Summer is here, and for many people, that means it’s time to do some traveling. While trekking far distances to unknown lands (or even familiar vacation spots) can be lots of fun, it can also take a toll on your feet. Sitting in cars, trains, buses and planes for extended periods and spending long periods of time on walking tours and hikes can cause fluid to build up in your feet and ankles, resulting in painful swelling. The good news: There are some simple things you can do to keep that swelling at bay so you can focus on the adventures at hand.
If a little summer adventure is in your plans, here’s what you can do to avoid swollen feet:
- Lower your salt intake. Salt causes fluid to be retained in your tissues. During your travels and for a few days before, cut back on your consumption of salty foods and snacks so fluid doesn’t build up.
- Walk around during your flight. Yes, the guy sitting on the aisle might give you some dirty looks if you get up a lot, but keeping active promotes circulation and reduces fluid buildup in your feet and ankles. Ignore the glares and walk the aisle at least a couple of times on very long flights.
- Do ankle and foot exercises while seated. Making circles with your ankles and flexing and relaxing your feet also promotes circulation, so keep those feet moving, even while you’re sitting down.
- Drink lots of water during your trip. Water keeps your body hydrated and it also promotes healthy kidneys, which help your body get rid of excess fluids. The inside of a plane can be especially dry, so bring a bottle of water and drink it during your flight. (Bonus: Drinking water ensures you’ll get up to use the rest room, which keeps you more active.)
- Pamper your feet with soaks and massages. At the end of the day, try soaking your feet to relax tired muscles and use a scrub to get your blood moving in your skin. Rubbing your feet soothes muscles and stimulates circulation, and putting them up on a pillow or two can also help prevent swelling.
Finally, if you develop any foot pain or other issues during your travels, be sure to schedule a podiatrist visit when you get back. As a top podiatrist in New York City, Dr. Archer is skilled in helping women and men address all sorts of foot-related issues so you can enjoy more relaxing adventures in your future.