Every day, your heart beats at least 115,200 times in an effort to circulate your blood throughout the entire body. This continual flow of blood carries oxygen to the different parts of your body, takes care of waste, transports nutrients to promote cell growth, and generally allows you to function in a healthy manner.
However, sometimes the human body can struggle to circulate blood properly. This can cause many serious health concerns, including varicose veins, leg cramps, a heightened risk of stroke, heart disease, memory problems, and more.
If you are experiencing problems with blood circulation, fortunately, there are some steps you can take to get your body back on track. Here are five of the easiest ways to improve blood circulation and combat the negative side effects you might have been dealing with.
Eat Foods That Are Rich in Iron and Low in Saturated Fats
One of the most important parts of blood circulation is the delivery of oxygen, so when you are struggling with circulation problems, your body might be running low on hemoglobin (which transports the oxygen). Luckily, you can boost your hemoglobin levels by eating foods that are high in iron like leafy greens, lentils, whole grains, and red meat. However, should you try to boost your iron levels by eating more meat, make sure that you are choosing lean pieces that don’t contain too much fat. Saturated fats can clog your heart and arteries, causing the circulatory system to struggle.
Get Treatment for Ulcers and Wounds That Have Formed
In some cases, poor blood circulation can cause open wounds to stay unhealed for long periods of time. If you’ve had a wound that doesn’t seem to heal for more than a month or so, it might need to be professionally treated. Similarly, circulatory issues can cause vein diseases and leg pain. Not only are varicose veins unsightly and embarrassing, but they can also cause serious medical problems and should be treated. Vein diseases can even cause ulcers to form. Luckily, professional treatments for venous leg ulcers can be highly effective and can help the area heal quickly.
Quit Smoking Permanently
Recent studies have confirmed that smoking can significantly contribute to poor blood circulation, especially in the legs. If you’re worried about increased risk of heart problems, as well as vein disease and cognitive issues, then it’s definitely time to toss the cigarettes and pursue a healthier lifestyle. Besides, smoking can also lead to throat and lung cancer, diabetes, and many other life-altering conditions, so there’s really no way to rationalize the dangerous habit.
Take Fish Oil Pills
Fish oils are rich in one key ingredient: omega-3 fatty acids, which play an important role in many parts of your bodily functions. Research has long indicated that fish oil pills can promote blood vessel health, reduce the risk of heart diseases and stroke, improve blood pressure, and even improve your body’s metabolism. The omega-3 fatty acids found in fish can even augment the blood flow to your muscles as you move around, which ensures that every part of your body is properly oxygenated. Different people may benefit from different dosages of fish oil, so do some research and figure out what kind of pills would work best for your body.
This is undoubtedly one of the easiest ways to improve your body’s blood flow without even visiting a doctor or taking medications. Head to the store in search of teas that are packed with antioxidants that can give your arteries a little extra help when it comes to moving blood around. White, black, and green teas are all good bets. However, keep in mind that if you are drinking caffeinated tea frequently, you will need to drink a little extra water in order to stay hydrated. A lack of water can also cause poor circulation, so drink up.
Lose Those Extra Pounds
People who are overweight or obese tend to experience more problems with blood circulation than those who are not. In addition to watching what you eat, make an effort to get your heart rate up and burn calories every day. Cycling, walking, running, and dancing are all fantastic ways to get your blood flowing and shed those clingy pounds. Not only will you face fewer problems with poor circulation, but you’ll also start to feel healthier in general.
Avoid Being Sedentary for the Bulk of the Day
Some health experts have stated that sitting might be the new smoking, and although the two habits can’t truly be compared, it’s clear that staying sedentary for hours on end isn’t beneficial for your health on many levels. If you have an office job where you sit for seven to eight hours a day, your chances of experiencing bad circulation are pretty high. Women who cross their legs can also cause issues with their blood flow. Try to get up and move around often while at work. You might even consider stretching or doing some small exercises at your desk, just to get your blood moving.
Start Meditating Regularly
The benefits of meditation have been heralded around the world for decades, but scientists continue to find more and more reasons to engage in the practice regularly. Recent observational studies have found that various forms of meditation, including yoga, can be extremely effective when it comes to treating poor blood circulation. By decreasing your stress levels and high blood pressure, meditation can increase cardiac output and help your blood flow properly throughout your body.
Although poor blood circulation can be a serious health concern, there are quite a few simple ways to deal with the problem and its worrisome side effects. If you are experiencing blood circulation problems, work on eating iron-rich foods and drinking teas that contain antioxidants. Try to lose weight if you need to, get moving as much as possible, and work on decreasing your stress levels through meditation. Notice any signs of vein disease and have ulcers and open wounds treated quickly. Additionally, nix the cigarette habit: it’s not doing you any favors.