When we walk, the muscles in our lower body pump up the blood, just like how you could squeeze liquid along a tube. So, when you grow up, your muscles tend to grow weaker and that is when your heart works harder to pump the blood. Hence the need for a smoother blood circulation.
Other common causes are
- Excess weight that contributes to swelling in your lower legs and feet,
- Smoking, and
- Build up of plaque on the insides of the blood vessels and capillaries, which can lead to high blood pressure, heart problems and more
- Also, years of no exercise can lead to bad circulation,
- Eating too much junk food which usually leads to being overweight, and
- Sitting too long at a computer for years, especially if you don’t take regular breaks or exercise a few times a week.
Here are some tips and suggestions that can make a big improvement to your blood flow and improve blood circulation
Eat fruits(orange especially ), vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats (found in fish oil, olive oil, nuts and seeds). Avoid consuming processed foods, foods rich in sugar or salt, and foods rich in unhealthy fats (saturated and trans fats). Also, eat spicy foods, such as red pepper, garlic and ginger, as they increase your body’s temperature, which increases blood flow.
. Get into the habit of finding activities you enjoy doing, as any type of physical activity that gets your blood pumping is good. You can walk, bike, run, swim or anything else that you like. All that matters is you moving with your body.
Best is to spend at least 5 min right after waking up for stretching. This is especially important for people who sit at the desk all day and don’t have the habit of walking around. You can try doing little arm circles, touching your toes with your hands or have a short walk. It’s important not to stay too long in one position and take regular breaks.
Massage, like exercise, increases circulation by stimulating 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. You can add to the massage essential oils diluted in a carrier oil, such as rosemary essential oil which is good to treat circulation problems. Other good essential oils to promote circulation are cypress, ginger and peppermint.
Elevate your legs
Not only is it a good exercise, it helps tremendously in getting the blood from the bottom to up. It gives you a break from standing for extended periods of time.
Drink enough water
Staying hydrated during the day is essential for the organs to perform their daily functions. When you drink enough water, oxygen levels in your blood increase, leading to better circulation and improving your overall health. Most experts recommend consuming 8-12 glasses of water a day.
Try taking a hot bath or a hot shower. Hot water helps to relax tense muscles and increases blood circulation and allows oxygen to flow more smoothly throughout the body. You can also use a body scrub to stimulate circulation. It’s also a good idea to inhale the steam from the bath or shower, as it helps to relieve congestion and opens nasal passages. Thus you are able to breath better which helps with oxygen flow and the blood circulation.
Use hot and cold treatment
This involves alternating between cold and warmth on the affected body part. Apply heat, such as hot packs for 30 seconds or so, and then switch to cold pack. This could even be be a bowl of warm water and a different bowl of colder water.
Manage stress levels
Overtime stress can have negative effects on the body’s circulation. When we are stressed, the stress effect shifts blood flow away from the skin to support the heart and muscle tissues. Find ways to relieve stress such as regular exercise, listening to a music, breathing exercises, meditation or psychotherapy.