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Long flights

Updated on January 21, 2012

Prevention of deep vein thrombosis

So as I mentioned before, I was going on a trip to India.  Well, I have reached safely.  While I was in the plane, because I was sitting for long periods of time, my legs started to stiffen and cramp up.  I ended up having to get up and walk around the cabin of the plane for a few minutes. If you ever experience these issues, and cannot stand up to walk around the cabin area for some reason, here are a few alternative tips to help you relax and get rid of those cramps.  These tips will also prevent deep vein thrombosis, or clots in the deep veins of your legs and feet.  If these clots are allowed to circulate, they will eventually obstruct your heart giving you a heart attack, you lungs giving you a lung infarction, or a stroke.  

1. With your feet flat on the ground, raise your heel then drop it back to the ground. This will act as a pump to propel the blood back up towards your heart. Do those for at least 2 minutes, then switch over to the other heel.  

2. With your feet flat on the ground, raise your toes then drop them back to the ground.   This is the same concept as exercise 1.  Do those for at least 2 minutes.

3. While sitting, raise one bent knee towards your chest.  Do this for 2 minutes then repeat with the other leg.

4. Neck rolls: While sitting upright in your seat, roll your neck clockwise, then counterclockwise for about a minute each way. Don't continue doing the neck rolls if you are feeling dizzy.

5. Arm stretches: Raise one arm up to touch the ceiling. Stretch it.  Then while sitting up straight and having your arm up in the air still, slowly lean first left, then come back to the right.  Repeat with the other arm.  

I hope these tips help you for when you have to travel on those long flights.  Happy traveling and enjoy your trip!  Questions and comments are highly welcomed! 

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