Avoid flight-induced foot swelling

Does air travel leave your feet so swollen they look and feel as if you've walked to your destination?

It's not uncommon, says the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA). Limited movement and dehydration while in the air can cause feet to swell. The APMA offers these suggestions to minimize the impact of flying on your feet:

  • Drink plenty of water before and during your flight. This keeps you hydrated and reduces foot swelling.
  • Skip the salt before boarding. Alcoholic drinks and food with salt increase the likelihood of dehydration.
  • Wear comfortable shoes that give your feet room to expand.
  • Take a stroll during the flight to keep your blood circulating.
  • Stretch in your seat to prevent or reduce tightness in your feet, ankles and calves. Try exercises such as rolling your ankles, wiggling your toes and flexing your feet.

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