Health

16 Ways to Improve Your Circulation

Evidence Based Article ๐Ÿ“„
This article has been based on relevant and up-to-date scientific studies. Our writers are unbiased and objective and present the facts as they are known. Numbers in brackets within the article refer to sources included in the reference list at the end of the article.

Circulation is the movement to and from around something, especially that of fluid in a closed system.

There are three types of circulation usually found within humans. This includes pulmonary circulation, Portal circulation, and Systemic circulation.

Pulmonary circulation is the movement of the blood from the heart to the lungs and back again to the heart. Portal circulation describes the movement of blood from the gut area via the liver then to the heart.

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While Systemic circulation describes the movement of the blood from the heart via arteries to the periphery, and back again to the heart via the veins.

The circulation of blood in the body is one of the most important functions of the body and plays a major role in your overall body health. It is essential for a healthy body in order to maintain cell-level metabolism, maintain body pH levels, Osmotic pressure, stabilize body temperature and protecting from microbial and mechanical harms.

 

Why You Need Good Blood Flow

Your circulatory system is made up of blood vessels along with your heart and other muscles. This roadway network carries blood to each part of your body.

But when your circulation flow is poor it slows or blocks the blood flow. This means that the cells within your body canโ€™t get all the oxygen and nutrients they need.

Signs of Poor Circulation

Poor circulation can turn your nail brittle. Dry your skin and make your hair fall out, especially on your legs and feet. When your limbs can not get enough blood, your feet or hands may feel numb or cold.

Poor circulation may also make some men have trouble getting or keeping an erection. Diabetes patients with sores, scrapes, or wounds also tend to heal slower compared to patients with good circulation.

Ways to Improve Circulation

Here are some tips and suggestions that can make a big improvement to your blood flow and improve blood circulation:

1.Exercise

Whenever you can, exercise to boost your circulation. Find the activities you enjoy doing, especially any activity that gets your blood pumping.

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You can also run, swim, walk, dance or anything else that you like. If your blood circulation is really poor, start by doing some gentle exercise and move on gradually to something a bit more challenging.

2.Control Your Blood Pressure

Arteriosclerosis is a condition that hardens your arteries and can help choke off blood flow. It is caused by too high blood pressure.

You should aim for 120 over 80 or less, but you should also consider asking your doctor about the best numbers for your health or age.

You can also buy a home blood pressure monitor to check your reading at least once a month. If not affordable you can also use a kiosk at your pharmacy.

3.Stretch

Every hour make sure you get up to stretch your body or do small exercise for maybe 3-5 minutes. This is especially important for those people who always sit at the desk all day and donโ€™t have the habit of walking around.

You can also try doing little arm circles, touching your toes with your hands or have a short walk around. It also important not to stay too long in one position, therefore you should take regular breaks.

4.Healthy Eating

Avoid unhealthy foods and eat healthy foods. Avoid consuming processed foods, foods rich in sugar or salt, and foods rich in unhealthy fats (saturated and Trans fats).

Eat fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats (found in fish oil, olive oil, seeds, and nuts). Also eat spicy foods such as ginger, garlic, pepper, and cayenne as they increase your body temperature as well as blood flow.

5.Take Enough Water and Minimize Consumption of Caffeine and Alcohol

When one takes enough water, oxygen levels in the blood increase leading to better circulation and improving overall health.

Staying hydrated during the day is important for the organs to perform their daily functions. It is recommended by the expert that one should consume 8-12 glasses of water in a day. It is also beneficial for the reduction of alcohol and caffeine consumption.

6.Quit Smoking

Smoking is bad for your health, especially due to the presence of nicotine, which is among the leading causes of circulation problems.

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7.Manage Stress Levels

Negative effect of stress on body circulation causes a shift of blood flow away from the skin to support the muscle tissues and heart.

Ways like regular exercise, breathing exercises, meditation and listening to music can relief overtime stress that negative effects on the body circulation. Good circulation will have an overall good effect on the body and mind.

8.Use Hot and Cold Treatment

This involves alternating between cold and warmth on the body part that is affected. Apply heat such as hot packs for around 30 seconds and then switch to cold packs. It could also be a bowl of warm water and the latter bowl of colder water.

9.Hydrotherapy

Hot water helps to relax tense muscles and increase blood circulation hence allowing oxygen to flow more smoothly throughout the body.

On taking a hot birth or a hot shower, one can add Epsom salt to the bath which has healing properties. One can also use a body scrub to stimulate circulation.

Also, it is a good idea to inhale the steam from the birth or shower has it helps to relieve congestion and open nasals passages. Hence one can breathe better increasing oxygen flow and blood circulation.

10.Use of Ginkgo Biloba

Other than Cayenne pepper, garlic and ginger, there are also a number of herbs which like Ginkgo Biloba which have been shown to improve circulation.

The ginkgo leaf is a remedy to several sicknesses. The versatile herb strengthens memory and improves circulation. The ginkgo herb improves blood circulation by opening up blood vessels and making blood less sticky.

It is available as a liquid extract; dried leaves for teas, tablets, and capsules. Effects from ginkgo Biloba herb can take 4-6 weeks to see. If one is under medication for circulatory problems, he or she is recommended to consult the doctor before taking any herbal remedies.

11.Massage

Like any other exercise, massage increases circulation by stimulating the blood flow in the area being massaged. By massaging these muscles, you will release natural occurring toxins within the body and achieve better blood circulation.

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12.Elevate Your Legs

Elevating your legs is a good way to increase your circulation and relax at the same time. This gives you a break from standing for a prolonged period of time.

13.Brush your body

Donโ€™t brush your hair only, brush your body to. You do it by taking a body brush with stiff, flat bristles and stroke on your dry skin. Ensure you sweep your blood in the right direction. You should begin with your feet, and work your way up, using long motions on the legs and arms. Make circles on the belly and lower back. Dry brushing also gets rid of dry skin. Make it a daily practice, right before your shower.

14.Compress Your Socks

You should ask your doctor what length and amount of pressure are best for you. You should know compression socks put a bit of squeeze on the legs so that the blood does not hang around for too long. Instead, it will move back up to your heart.

15.Cop a Squat

Start with your feet shoulder-width apart and your arms at your sides. Keep your back straight, and then slowly bend at your hips and knees like you are sitting on a chair.

Bend your arms for balance as you return to the starting position. This form of strength training, not only gets your blood pumping, but it also helps in blood sure and back pains.

16.Relax and Twist

Yoga upside-down positions shift blood from the bottom half of your body up to your heart and brain. When you move it brings oxygen to your cells while when you twist it sends blood to your organs. Yoga is a low impact exercise and can jump-start your flow of blood.

Bottom line

Blood circulation is one of the most significant functions of the body. It plays a major role in overall body health.

Remember that good circulation will have a general good effect on your body and mind, so start moving to a healthier lifestyle and diet.

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