Traveling and Blood Circulation:
What really happens when you sit
When traveling long distances — whether by plane, car, bus, or train — blood circulation in your legs is restricted by limited movement. These cramped conditions over long periods can cause leg pain, swelling (edema), lower-body fatigue, or even blood clots. If blood clots progress, they can cause life-threatening conditions.
No one wants to think about health setbacks when traveling for business or pleasure. Still, we encourage everyone to be aware and take preventive steps. TravelSana® products prevent and ease lower body discomforts while traveling.
How The Cardiovascular
By Dr. John Scurr
The cardiovascular system is a closed circuit composed of the heart (pump) and the blood vessels. It is responsible for supplying the cells with energy and delivering the nutrients the organs need. Understanding a little more about it will help you take care of your health.
The cardiovascular system (aka circulatory system) carries out blood, which transports blood from the heart to the rest of your body. The heart and blood vessels forming the vascular system are part of your circulatory system.
General Functioning Of The Circulatory System
- The circulatory system distributes oxygen and nutrients to organs through blood. It also helps eliminate waste.
- The blood circulates inside a network of "pipes," with gauges perfectly adapted to their functions (arteries, capillaries, and veins)—oxygenated blood propels into the aorta. Blood then travels through the many secondary arteries leading to different body parts.
- The arteries become narrower and narrower (the arterioles) to lead the blood to organs. In each organ, blood circulates through the capillaries, distributing oxygen and nutrients to cells. The blood cleanses the body of carbon dioxide and waste during this process.
Cardiovascular Risks And Factors
- Cardiovascular risk is the probability of developing cardiovascular disease or a stroke due to blocked arteries. Deposits of fat can clog the walls of the arteries that form plaques, eventually impeding the circulation of blood that feeds all vital organs (especially the brain and heart).
- This phenomenon is known as arteriosclerosis. Many factors are responsible for this risk and contribute to the development of cardiovascular disease. Risk factors don’t continuously compound but may aggravate each other.
- Don’t underestimate your cardiovascular risk factors. Some, like age, sex, and genetics, are impossible to mitigate; others, like sedentary lifestyle, hypertension, and obesity, can be reduced or eliminated.
4 Tips To Improve
Your Blood Circulation
1. Don't smoke
- While tobacco is a well-known factor in cancer and respiratory disease, cardiovascular risk isn’t so obvious. In the short term, tobacco contributes to the narrowing of arteries, the formation of clots, and the development of heart rhythm disorders.
- In the longer term, tobacco gradually damages the arteries. After one year without smoking, the risk of myocardial infarction (heart attack) reduces by half, and cerebrovascular accident (stroke) is equal to that of a non-smoker.
2. Keep active
- Remain physically active to reduce your sedentary time. Think about how you can incorporate more activity into your daily life. By staying active, you will limit your weight gain and lower your risk of diabetes and high blood pressure, limiting the amount of fat in your blood.
- You don’t need a rigorous workout routine to jumpstart your circulation. For example, getting up regularly from your office chair, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, cooking, and walking can help you improve your blood circulation and health.
3. A Healthy Diet
- Eating food plays an essential role in a properly functioning cardiovascular system. You should avoid or limit foods containing high salt and fat levels. Eat meat, dairy products, bread, and certain cereals that contain bad fats in moderation. Scientific studies show that following a Mediterranean diet may reduce cardiovascular risks.
- A Mediterranean diet is rich in vegetables, fruit, whole grains, legumes, oleaginous plants (colza, sunflower, peanut, soya, sesame, nuts, almonds), and olive oil. This diet also encourages regular consumption of poultry and fish while limiting sweets.
- This low-fat Mediterranean diet has the antioxidants necessary to improve your circulatory system. If necessary, you can also take dietary supplements with similar benefits to help improve your blood circulation, especially during long periods of inactivity in a sitting, standing, or lying position.
4. Maintain A Healthy Body Mass
- High body fat and obesity are well-known cardiovascular and cardio-metabolic risk factors.
- Body mass index (BMI) is essential in assessing the risk level. A BMI between 25 (overweight) and 30 (obesity) already increases your chances of developing a cardiovascular pathology in the long term. Closely monitor your BMI to stay ahead of your wellness.
- How to calculate BMI:
- In kilograms: Divide your weight in kilograms by the square of height in meters, according to the formula (example 70 kg for 1m80): 70 kg / 1.80 m2 = 21.6.
- In pounds: Divide your weight in pounds by the square of height in inches, multiplied by 703 according the formula (example 155 lbs for 5ft 10 in): (155lbs / 70 in2)* 703= 22.2
- Other factors come into play, though. A 50-year-old male bodybuilder will have a higher optimal BMI than a male of the same weight but with higher body fat.
Simple ways how to improve
your blood circulation while travelling
If you travel frequently or are traveling for more than four hours, follow these tips:
- Choose an aisle seat to make moving around easier and walk every two hours.
- Move your toes, feet and ankles every 15 to 30 minutes. Don’t forget to exercise your calves. Extend your legs straight out and flex your ankles (pulling your toes toward you).
- Give yourself as much leg room as possible and avoid placing weight on your lap.
- Do not cross your legs or tuck them under the seat.
- Stay well hydrated. Limit your intake of alcohol and coffee.
- Wear loose, comfortable clothing.
- Do not sleep for long periods and avoid taking pills that make you drowsy, as these keep you from changing position and moving around.
- Take TravelSana® Long-Haul and Daily dietary supplements to prevent and ease lower limb discomfort while travelling.
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