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Ask The Coach: Should I Wear Compression Socks While Traveling?

NCAA runner turned high school coach Hillary Kigar advises on best travel practices for runners–including whether or not they should wear compression socks for the duration of their journeys.

Do you recommend that runners wear compression socks while traveling? And how often should I get up and walk the aisle on 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 pressure from compression socks helps maintain blood flow. With increased blood flow, you’re less likely to experience the swelling and discomfort that come as a result of changes in air pressure. The main goal is to keep the 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!

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