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Practical Tips on How to Avoid Swollen Feet on an Airplane

How to Avoid Swollen Feet on an Airplane
Swollen feet after a long journey can be quite painful a condition to recover from. Learn about some easy tips to avoid swollen feet on an airplane and exercises to relieve from them.
Mrunal Belvalkar
Last Updated: Mar 2, 2018
Traveling spells out joy for a lot of people. I love traveling a lot myself. Traveling means a chance to visit people, to see new places, to click lots of pictures and freeze memories.., traveling means shopping too! Nothing perks up my spirits more than planning a trip to somewhere - be it a long holiday to some far off place, or just visiting my friend in the other city. I am sure there are many like me out there. But the most daunting prospect of traveling is the actual journey to and from the place. This is not because the journey is long - no journey is long if you have a good book, some good music and a warm and comfortable blanket. But swollen feet during flight can ruin the fun and joy of traveling. Your feet swelling during travel is the last thing you want, for it makes even simple things like walking up to or even waiting at the baggage carousel pain.

However, there are some very easy tips and tricks you can follow to prevent your feet swelling during travel. Of the many causes of swollen feet, this is the easiest to avoid. There are simple things that you would have to do - nothing expensive or extensive either. Here is how you can avoid swollen feet on an airplane.
Tips to Avoid Swollen Feet While Traveling
Hop Around!
Commercial airliner cabin
That does not mean you go bunny hopping all over the plane! What I mean to say is, take a walk down the aisle once in a while. On a really long flight (more than 6 hours) you can relax your legs and walk around roughly once every hour. It helps to improve the blood circulation and prevents you from getting swollen feet and ankles.
Elevate Your Feet
Passenger sleeping in airplane
Usually the seats on an airplane are designed in such a way that they have a footrest for the person sitting on the seat behind. Use it. Place your feet on the footrest so that they are not absolutely perpendicular to the floor and are slightly elevated or raised. It prevents blood from pooling in your feet.
Luggage Overhead
Man putting luggage
Make sure you keep your luggage overhead rather than at your feet. That way your legs and feet will have enough room to stretch and fit. A lot of times we keep our handbags or cabin baggage at our feet - a grave mistake. It restricts movement of your legs. Toss it up and make room for your legs.
Carry Golf Balls
Golf balls
Confused? I don't blame you; but a golf ball would be just the thing to prevent getting swollen feet on a flight. How? If you cannot get up and walk in the aisle of the airplane (or if you are just to embarrassed to do it again and again!), simply place the golf balls under each of your feet and roll your feet over them! It works wonderfully. If not, you can even carry a kneading pin.
Drink Water
Woman drinking water in airplane
Drink lots of water and keep yourself hydrated. No movement coupled with no water can very quickly make your body stiff. Dehydration can also lead to painful cramps. The chances of getting cramps change even more if you are stationary. Also lots of water means you will have to flush out more often, giving you more chances to walk as you go to the loo!
Avoid Tight Footwear
Aching feet
Not only is it painful and less comfortable, but it simply refuses to come off if your feet swell. It is best to wear comfortable footwear while traveling. Use the flip-flops that the flights provide you. They are super comfortable and soft and feel amazing! Tight footwear - especially with straps around the ankles - can be a horror. Strictly avoid.
Wear Compression Stockings
Running socks
Compression stockings (also called compression socks) are a blessing on a long flight! They are graduated stockings that are usually thigh high. They are designed and tailored such that they exert more pressure on the ankles. The pressure gradually decreases as you roll the stockings up your leg. This ensures that blood is in fact pushed up from the ankles, avoiding swollen feet. However, it is important to wear compression socks the right way, so make sure you educate yourself about the same.
Even with so many tips to prevent swollen feet during air travel, your feet will swell at least a little I guess. So here are some after flight exercises you can do to get your feet back in shape.
After Flight Exercises
The first and foremost thing you should do is not rush and start walking immediately. With your feet having swollen, walking is going to aggravate the situation! First relax a bit. Lie down. Stretch out. Then sit up and give yourself a nice foot massage. Begin with the toes. Put your fingers through your toes and grab on your toes with your fingers and vice versa. Do this alternately. Then massage your feet with some warm oil. As your feet begin to loosen up, point your toes - in the front, at the back, and on either side. To relieve the ankles, rotate your feet slowly; first clockwise, then anti-clockwise. But do it gradually and don't jerk. Finally, take a long walk!

Another great idea to take care of swelling in the feet is to use hot or warm water. You can immerse your feet in a bowl of warm water and let the water relax your feet. If you want, you may even use an aroma therapy feet scrub or gel to wash your feet. It will help you clean as well as relax your feet.

That should take care of the swelling, for you. These tips are very easy to follow, so there isn't really a reason why you won't be able to follow them. They will greatly reduce the pain and make traveling a more enjoyable experience. By the way, before I take leave, I would like to point out that the same strategies may also help take care of swollen feet because of a sedentary job... think about it! Have a happy journey!
Flight attendant in the plane
View Of Airplane In Clouds
Airplane cabin crew