Circulation is imperative for oxygenating the cells and delivering vital nutrients around your body. The networks of veins and arteries need efficient blood flow to provide the cells in every part of your body with what they need to function and stay healthy. Poor circulation can be caused by a variety of underlying issues, from Raynaud’s, obesity and varicose veins, to blood clots and diabetes. Impaired circulation can result in symptoms like tingling, pain, numbness, coldness in the extremities, and muscle cramps, and the focus of treatment is usually on those underlying causes. There are also small things you can do to help encourage better circulation, and this collaborative post takes a look at four suggestions.
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Good circulation is so important to your health, but it’s not something that we tend consider very often, at least not unless we have a problem with it. When blood is pumped around the body, it delivers oxygen and valuable nutrients to your cells and carries away waste products. This process is central to countless bodily functions and if you have poor blood flow, it leads to a lot of issues. You may lack energy, feel cold and numb in your hands and feet, suffer from bloating or experience tingling and cramping. The good news is, you could notice a big difference to your overall wellness if you can find ways to increase your circulation. Your medical specialist should be assessing any underlying problems causing the poor blood flow, but there are also a few ways we can give it a general boost ourselves.
1. Exercise For A Natural Boost
Everybody knows that exercise is good for your health but you might not realize that it has a big impact on your circulation, too. When you exercise regularly, you get the blood pumping and strengthen your heart, which has a positive effect on your circulation. The best thing is, you don’t need to go running or spend hours in the gym to see the benefit. Anything that raises your heart rate slightly will help boost your circulation, so even taking a regular walk or doing vigorous housework will have a positive effect and improve your overall health. You can also try these specific exercises, which have been shown to immediately improve circulation.
2. Compression Socks & Gloves
Compression socks are a great way to naturally boost circulation, especially if you often get numb or cold feet. When you wear compression socks, they squeeze the blood vessels, which increases the flow of blood and pushes it back towards your heart. It also stops blood from moving into smaller veins instead of back towards the heart. You can wear compression socks in bed for added comfort and improved circulation at night (see the link for additional info on this) and they can also be worn during the day. They may feel a little strange at first but you soon get used to them and they make a big difference. Compression socks are often given out to inpatients in hospital who’re lying down for long periods of time to prevent the likes of DVT (deep vein thrombosis, a blood clot in a vein).
You can also get compression gloves that will have the same effect on your hands. For even better results, you might consider some with copper in them because this element could help improve circulation while also helping to manage joint pain.
3. Circulation Stimulator Devices
This is a bigger investment but a worthwhile one to try if you have circulation problems or even restless leg syndrome. Stimulator devices like the Revitive Circulation Booster range can help work the muscles and promote blood flow, which is great for tired, achy legs as well as things like swollen feet or poor circulation from Raynaud’s. See my gift guide for more circulation booster recommendations.
4. Try Green Tea
Green tea has long been championed for its health benefits, so if you struggle with poor circulatory system function then it might be worth giving it a try. A review of research in 2013 discovered green tea could help with increasing blood flow and lowering cholesterol, thus helping with other heart related issues. Studies show that, among many other health benefits, green tea can improve your circulation by increasing the size of your blood vessels. In the short term, this means that blood flow is easier and symptoms associated with poor flow will reduce. In the long term, it’s believed that drinking adequate green tea could even improve your heart health and reduce the risk of heart disease. People with improved blood flow also get more oxygen to the brain, meaning that a few cups of green tea could potentially boost your cognitive ability, too.
People often underestimate the impact that poor circulation can have on their overall health. The good news is, these simple remedies could make a big difference. We can probably all benefit from boosting our blood flow, but always speak to your doctor if you have any concerns or aren’t sure whether something is right for you. If you suspect you have poor circulation but don’t know what the underlying reason might be, seek professional advice.