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6 Physician-Approved Ways to Improve Blood Flow and Circulation

Did you know that if you measured all the blood vessels in the average adult’s body and added their lengths together, the total distance would be close to 100,000 miles? These veins, arteries, and capillaries, some thinner than a strand of hair, deliver vital oxygen and nutrients to your body’s tissues.

Because of this function, having good circulation is crucial to your health. Without it, you could have a hard time regulating your temperature, get pain, numbness, or tingling in your limbs, feel tired all the time, or even suffer tissue damage.

Are you wondering how to improve blood flow throughout your body and avoid these complications? For six doctor-approved ways to boost your circulation, keep reading.

1. Exercise Often

Nothing gets your blood pumping like a bit of exercise. That’s why it’s so important to engage in regular cardiovascular exercise if you’re working on improving blood flow to the legs or another part of the body.

Cardiovascular exercises (“cardio”, for short) are those that get your pulse rate up and increase the amount of oxygen your body uses. They strengthen your heart, lungs, and circulatory system. Some good cardio workouts to engage in include:

  • power walking
  • jogging
  • running
  • jumping rope
  • jumping jacks
  • HIIT or circuit training
  • plyometrics
  • bicycling
  • swimming

You should try to get in at least 150 minutes of moderate to intense exercise each week, much of which should be cardio. But haters of running will be happy to know that, according to a recent study, slower movements like yoga are also beneficial for blood flow. Try adding a yoga flow, stretching session, or a series of Tai Chi moves to your cardio workouts as a warm-up and cool-down.

2. Get Your Vitamins and Minerals

Your circulatory system, like every other part of your body, needs the right nutrients to stay healthy.

Omega-3 fatty acids contribute to better heart and blood vessel health. Iron is a necessary part of haemoglobin, the molecule that carries oxygen in your blood. Even antioxidants can help protect blood vessels from damage over time.

Some foods that improve blood flow and circulatory health include:

  • oily fish like salmon and tuna
  • kale
  • spinach
  • unsweetened black and green tea
  • cayenne pepper
  • pomegranates
  • garlic
  • turmeric
  • citrus fruits
  • walnuts
  • berries
  • tomatoes

While you don’t have to eat exclusively the foods on this list, keeping them as part of a balanced diet will help make sure your body has what it needs to keep your blood pumping.

3. Stay Hydrated

One reason that people can suffer from circulatory problems is chronic dehydration. Adequately hydrated blood is about 50% water. When your body doesn’t have enough water, your blood pressure can drop, leading to poor circulation and perfusion in the limbs.

To keep your blood from getting sluggish, make sure you’re drinking enough water every day. The guidelines for how much you should drink vary, but most average around 11-15 cups for adults. Try not to replace your water with coffee or soda, either—sugary and caffeinated beverages actually dehydrate you in the long run.

4. Give Up Smoking

If you’re one of the 14% of Americans who smokes cigarettes, this is your sign that it’s time to kick the habit. Along with being the primary cause of preventable disease, disability, and death in the US, smoking is terrible for your cardiovascular health.

Aside from the tar and other harmful chemicals, nicotine is the reason cigarettes are so bad for blood flow. Nicotine both hardens your artery walls (the vessels that take blood from the heart to the rest of the body) and thickens your blood. The combination of these factors leads to “sluggish” blood flow and, in some cases, total blockages.

If you’re a current smoker, cutting down your use or giving up tobacco entirely is the best way to improve blood flow to your whole body. If you aren’t a smoker yet, promise yourself you’ll never start—your heart and blood vessels will thank you.

5. Monitor Your Blood Pressure

Does your blood pressure tend to run higher than 120/80? If so, you could be at risk for poor circulation.

While it may seem like higher blood pressure would help blood through faster through your veins, the opposite is actually true. Prolonged hypertension can cause a condition called arteriosclerosis in which your artery walls thicken and harden. This narrows the passageways your blood flows through and restricts circulation.

If you aren’t sure what your average blood pressure is, you can find out without a doctor’s visit. Either use a kiosk at a pharmacy or buy your own at-home blood pressure meter. If the numbers are a lot higher or lower than they should be, call your doctor to discuss lifestyle changes or medications to get it under control.

6. Take Advantage of Alternative Medicines

If you’re looking for more natural ways to improve blood flow, traditional and alternative medicines may hold the answer. Acupuncture, chiropractic and massage therapies can all stimulate your circulation and improve blood flow to all parts of your body.

Massages are especially helpful for people who, for various medical reasons, can’t move much or at all. This could include those on bed rest, those with paralysis, or those who are recovering from illness or injury. The deep “kneading” motion of a massage stimulates blood flow and perfuses deep tissues similar to how exercise does.

Follow These Tips to Improve Blood Flow Today

It’s easy to forget how important your circulation is until something goes wrong. Thankfully, following these tips can help improve blood flow throughout your body and prevent problems in the future.

Are you looking for more ways to keep your heart, blood vessels, and the rest of your body in tip-top shape? You’re in the right place—check out the other articles on our site for more helpful guides like this one.

 

Pranesh Balaji
Pranesh Balaji Is a Blogger and an SEO professional. Co-founder of Bigmixseo, I have 2 years of experience in SEO & 1 year of Successful blogging @ pantheonuk.org. I have a passion for SEO & Blogging, Affiliate marketing, & to invest in high trading stocks. " Sucess is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of Enthusiasm "