Foot Health for Travelers

10 Tips for Traveling Foot Health

When it comes to holiday traveling, we are usually so focused on the hustle and bustle that we rarely pay attention to our foot health until we’ve arrived to our destination suffering in pain.  Sitting in an upright, cramped position with little room to move in-flight, can leave us stiff & achy for the remainder of our trip.  If you’re planning to take a flight this Holiday season, here are 10 easy in-flight tips that will have your traveling feet thanking you

  1. Wear slip on shoes
    Airport security requires travelers to take their shoes off while going through detectors. To make this easier on you & your traveling feet, wear comfortable shoes that easily slip on and off. “Travel Shoes” should be roomy enough for you to wiggle your toes, well-constructed and cushioned.
  2. Bring a lacrosse or tennis ball
    Self-myofascial release can help break up adhesions and reduce foot pain while traveling. This is an incredibly easy way to keep your feet happy during your flight.  Place the lacrosse ball under the arch of your foot.  Slowly roll the ball back and forth for 30 to 60 seconds. Do this as often as you’d like. We recommend at least once an hour.
  3. Walk
    Some say that sitting is the new smoking. Time can fly right by us while we are on a long flight. Before we know it, we haven’t walked for hours. An easy rule of thumb is for every 60 minutes you sit, get up and walk for 5. We suggest setting an hourly reminder on your phone to get up and get moving.
  4. Wear compression socks
    These will not only help with any swelling you may experience while being at such a high altitude, but wearing socks is also protective. Because you will be taking your shoes on and off frequently, protecting your feet from athlete’s foot or any other contractible fungus while on public transportation is always a smart idea.
  5. Do ankle circles and leg stretches
    If you are traveling for more than 2 hours, we suggest stretching your legs, doing ankle rolls and bending your knees several times per hour. This will help with circulation, stiffness, blood clots and swelling.  Flex, Extend and Contract your muscles as often as you can.
  6. Ask for an aisle seat
    While not always possible, when available choose an aisle seat. This will give you greater ease to get up and move around as you please, more leg room if you choose and the ability to stretch and bend without disturbing your in-flight neighbors.
  7. Don’t cross your legs
    A study found that sitting with the legs crossed for long periods of time can result in a person developing a poor posture, lower back and neck pains, discomfort in their hips and varicose veins. Avoid crossing your legs or sitting in awkward positions when flying.
  8. Drink water
    Staying well hydrated while traveling will help with any swelling, circulation, soreness and eliminating the possibility of a developing gout. Drinking water will also get the body to flush out toxins which can add to foot and leg pain.
  9. Bring an emergency “foot Kit” in your carry on
    Even with the right shoes, mishaps such as blisters or splinters can occur. Pack a foot health kit in your carry on just in case. It should include things like a small and medium sized band aid, an antibiotic cream, bunion pads, nail filer, baby powder and toenail clippers.
  10. Treat yourself to an on-board massage
    Increase blood flow and reduce the risk of swelling while in-flight by giving yourself a mini-foot massage. Focus on the middle/arch of the foot and heel, giving extra attention to the tighter muscles. Apply pressure and enjoy!

Happy Holidays from all of us at Da Vinci Foot and Ankle!

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