Being cramped up in a tight space without much room to move when flying, does not do the condition of our feet or legs any favours. In fact, being stationary for a lengthy period of time on a flight, means the muscles that pump fluid out of our legs are not active, which can cause our feet to swell.

This is coupled with the low pressure and dry air circulating the cabin, both of which inhibit the flow of blood. It is therefore not uncommon for people to suffer from swollen feet when they land.

Fortunately, there are some steps we can take to help prevent swollen feet when flying and promote feet and leg care.

1 – Stay well hydrated by drinking plenty of water

Staying well hydrated during a flight by drinking plenty of water will encourage the body to get rid of toxins in the bloodstream, which can lead to pain and swelling in the feet and legs. Drinking plenty of water is also likely to mean you need to visit the bathroom during the flight, which will also help exercise your legs and promote a healthy flow of blood.

2 – Sit in a position that doesn’t restrict the flow of blood

It can be tempting to slouch and curl up in your seat during long-haul flights. Though to prevent the restriction of blood flow, which can lead to fluid building up in your legs instead of being pumped to the heart, try and sit in a good position without slouching or crossing your legs.

3 – Walk around the cabin

Make the effort to get up every now and again during the flight to move and stretch your legs, particularly if you are on a long-haul flight. When going to the toilet, opt for the one that is furthest away from your seat, to give your legs some exercise.

4 – Avoid eating too much salt

Salt can cause us to retain fluid, which can lead to the feet swelling. Try to avoid eating too much salt both before and during the flight.

5 – Exercise your feet

You can still exercise your feet whilst sitting on a cramped aeroplane seat! Rotate your feet in a circular motion at regular intervals throughout the flight. Point your toes up and down and from side to side to help get the blood flowing through your legs and to your feet, to help prevent them from swelling up.

6 – Massage your feet

It might not be the height of luxury but kick off your shoes and treat your feet to a good massage to keep the blood flow stimulated and prevent any swelling.

If you are really concerned about swelling feet during a flight, you could always ask the cabin crew if you can have an aisle seat so it will be easier for you to get up and move around.


The healing of wounds is complex. It takes time for a wound to heal itself back to its former condition. While there is no concrete cure for wounds, the food that we eat plays a role in the healing process.

Nutritional intake that is high in protein is considered to have long-term benefits to a wound and can speed up the time it takes for the wound to heal.

If you are suffering from a wound and are waiting for it to heal, eating a diet rich in protein and other essential nutrients could be one of the best moves you make to help heal your wound.
Take a look at several foods that are known to help speed up the healing of wounds.


Nuts are a great source of protein. In fact, nuts are hailed as a “wound healing superfood.” Laden with ‘good fats’, nuts provide the body with energy that promotes a healthy movement of cells within the wound and the delivery of nutrients and oxygen to the wound bed.


Another protein-rich food are beans. Eating a diet that has plenty of beans, lentils and peas in it can help reduce the amount of time the wound takes to heal.


Tomatoes are rich with lycopene, an antioxidant that is known for promoting a good immune system and protecting the body from oxidation that can lead to damaged cells. Eating plenty of tomatoes can therefore reduce the risk of wounds becoming infecting, significantly slowing the healing process down.


Chocolate lovers may be pleased to hear their sweet tooth could help promote the healing of wounds. Dark chocolate is full of antioxidants and can help maintain normal blood pressure levels. Maintaining healthy blood pressure is a leading factor in helping wounds heal as it ensures the necessary oxygen, nutrients and vitamins are delivered to the bed of the wound.


Being rich in calcium and protein, consuming plenty of milk can help strengthen the body and speed up the wound healing process. Soy milk can be particularly effective in supporting the immune system and advancing the development of new tissue.

Adding these foods to a healthy, well-balanced diet that includes plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, can be an effective way to complement the dressing of wounds and speed up the whole healing process.


Daryll Baker is a Consultant Vascular Surgeon at the Royal Free Hospital London and Clinical Lead for North Central Region Vascular Services.

He read Medicine at Oxford University and trained in Vascular Surgery in Nottingham, London and Edinburgh. He obtained his research PhD from the University of Wales.


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