With vacation season getting underway, most people are looking to relax and get away from it all. But it’s always important to remember to take care of yourself, especially when you are travelling.

One overlooked health risk is deep vein thrombosis (DVT), a serious medical condition that occurs when a blood clot develops in the leg. This clot can then break apart and move into the lungs, creating a potentially fatal embolism.

The risk factors for this condition include remaining in the same position for a long time, such as during a long flight or car ride.

DVT can occur without symptoms, although sometimes it presents itself as the feeling of a sharply pulled muscle along with swelling or redness at the site.

Simple precautions can help prevent DVT. It’s especially important while travelling to remain hydrated and to get up from your seat every hour to walk around and stretch. Even standing up once an hour and rising up on your tiptoes several times can help keep your circulation moving and prevent clotting.

(icon by david de hoey via flickr)