Poor circulation is uncomfortable and can lead to serious health problem. If you suffer from cold hands or feet, and want to find out how to improve poor blood circulation, then take a look below at some steps you can take.

  

What is Poor Circulation?

Blood circulates around your body carrying oxygen and nutrients to the cells. If blood flow is poor then the cells can become starved. As a result of this, a number of health problems can arise.  A common cause of poor circulation is build-up of plaque on the walls of blood vessels and capillaries.

Often, the first signs of poor circulation that people notice are at the extremities and include cold fingers or toes.  It is important to maintain good blood circulation around your body and there are a number of simple things you can do to improve the flow. Below are 8 ways that will help improve your circulation and keep you healthy.

 

8 Ways to Improve Poor Blood Circulation

 

1. Increase Your Physical Activity

  • Don’t sit or stand for long periods. Doing so allows the blood to collect instead of flowing. This can lead to health problems over time. So, it’s important to move around to keep the blood flowing around your body. Any physical activity that gets your heart pumping more blood is beneficial.

 

  • If you work at a desk all day, get up and take breaks every hour. Walk to the bathroom and back to get your blood flowing again. Do some small stretching exercise such as arm circles, touching your toes, or kicking out your feet. A very simple way to improve blood circulation every day is to do stretching exercises. A 2016 study found that stretching increases blood flow to tissues and organs in the body.

 

  • Go for regular walks. Walk for at least 30 minutes each day. According to The American Heart Association regular exercise improves blood circulation which reduces your risk of heart disease.

 

  • Do other activities such as swimming, cycling, running, or playing sports. Aerobic exercise improves heart and blood vessel function.

 

2. Maintain Good Posture

  • Try to remember to position your body to aid circulation.
  • Don’t cross your legs when sitting as it cuts off the circulation to your legs. Sit with your legs slightly apart and your feet on the floor.
  • Elevate your legs 3-4 times a day for 15 minutes at a time so that they are above the level of your heart.

 

3. Wear Compression Hose

Compression hose is designed to stabilize the leg tissues and help blood circulate. They are available online or from your local drugstores.

 

4. Massage

A number of studies have shown the overall effectiveness of massage in improving circulation. Rubbing the skin increases skin temperature and enhances blood flow.

A massage chair can help with the blood flow.

 

5. Stop Smoking

Smoking causes a build-up of plaque in your arteries and smaller blood vessels which leads to poor circulation. It is a cause of peripheral artery disease, a condition in which the arteries in the legs harden and narrow so restricting blood flow.

 

6. Maintain a Healthy Body Weight

Carrying extra weight puts stress on your circulatory system as your heart as to work harder to get the blood around your body.

Eat a balanced diet that includes:

  • Plenty of fruits and vegetables. Blueberries, grapes, strawberries, and sweet cherries contain heart-healthy flavonoids that improve blood circulation. Oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruit and tangerine are rich in vitamin C which helps prevent plaque build-up. Avocados are rich in heart-healthy fats and also contain fiber, B-vitamins and folic acid which help with blood circulation. Garlic is also excellent.
  • A good amount of fiber from legumes, nuts, and oatmeal.
  • Some dark chocolate. Dark chocolate made from natural cocoa contains flavonoids Only eat dark chocolate, that has low amounts of sugar. Avoid chocolate if you’re overweight, or have diabetes.

 

7. Warm Baths

Hot water can help to improve circulation by dilating (widening) the blood vessels which increases blood flow. Taking warm baths helps improve blood circulation and reduces blood pressure.

 

8. Use Hot and Cold Treatment

Using contrasting hot and cold treatments (also called contrast hydrotherapy) helps improve blood circulation.  After taking a warm bath, take a cool shower which constricts the blood vessels. The alternate widening and closing of the vessels helps pump the blood around your body.

Using a heating pad or FIR natural stone heat mat can also be helpful when it comes to hot treatment.

These 8 steps on how to improve poor blood circulation can make a big difference to how you feel now, and also help reduce long term problems.