Simple in-flight exercises to help prevent venous thrombosis
With more and more people traveling regularly on long-distance flights, it is imperative that they understand the risks involved in prolonged immobility while in flight. It is very common knowledge that when there is prolonged immobility there is a stagnation of blood circulation, especially in the lower limbs, which can lead to clotting of the blood in the veins and then an embolism when the clot travels in the blood stream. People more prone to this situation include the elderly, those with varicose veins, women on pills and hormone replacement, those who have had strokes or heart attacks.
The exercises are simple and can be done while seated.
1. Sit with the feet flat at hip-width distance, lift the heels only and hold in this position to a count of ten. Repeat 10 times.
2. Next exercise is essentially the same as the previous but this time lift the ball of the feet up while keeping the heels on the floor. Hold to a count of ten. Repeat 10 times.
3. Straighten the legs under the seat in front. Lift one leg and rotate the foot at the ankle clockwise 15 times and then anti-clockwise 15 times. Repeat with the other leg.
4. Knee-Lifts: Lift the leg with the knee bent while contracting the thigh muscles. Repeat 20 times and then the opposite leg.
These simple exercises can help prevent the incidence of deep vein thrombosis.