7 Ways to Improve Circulation at Home
Did you know that the human body is home to more than 60,000 miles of blood vessels? Impressive isn’t it? These vessels, in combination with your heart and other accessory tissues, make up your circulatory system.
This network of blood vessels is responsible for the circulation of blood to every inch of your body. However, poor circulation can result in a major hindrance to this process. Poor circulation is responsible for a myriad of medical complications and issues, ranging from mild to severe.
Have concerns about your circulation? Contact Encino Vascular Institute or visit our vein clinic.
Symptoms of Poor Circulation Include:
- Tingling or numbness (especially in extremities)
- Cold hands and feet
- Swelling of hands or feet
- Skin discoloration
- Heaviness in limbs
- Aching in limbs, hands or feet
- Varicose veins
- And more…
Dangers of Poor Circulation:
- Ulcers that won’t heal
- Life-threatening deep vein thrombosis and blood clots
- Tissue death
- Increased risk of infections
- Increased stress on the heart
- Increased risk of coronary artery disease and heart disease
- And more…
Now that we know how important circulation is, what are some things you can do at home to improve it?
Easy Steps To Improve Circulation at Home
Luckily, improving circulation isn’t hard. By following a few easy tips and making some simple, yet impactful lifestyle changes, you too can reap the benefits of improved circulation.
1. Exercise and Physical Activity
Exercise and physical activity of any kind is a key component to improving circulation. But it’s not just “getting your blood pumping” that does the trick. Exercise triggers several key physiological adaptations and processes that can lead to improved circulation, cardiorespiratory health and blood vessel health.
- Increases blood flow
- Improves the elasticity of blood vessels
- Increases natural nitric oxide production to dilate blood vessels
- Reduces the risk of blood clots
- Induces angiogenesis (creation of new micro blood vessels)
- And more…
What Kind of Exercise is Good?
All exercise is good exercise so long as you’re being safe. Always consult your primary care vein doctor before beginning any new exercise regimen. That said, here are some tips to help get you started…
Walking (especially up and down the stairs) has plenty of benefits – When the aim is to improve circulation, we want to target large muscle groups, especially in the lower extremities. Walking engages the quadriceps (thighs), gluteus (buttocks), and calves. Aim for 10-15 minutes of walking, 1-3 times a day.
Calf Raises – Similar to walking, this simple, yet effective exercise engages the calf muscles and to a lesser degree your quads. The great thing about this exercise is that it can be done standing or while sitting at a desk, making it ideal for office workers stuck in a cubicle for hours on end.
Diaphragmatic Breathing – This type of breathing exercise stimulates the lymphatic system, increasing circulation and flushing out waste materials.
2. Eat More Fruits and Veggies
Fruits and vegetables are not only nutrient-dense, but they also contain powerful antioxidants and phytochemicals that can improve blood vessel health, reduce blood pressure, and lower vessel clogging cholesterol.
3. Drink Your Tea
Although everyone should be mindful of not consuming too much caffeine, tea is rich in flavanols, blood vessel protecting antioxidants, and naturally occurring l-theanine, an amino acid that has demonstrated ability to improve blood flow.
4. Stay Hydrated (drink more water)
When you become dehydrated, your blood thickens and becomes more viscous, making it harder to pump through smaller blood vessels and potentially leading to clotting. Aim for 8-10 glasses of water a day or as prescribed by your physician.
5. Quit Smoking
We all know smoking is bad for the lungs. But it also wreaks absolute havoc on small blood vessels.
6. Elevate your Legs
Poor circulation most often impacts the lower extremities. Elevating your legs at or above the level of your heart for a period of time a few times a day can help improve circulation to them.
7. Buy a Few Pairs of Compression Stockings
Although uncomfortable at first, compression stockings are a tried and tested way of improving circulation in your legs. They work by placing a graduated pressure on your legs that is tightest at the ankles and slowly reduces as you move closer to the calf. This tapered pressure aids in moving blood flow back up the leg.
Don’t Let Poor Circulation Put Your Health at Risk
Poor circulation can be dangerous if left unchecked. But there are several simple and effective steps you can take on your own (many of which are low or no cost) to take back control of your health and improve circulation right at home.
Looking for more information about a vascular surgeon in Tarzana, CA? Contact us at the Encino Vascular Institute by calling (818) 908-9752 or visiting 16311 Ventura Boulevard Suite 1080p, Encino, CA 91436.