The heart pumps blood throughout your body’s blood vessels, supplying every part of your body with necessary oxygen and nutrients. As the blood circulates, there are many things that can decrease circulation over time. With decreased circulation, the blood flow to the body, and especially the extremities, becomes impaired. This can cause pain and coldness in limbs, and more. Poor circulation also results in the heart being excessively taxed. Over time, this may lead to more serious problems that negatively affect your general health and well-being. As always, be sure to consult a doctor for proper diagnosis and discuss a personalized treatment plan. Your doctor will likely recommend one of these ten lifestyle changes that can help increase circulation:
1. Stop Smoking
If you do not smoke already, skip to number two. If you do smoke, quitting is the number one step to increased circulation. Tar and nicotine build up in the blood vessels, causes narrowing in the blood vessels, which constricts the blood flow. There are also a myriad of other health problems that may be avoided by not smoking. Stop smoking to increase your circulation.
2. Participate Regularly in Low-Impact Exercise
Walking is a simple way to increase blood flow. Gently elevating your heart rate in cardiovascular activity is good for your heart and blood vessels, increasing circulation. If walking is not an option, low-impact exercise equipment is a great alternative.
3. Drink Plenty of Water
The levels of oxygen are higher when the body is well-hydrated. Drinking water maintains hydration of your body, essentially aiding in increased circulation. Ask your doctor what the water intake recommendation is for you.
4. Put Your Feet Up
Elevating your feet is a simple way to increase circulation, due simply to gravity’s effects. Set aside time several times each day to prop your feet up. You may also use a leg elevator to comfortably assist you.
5. Wear Support Hosiery
Support hosiery aids in blood circulation by placing pressure on the circumference of the limbs, which forces the blood through narrower channels. This increases the flow of blood to the extremities. This added pressure to the venous system aids in quicker return of blood to the heart.
6. Get a Massage
Getting a massage is a great way to increase circulation. A massage stimulates blood flow to the soft tissue and muscles. A licensed masseuse knows techniques that will increase circulation. You may also use leg massagers for effective and comfortable treatment at home.
7. Take a Hot Bath
Draw yourself a tub of hot water to increase circulation throughout the body. Hot water causes blood to rush to the surface of your skin, resulting in increased blood flow to your body. The addition of ginger or lemon slices amplifies the effects. Alternate hot and cool water for maximum blood circulation increases.
8. Eat Healthy Foods
Consuming healthy foods and avoiding processed food creates an environment within your body that is optimal for increased blood flow. Take small steps each day in smart food choices. Over time, you will see the positive changes eating healthily makes on many aspects of your body.
9. Consider Herbs and Spices
Ginger, cayenne pepper, ginkgo biloba, and garlic are thought to increase circulation. Find creative ways to incorporate them into your recipes. You may also find supplements at a health food store, which are a simple way to add them into your diet.
Stretching increases blood flow to your muscles and surrounding tissue. Add simple stretches to your daily routine to increase circulation.
By employing one or all of these lifestyle changes, you could see an increase in your circulation. There are many leg circulation products that may be used to increase circulation.