With COVID-19 vaccinations rolling out and the country gradually reopening, plans to travel are on everyone’s mind. Whether you’re flying or driving to your destination, accounting for your circulation problems is a must if you want to avoid any potential discomfort or pain during your well-deserved trip. Instead of missing out on travel plans or having them ruined entirely, use the following advice to properly equip yourself with the right tools and techniques to maintain healthy circulation while on the road–or in the air!
As most people with circulatory problems know, sitting or standing for extended periods of time can be detrimental to vein health because being stationary restricts blood from circulating freely, causing swelling and other complications such as varicose veins and blood clots. It’s no secret that traveling can necessitate sitting for hours on end, so it’s especially important to be mindful of techniques that can help manage your circulatory problems while you’re away from home.
Get up from your seat
Whether you have to pull the car over–or climb over the people sitting next to you–getting up from your seat to stretch your legs at least once an hour is highly advised. Sitting for too long can cut off circulation and worsen the issues with your veins. Walking around and extending your legs will promote blood flow and help your veins do their job properly.
While you’re seated during travel, you can also work to maintain healthy circulation by flexing your feet. Do this by simply pulling your toes back towards your body and holding the position for 10 seconds, then pointing your toes and feet down and away from your body for another 10 seconds. Doing this with both feet a few times will keep your leg muscles engaged and encourage healthy blood flow when you’re unable to get up from your seat.
Despite how easy it sounds, remembering to stay hydrated while on-the-go is always a challenge. Between all the excitement and distractions during your travels, the next thing you know, it’s been several hours since you’ve had a drink of anything that’s not loaded with sugar! Staying properly hydrated while traveling will help keep your muscles hydrated and enable your circulatory system to perform at its best ability.
Wear compression stockings
To counteract any swelling that occurs due to prolonged sitting during travels, compression stockings are essential for maintaining healthy circulation. Compression stockings steadily squeeze your legs, helping veins and leg muscles move blood more efficiently. Buying a sturdy pair to wear during your travels is highly recommended.
Comfort is key! Let’s be honest, no matter what your mode of travel is, sitting in a stationary position for a prolonged time isn’t the best feeling. Stationary positions restrict your blood flow and uncomfortable, form-fitting clothes puts extra, unwanted pressure on your veins. Coordinating loose, breathable outfits to accommodate your travel plans will help to allow proper circulation of blood throughout your entire body.
Avoid sleep aids
While it may sound tempting to indulge in some z’s while traveling from one destination to another, it is suggested that you avoid taking any sleeping aids during travel so you can fully take advantage of getting up from your seat (be it on a plane or at a rest stop), discreetly exercise your muscles by foot flexing, and drink water to stay hydrated. Napping is fine as long as it’s done naturally so that you are able to get up at appropriate times.
If you are uncertain of your ability to travel due to circulatory problems, our board-certified vein specialists at Chuback Vein Center are here to put your concerns at ease! However, it is important to note that if you are beginning to see bulging veins or are experiencing swelling, burning, or itching in your legs, then it’s time for you to be treated. At Chuback Vein Center there are a number of safe, effective, and virtually pain-free treatments available to address your vein issues before symptoms worsen. Our diagnostic ultrasound lab, Chuback Vascular Imaging, provides the convenience and comfort of obtaining diagnostic ultrasound testing right on the premises of our center located in Paramus, NJ. We utilize state-of-the-art technology to diagnose vascular disorders, evaluate the severity of disease, and determine the need for treatment so that you can embark on your next travel plans confidently and comfortably.
Kristen is a Board-Certified Physician Assistant specializing in the areas of vascular and cosmetic medicine. Kristen graduated Magna Cum Laude from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University with a Baccalaureate of Science. She then went on to receive a Master’s Degree in Science and earned her Physician Assistant certification from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. Kristen’s professional affiliations include the American Academy of Physician Assistants and the New Jersey State Society of Physician Assistants.
Under the direct supervision of Dr. Chuback, Kristen assists in the evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment of patients who suffer from chronic venous insufficiency. She possesses many years of clinical experience and is highly skilled in vascular procedures including endovenous laser ablation, ambulatory phlebectomy, ultrasound-guided sclerotherapy, and visual sclerotherapy. Kristen is a Registered Phlebology Sonographer (RPhS), which signifies that she has achieved advanced qualifications related to vascular ultrasound technology and works alongside the vascular lab to diagnose and manage patients with vascular disease.