A long trip during which you can't move around much impedes circulation in your lower body, which also increases your chances of clots. When a travel-related clot forms, it's often in a deep vein of the leg or pelvis and is called a deep vein thrombosis (DVT). If a clot breaks free and travels to your lungs, it can be fatal. Here's how to lower your DVT risk:
- Move your butt. Get up every half hour to walk about the cabin. Moving your leg muscles helps "pump" blood.
- Roll and flex. If you can’t get up, roll your ankles and flex and point your toes at least 10 times every half hour to activate your leg muscles.
- Drink lots of water and no alcohol. Do not become dehydrated. It makes blood thicker and more likely to clot.
- Wear compression stockings. They apply graduated pressure on your legs from the ankles up, which keeps blood moving.
- Wear loose clothes (no body shapers), and don't cross your legs. Putting any kinks on lower-body veins inhibits circulation.
- Take two baby aspirin. If your doctor says it's okay, take them with half a glass of water one hour before your flight and every day for three days afterward.