The human body is an amazing machine. But if we dont treat it properly, then it can begin to break down. We see this if we overeat and start to get obese. There are many diseases and conditions that are the result of obesity. We also see it if we become too sedentary. Many other diseases and conditions can arise if we stop getting plenty of exercise. Those conditions dont always take a long time to develop either. Some can happen in just a few short hours of travelling in the car or on an airplane.
How Blood Clots Form
The blood, and the circulatory system in general, is an amazingly complex network that allows the body and the organs to stay alive. However, it does take a little bit of maintenance to ensure that it is working properly. For instance, if you eat too much cholesterol, it can pile up in your blood and lead to a heart attack.
Every time we get a little cut, blood will seep out for a short while. However, the blood and body can notice that there is a cut and the blood will clot while the veins and skin repair themselves. These blood clots will usually break down and be reintegrated into the blood stream naturally.
However, there are times when blood clots form when they are not needed. For instance, if you sit, without getting up or moving much, for a long period of time, then you will run the risk of developing blood clots in your legs. These blood clots can be deadly.
Deep Vein Thrombosis
A blood clot in the legs is called deep vein thrombosis (DVT). This clot can occur because the individual is sitting in one place for too long. This unnatural position can slow the blood flow through the legs, especially behind the knee where there is often a pressure point. The slowed blood can start to clot (blood left in one place too long clots naturally). If this clot gets big enough, and then breaks loose, it can travel through those veins and become lodged in the smaller veins. This blocks the blood from getting where it needs to go and can lead to heart attack, pulmonary embolism, or stroke.
Preventing Blood Clots
Fortunately it doesnt take much to get the exercise needed to prevent blood clots. If you are on an airplane, simply get up every hour, and walk the length of the plane. This little bit of movement will keep the blood flowing. If you cant get up, just sit with your feet flat on the ground, and do a few heel lifts. 2 minutes per hour and you shouldnt have to worry about clots.
Knowing about the potential for blood clots is the first step in preventing them. Before you travel any sort of distance, make sure you are aware that you could develop DVT; but preventing it is so much easier than recovering from it.