Avoiding Deep Vein Thrombosis

The following suggestions apply for any long journey, such as coach, train, plane or car, and also when sitting for any lengthy period.

  • Keep your legs and feet active - every half hour, bend and straighten them to keep the blood circulating
  • Press down on the balls of your feet, then raise the heels to help increase the blood flow in your legs then press down on your heels and raise your toes
  • Don't cross your legs
  • Exercise your chest and upper body frequently by stretching
  • Do deep breathing exercises to help improve circulation
  • Walk up and down the aisles frequently
  • If you are on a long flight which has refuelling stops, take the opportunity to leave the plane and walk about
  • Drink plenty of water - preferably a glass every hour
  • Avoid alcohol - or, if you must, take only small amounts. Alcohol will cause dehydration and sleepiness
  • Avoid sleeping pills - they will cause you to be immobile for long periods
  • Try not to sleep for too long in a cramped position - move about as much as possible, and stretch out
  • Travelling in a car stop every two hours and walk around for a few minutes
  • Make sure you have had plenty of rest before you make a lengthy journey, so that you are not too tired

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