Poor circulation can bring a range of discomfort, such as pooling of blood and fluid in extremities, cold feet, and hands, fatigue and achiness that is caused from the build-up of lactic acid in the muscles.
When healthy circulation is restored, tissues and muscles receive the oxygen and nutrients they need to heal. In addition, blood moves through your veins and arteries more efficiently.
Increase Physical Activity and Cardio
Aerobic exercise and cardio force the body to take in more oxygen, which is distributed to your muscles. This type of exercise gets your blood pumping more vigorously, which strengthens your heart and lowers your blood pressure.
A great goal to set is 30 minutes of aerobic exercise 5 to 7 days a week.
Also trying to incorporate a low-impact exercise, such as yoga into your routine is a great way to encourage circulation. Twisting postures help send blood to your organs.
Elevate Your Legs
If you notice your ankles or feet swelling, try elevating your legs up against the wall. When your feet and legs are elevated, it sends blood flow back in the opposite direction towards your heart, avoiding blood from pooling in the lower limbs.
Preventing blood from pooling in the legs reduces swelling and the risk of developing a blood clot.
Being overweight makes it more difficult for your blood to flow efficiently and puts stress on your arteries and veins. Maintaining a healthy weight improves your cardiovascular health.
Manage Your Blood Pressure
High blood pressure can cause a condition called arteriosclerosis, which hardens your arteries and can block off blood flow. Speak with your doctor about what your best numbers should be for your health and age. On average, you want to have numbers of 120 over 80 or lower.
Home blood pressure monitors are available for purchase or look for one open at your local pharmacy.
Did you know that approximately 50% of your blood is made up of water? Staying hydrated keeps your blood moving efficiently. When you are dehydrated, your body pulls fluids out of your blood, results in more viscous (thick) blood.
You should aim to drink 8 glasses of water a day and plan to increase your intake if temperatures or hot and if you exercise.
Take Time to Stand Up at Your Desk
Sitting for prolonged periods is not healthy for circulation. Sitting for hours weakens your leg muscles and slows down the blood flow in the lower limbs. Slow or poor circulation increases the chances of developing blood clots.
If your job requires sitting at a desk throughout the day, trying standing from time to time to help increase your blood flow. Standing up helps strengthen the valves in your veins, sending blood flow back up to your heart.
Massage helps circulation through the manual pressure technique applied during the massage. The pressure helps move blood through areas that may be congested. The release of pressure causes and allows blood to flow in, bringing in nutrients and oxygen. Also, lactic acid is flushed from the muscles, improving the circulation of the lymphatic system.
Massage does not just improve circulation and enhance blood flow, it lowers blood pressure and stress, improves body function, and can play a vital role in a healthier lifestyle.
Medical research proves that high-stress levels negatively impact blood pressure. It is critical for your health to manage stress through healthy habits such as exercise, getting outdoors …
Dry Skin Brushing
Skin brushing helps move your blood along in the right direction and helps to promote lymph flow and drainage. It is also a great way to exfoliate your skin.
Most health food stores sell body brushes. Look for one with stiff, flat bristles and start at your feet and work your way up.
Take a Bath
Baths are a great way to aid circulation temporarily. A warm bath causes your arteries and veins to expand and dilate, allowing blood to flow more easily.
Also, hot tea or water will have the same effect.
Compression socks are designed to apply gentle, graduated pressure beginning at the ankle and up the leg. The pressure aims to boost blood flow back up to your heart and prevents it from pooling in your legs.
If you have a job that requires sitting or standing for long periods, compression socks are ideal.
If you smoke, quit. Nicotine, the active ingredient in all tobacco products, damages the walls of your arteries and causes your blood to thicken, making it difficult for blood to pass through your veins.
Omega-3 fats help increase the release of nitric oxide, which dilates blood vessels and increases blood flow. These fats also lower the clumping together of platelets in your blood, which reduces the risk of blood clotting.
Fatty fish, such as salmon and mackerel, are excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids.
Follow a Healthy Diet
Increase your intake of fruits and vegetables. Try to limit the amount of meat in your diet and eliminate saturated fats. Also, lower your sodium intake. Maintaining a healthy, balanced diet will help you stabilize your blood pressure, lower your cholesterol, and keep you at a healthy weight.
In particular, nutrients, including Vitamin E, Vitamin C, and Omega-3 Fatty acids are all key to a healthy cardiovascular system.
Incorporate The Foods That Increase Blood Flow and Circulation
Several foods improve blood flow. Incorporating these into your diet, along with exercise, is a great way to optimize your circulation naturally:
- Fatty Fish
- Leafy Greens
- Citrus Fruits