Healthy circulation of the blood within our bodies is a key component to our overall well-being. Maintained by the heart, the constant supply of blood through the veins and arteries transports vital oxygen and nutrients to every cell in our bodies and removes metabolic waste. But for some, healthy circulation is harder to come by. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to boost your circulation.
Factors that affect circulation
There are several factors that affect how well your blood is circulating. These include:
- Aging – As we age, the veins and arteries lose elasticity, which makes it more difficult for the blood to flow sufficiently throughout the body.
- Excess weight – Excess weight can place added pressure on the veins and cause swelling in the lower legs and feet.
- Sedentary lifestyle – Prolonged periods of inactivity can inhibit proper circulation throughout the body.
- Smoking – Tobacco products raise your blood pressure temporarily, but if you are a regular smoker, this puts your blood pressure at a constant high. In addition, the chemicals found in tobacco can damage the arterial wall lining.
Ways to boost circulation
There are a few things you can do to improve your circulation that will benefit your overall health, as well. These include:
Get regular exercise
Regular exercise is one of the best things you can do to improve your circulation. Try to incorporate at least 30 minutes of physical activity to get your blood moving. Find something you enjoy doing. Exercises can include brisk walking, biking, and even stretching movements like yoga, leg lifts and calf raises.
Consume a healthy, balanced diet
To boost circulation, skip the processed foods and stick to healthy, whole foods. Foods that have specifically shown to aid in healthy circulation include oranges, dark chocolate, cayenne pepper, sunflower seeds, garlic, watermelon, and salmon.
Because excess weight and a sedentary lifestyle can have adverse effects on your circulation, getting regular exercise and consuming a healthy diet are a perfect way to promote healthy blood flow. In addition to regular exercise and a healthy diet, eliminating the use of tobacco products, treating yourself to regular massages and elevating the legs while at rest can also help boost circulation. If you’re concerned that you may have poor circulation, call the vein specialists at Northern Illinois Vein Clinic today at 779-207-3771.