5 Simple Steps To Improve Circulation in Your Legs

Medically reviewed in February 2022

What does the shape of your hips or belly have to do with the health of your legs? Turns out, quite a bit.

One study showed that during extended travel, pear-shaped women and apple-shaped men may have an increased risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) -- a dangerous clotting condition that often starts in the legs. But there are lots of things you can do about it.

Go with the Flow
If you suffer from poor circulation in your legs, try these simple healthy-leg strategies during long car, train, or plane rides, and reduce your risk of deep vein thrombosis:

  • Take a break. Get up, walk, and stretch your legs every hour or so if you can. If you have to remain seated, do ankle rolls, and alternately point and flex your toes 10 times every half hour.
  • Take a drink. Keep the nonalcoholic fluids -- water, tea, etc. -- flowing, because dehydration ups the risk of deep vein thrombosis. 
  • Don't take a drag. Smoking is never good, and it increases the risk of blood clots. 
  • Take it off. Your belt, that is. Avoid tight clothing, and don't cross your legs. They can inhibit blood flow and cause poor circualtion.
  • Take a break. Give your legs a break by putting them up. It can help improve circulation in your lower limbs.

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