So, how can someone improve their circulation? Circulation is the process by which the heart pumps a person’s blood around their body.
Good circulation is vital to a person’s health. As the blood circulates, it delivers oxygen and nutrients to the body’s cells and takes away waste products.
This article discusses six ways to improve circulation….
How to improve circulation
If a person wants to improve their circulation, there are some obvious places to start. These include:
- stopping smoking tobacco products
- reducing intake of saturated fats
- trying not to sit still for long periods
In addition, trying one or more of the following may help improve circulation:
1. Maintaining a healthy weight
Maintaining a healthy weight helps promote good circulation. If a person is overweight, it may negatively affect their circulation.
A 2009 study found that losing weight improved circulation for women who were overweight. The participants increased their levels of a protein called disinfection that is associated with vascular function.
Regular cardiovascular exercise, such as jogging, supports the health of the circulatory system and improves circulation.
A 2003 review noted that exercise improves the body’s ability to take in and use oxygen. It also improves the capacity of blood vessels to dilate, which helps them work more efficiently, allowing the muscles to receive oxygen more easily.
These benefits of exercise improve circulation and mean that daily activities may be less tiring.
3. Practicing yoga
Yoga is a low-impact exercise that is easy to modify for beginners. It involves bending, stretching, and twisting. These movements can help to compress and decompress a person’s veins, which may improve circulation.
A 2014 review of evidence published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology found yoga was beneficial for the cardiovascular system and a person’s metabolism.
A simple yoga position for beginners to try is the downward-facing dog. This helps improve circulation as it puts the hips and heart above the head, allowing gravity to increase blood flow towards the head.
To do the downward-facing dog, a person should:
- start on all fours, with shoulders above wrists, and hips above knees
- breathe in
- push hips backward and up into the air while exhaling
- straighten the arms and legs
- press firmly into the hands
- breathe deeply, lifting and pressing down each heel in turn to deepen the stretch
- let the neck relax
- stay in position for three deep breaths
- slowly lower hips back into starting position
4. Drinking tea
The antioxidants in tea promote cardiovascular health and may improve circulation. This is true for both black tea and green tea.
A 2001 study, published in the journal Circulation, found that black tea improves blood vessel health. Healthy blood vessels help improve circulation.
Another study found that green tea consumption is associated with a lower rate of coronary artery disease.
5. Keeping iron levels balanced
Iron is an essential mineral for the circulatory system. It is required to make hemoglobin, one of the major components of red blood cells, which is needed to carry oxygen.
Eating foods rich in iron, such as red meat or spinach, helps the body maintain this essential mineral. However, maintaining a healthful balance is necessary as well.
Too much iron may negatively affect cardiovascular health. A 2013 study found a link between having too much iron in the body and cardiovascular disease in people with high cholesterol and higher waist circumference measurements.
6. Have less saturated fats
“You don’t have to cut back on meat,” nutritionist Brigid MC Keith says. “Just choose leaner cuts and try not to have too much full-fat dairy. Both of these dietary measures are important for circulatory health.”
7. Stand up at your desk
“Sitting in the same position for long periods can give you bad circulation”. “Women tend to cross their legs while at their desks, too. Not only is this bad for your posture, but it can be bad for the circulation. Make the time to lift your legs and do leg extensions under your desk – they’ll do wonders for your circulation.
8. Load up on garlic
This all-round tonic is a renowned blood cleanser, and fresh garlic is a great flavor addition to many dishes.
9. Add some ginger
This herb is a widely recognized circulatory aid, and tastes great in stir-fries or when made into a tea infusion.