11 ways naturally improving poor circulation

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11 ways naturally improving poor circulation

Did you know your body has about 60,000 miles of blood vessels, pathways for your blood to go from one part of your body to another area. The body’s circulatory system is a vital component of your body responsible for sending blood, oxygen, and nutrients throughout the body. Comparable to a network of roadways carrying blood to every corner of your body, your circulatory system is made up of your heart and other muscles.   

Poor circulation can occur when blood flow to a certain area of your body is reduced, resulting in specific symptoms.  The most common areas of the body to experience poor circulation are your extremities such as your legs and arms.  When circulation is poor, it can either slow or completely block the flow of blood.  This results in a reduction of oxygen and nutrients being able to be delivered to the cells in your body.

Symptoms of poor circulation

Signs of poor circulation vary and can include the following symptoms:

·      Hands and feet that feel cold or numb

·      Legs with a blue tinge

·      Dry skin

·      Brittle nails

·      Slow or no hair growth on your feet and legs

·      Men having erectile dysfunction

·      Anyone with diabetes who have wounds that take a long time to heal

11 Steps to improving poor circulation

To prevent and or improve poor circulation, here are steps to take that can be helpful:

1.  Don’t smoke – Smoking will exacerbate any circulatory problems you may have.  Nicotine found in cigarettes, electronic cigarettes, and smokeless tobacco, harms the walls of your arteries, thickening the blood making it hard for blood to get around the body. 

2.  Control your blood pressure – High blood pressure predisposes you to arteriosclerosis, a condition that hardens your arteries that can slow or choke off blood flow.  Know what your blood pressure is and discuss with your doctor lifestyle changes to make to improve blood pressure readings.

3.  Stay well-hydrated – About 75 percent of your blood is composed of water.  To keep it moving freely through your circulatory system, stay well-hydrated by aiming to drink at least 8 cups of water daily. 

4.  Avoid sitting for long periods of time – Sitting all day is not great for your circulation or your back. Sitting too much weakens leg muscles slowing the blood flow that could lead to a blood clot.  Consider a standing desk at work to improve blood circulation.  By doing more standing as opposed to sitting, this works the valves in your leg veins, sending blood up to your heart.

5.  Do yoga – This low-impact exercise can jump-start your blood flow.  All the twisting and turning sends blood to your organs while bringing oxygen to your cells.   

6.  Hit the wall with this yoga pose – If your legs or ankles have a tendency to swell, do a yoga pose called viparita karani. This move sends your blood in the other direction helping to improve circulation.    

7.  Move often – Whenever you walk, bike, swim, dance or do similar exercises, you are breathing in more oxygen and moving your muscles.  This gets your blood pumping, making your heart stronger while lowering your blood pressure.  Each day set a goal to exercise for 30 minutes. This can be one of the best investments in better circulation and better health. 

8.  Wear compression stockings – Compression stockings or socks help put a squeeze on your legs forcing your blood to keep moving back up to the heart keeping things moving.

9.  Love your plant-based foods – The best dietary advice is to consume more fruits and vegetables.  These nutritional gems are loaded with water and important antioxidants, all good for circulation. Stay away from foods loaded with saturated fat such as red meat, cheese and other animal sources.  Also steer clear of salty foods – this helps keep blood pressure in check.

10. Brush your skin – We all know to brush our hair but brushing your skin is great for good circulation.  Use a body brush with stiff, flat bristles, and start with your feet working your way up.  Use long motions on your arms and legs.  Make circles on your belly and lower back.  Dry brushing also gets rid of dead skin cells.  Do it every day, right before you shower.

11. Take a warm bath – One of the greatest pleasures in life is to soak in a hot tub.  Taking a bath helps kick-start your circulation as the warm water makes your arteries and veins open a bit wider, letting more blood through.