If you have circulation problems, you may want to know the ways to increase blood flow in your body.
Before we talk about the ways to increase blood flow, let’s take a brief look at how the cardiovascular system works.
Blood is circulated in the body via a channel of blood vessels (veins, capillaries, and arteries). If these blood vessels are ever laid on the ground, they would cover around 60,000 miles of distance. The blood flows through this vast network of vessels and carries oxygen to various tissues and organs.
The body needs oxygen to convert food into energy and run all other metabolic processes. Healthy blood circulation is also needed to stabilize the body temperature, fight against infections and to ensure that the body is functioning well.
When blood circulation is proper, the body functions optimally, but if it is not, the body may struggle to perform its primary functions.
A poor blood circulation may be a sign of an underlying condition such as obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure etc. Therefore, it becomes important to address the issue and find the ways to increase blood flow at the earliest.
Here are seven ways to increase blood flow and circulation:
Various studies show that regular exercise has a dramatic effect on blood circulation. Even moderate levels of exercise improve blood circulation and reduce the risk of conditions such as plaque deposition in the arteries and atherosclerosis.
Exercising routinely strengthens heart muscles, lowers the resting heart rate and reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
2. Relax for a while
You might be having a rough time at work or at home. It may seem that there is no time to spare, but it is important to have a little “me time” for yourself.
You may pamper yourself with a body massage. Massages stimulate the lymph vessels and increase blood flow in the body. The squeezing and pulling action flushes lactic acid from the muscles and improves blood circulation.
3. Avoid crossing legs
When you cross your legs, you are putting an increased pressure on the hip, which disturbs the balance of your spine.
Also, when your legs are crossed, the veins get compressed, which may lead to the pooling of blood and an increase in blood pressure.
People who have the habit of crossing their legs should refrain from doing it for more than ten minutes as it may cause varicose veins in the lower leg.
4. Water is a savior
Blood plasma is the major component of the blood and contains approximately 92 percent water. Water helps the body to flush out the toxins and reduce the chances of blood clots. Adding a squeeze of lemon or mint to water provides antioxidants that give a boost the circulation and immune system as well.
5. Quit smoking
The carbon monoxide present in tobacco reduces the ability of the blood to carry oxygen. The free radicals present in the smoke destroy antioxidants. At the same time, nicotine tends to raise the blood pressure.
Therefore, if you don’t want to develop a health condition due to an improper blood circulation, refraining from smoking is a must.
6. Eat right
Eating the right food is the key to staying healthy. Just changing your eating habits may dramatically impact your blood circulation. Mentioned below are some examples of foods that you should consume to increase blood flow:
- Iron-rich food: The protein hemoglobin present in red blood cells binds to oxygen and transports it across the body. For hemoglobin to be formed, iron is needed. Eating iron-rich food such as red meat, leafy green vegetables, eggs, and kelp may help to improve blood circulation.
- Cayenne pepper: Capsaicin found in cayenne pepper dilates blood vessels, which may increase blood flow. The compound may help to provide relief in conditions such as coronary heart diseases and cluster headaches. Cayenne is usually recommended to be consumed to improve digestion and blood clotting.
- Ginger: Apart from helping in digestion, ginger also has blood-thinning characteristics, which makes it very useful when it comes to improving blood circulation. You may incorporate ginger into your diet by adding it to fruit juices or tea.
- Dark chocolate: Dark chocolate contains polyphenols that dilate blood vessels and help increase blood flow. Consuming dark chocolate in small amounts may prove to be very beneficial for the functioning of the circulatory system.
7. Monitor your weight
If you are overweight or obese, shedding some kilos may help regulate your blood flow. The additional fat tissue in the body requires more oxygen and nutrients to survive.
This requires the blood vessels to transport more oxygen to the fat tissue, which increases the workload of the heart. More circulation leads to increased pressure on the walls of the artery, ultimately resulting in increased blood pressure.
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