Should I Wear Compression Socks While Traveling?

Coach Hillary Kigar advises on best travel practices for runners–including whether or not they should wear compression socks.

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Q: Do you think compression socks are necessary for runners during air travel? And while traveling on a plane, how often should I get up and walk the aisle during a long flight?

Wearing compression socks while traveling is always a good idea. Whether you’re on the plane for several hours or in the car on a road trip, the graduated pressure from compression socks helps maintain blood flow and good circulation. With increased blood flow, you’re less likely to experience the stiffness, swelling, and discomfort that can often come as a result of changes in air pressure during air travel.

When it comes to moving around, keep in mind that the main goal is to keep that blood flowing in your legs. If you have easy aisle access, try to get up and walk along the aisle every 45 to 60 minutes. While you’re up, do a few basic stretches, focusing on the calves and lower-leg muscles. If you’re stuck in the window seat, try doing ankle rotations and foot flexes to engage your leg muscles. And be sure to keep drinking water!