Take care of your feet when traveling

Published On: May 10 2012 11:50:58 AM EDT   Updated On: May 24 2012 01:52:34 PM EDT
shoes, sneakers

(NewsUSA) - Arriving at a vacation destination to "get away from it all" can be a fun and relaxing experience. But getting there can be just the opposite.

Lengthy periods of standing in long lines in airport terminals and carrying bulky luggage can be taxing on feet. The American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) offers the following tips for Americans hoping to keep their globetrotters pain-free while on the move:

- Pack wisely. Most Americans know to pack several shoes for a trip. Always remember to bring the right type of shoe for the activities you will be participating in. Consider your destination's climate. You might need winter boots when traveling to Chicago in December, while Crocs, which have the APMA's Seal of Acceptance, will keep you walking happier in San Diego. Try not to bring new shoes that have never been worn.

- Wear the right footgear on the plane. Sitting for long periods stiffens muscles and reduces circulation, causing swelling and soreness. To avoid or reduce foot and leg swelling, wear elastic support stockings. Do not wear socks with tight bands around the ankle, which can hinder blood flow. Loosen your shoelaces, or bring a pair of slippers to wear on the plane. If your feet swell, soak them in epsom salt at the first opportunity.

- When the pilot announces that you may move about the cabin, take him at his word. Standing up and walking for a few minutes every hour will help reduce leg cramps and swelling. Additionally, flex your feet at the ankles and wiggle your toes when seated to encourage blood flow.

- Pamper your feet. Just because you're traveling doesn't mean that you can neglect your feet. After long hours spent walking, elevate your feet to give them a break. If you have a chance, soak your feet in warm water, dry them thoroughly and apply a thick lotion or foot cream. A mini foot massage will go a long way towards reducing travel stress, too.

For more travel tips, visit the American Podiatric Medical Association at www.apma.org.