5 Simple Steps To Improve Circulation in Your Legs

5 Simple Steps To Improve Circulation in Your Legs

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.

Medically reviewed in March 2019.

How to Prevent Blood Clots
How to Prevent Blood Clots
A blood clot in the lung—called a pulmonary embolism (PE)—is a quick path to a dicey medical emergency. So here's how to prevent blood clots: stand up...
Read More
What is lysis therapy for deep vein thrombosis?
NewYork-Presbyterian HospitalNewYork-Presbyterian Hospital
Lysis therapy is an approach in which vascular specialists deliver clot-dissolving drugs directly to...
More Answers
Is dual antiplatelet therapy safe?
Yes, dual antiplatelet therapy - the combination of medications prescribed for patients who have rec...
More Answers
Summer Road Trip Safety
Summer Road Trip Safety