to make it easier and make sure that you breathe in and out properly as you do so.
If you notice some unusual pain or tenderness within your legs, can see some swelling or feel that the leg is warmer than it should be, then you need to get in touch with a doctor as soon as possible. You may need to schedule a visit to a vascular surgeon for an intervention.