This Tip to Deal With Swollen Feet on a Plane Is Oddly Satisfying

Photo: Getty Images/Sirinapa Wannapat/EyeEm
Because of her job as a master trainer (both for SoulCycle and her own workout Le Sweat), Charlee Atkins is basically a professional sweater who only takes off her sneakers to go to bed or at the airport.

She spends a lot of time traveling these days to host wellness retreats and spread her upbeat form of fitness gospel to the sweaty masses. Along with a ton of frequent flyer miles, Atkins has also accumulated her fair share of healthy travel hacks—from stretches you can do in your cabin seat to relieve cramping to how to boost circulation with compression socks and give yourself an in-flight massage using a lacrosse ball. (“[It's] the best travel tool,” she says. “They’re going to start selling these in airports they’re so handy.”)

She even has a foolproof way to prevent uncomfortable feet swelling that can happen on flights: Atkins loosens her shoelaces. I know, duh, right? But if you prefer sneakers to slip-ons, chances are, you're probably not thinking about untying them since you know taking off your shoes is a major don't of air travel. Rather than remove them entirely, Atkins suggests just cutting your laces some slack so that they don't feel so restrictive as you start to retain water (which is a polite way of saying bloat).

To be clear, fluid retention in flight is a good thing if it's because you're guzzling plenty of H2O. Hydration is key to preventing an achy body post-flight, according to Atkins. (So is a good travel pillow—she swears by the Trtl to prevent sore, stiff necks.) “I travel with my S’well bottle full of water and kindly ask the flight attendants to always fill me up,” she says. “I feel like people refrain from drinking water because they don’t want to get up and use the bathroom. We should abandon this thought process. It’s so important to hydrate on a plane.” You know what they (we) say? Wheels up, bottoms up.

Drinking more water can seem easier said than done. Here are the tricks flight attendants use to up their H2O intake in flight

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