Blood goes everywhere – carrying with it vital vitamins and minerals to keep the body healthy. Poor blood circulation essentially means that the blood flow is restricted or weak in some body parts.
The effects of this are fairly obvious: your muscles and organs will not receive sufficient nutrients to keep it healthy.
Symptoms of poor blood flow include numbness and tingling sensations in the body parts with insufficient flow.
As the condition becomes more prevalent, individuals will experience: varicose veins, swelling, discolored skin, hair loss, weak nails, and even a compromised immune system.
Fortunately, most blood flow problems can be solved through natural means. Following are some of the most common techniques that can address this problem while boosting your overall health.
#1 – Exercise
Number one in the list is exercise – and for a very good reason. When you exercise, your heart rate increases, pushing blood to all parts of the body.
During exercise, the blood vessels also expand, therefore making it easier for the blood to flow through different parts of the body.
You will notice that after a good exercise, you can practically feel your body humming and the heart pumping loudly in your chest – this is a good thing.
Of course, it is important to note that exercise is generally a good thing for the body, unless otherwise provided. In most cases, even a simple 30 minute walk will provide you with blood flow benefits.
Another factor to consider here is the contribution of exercise to weight loss.
Individuals who are overweight or obese tend to suffer from poor circulation because their heart is not strong enough to push the blood to all parts of their body.
In cases like this, there is no other resort but to lose weight using proper diet and lots of exercise. You will find that as you gradually lose the weight, you will experience fewer instances of tingling and numbness in different limbs.
#2 – Drink Lots of Water
Water is the ultimate hydrating drink, providing the body with sufficient moisture to process and distribute vitamins and minerals to the organs, muscles, and tissues.
One thing you should know is that a large part of blood is composed with water, which means that insufficiency in the amount you drink actually causes deficiency in the amount of blood circulated all over the body.
Note that the rule is specific: you should drink lots of water and not flavored drinks like juice or coffee. Although these two are allowed in moderate amounts, water is still the best option because it contains no additives that can tax the kidney.
For example, coffee contains caffeine while juice covers sugar – both of which can be dangerous when consumed in irregular amounts.
The prescribed amount of water taken during the day is 8 glasses although you can go as high as 10 if you think you are not getting enough.
The general rule is that if you are sweating lots, you should also be taking lots. Note that you will have to run to the comfort room often when you drink the prescribed amount of water, but that is normal.
#3 – Get a Massage
A massage not only relaxes you but promotes circulation of the blood to all parts of the body.
The stretching, pushing, pulling, and pressure on the pliant skin promote the movement of blood to the limbs, warming up the body and opening up the blood vessels.
The great thing about massages is that you can request the masseuse to pay particular attention to specific body parts that are troubling you.
You also have the option to choose between different types of massages such as Thai and Swedish. This gives you the chance to opt for the kind of massage that works for your body type.
Of course, keep in mind that you should go to a licensed masseuse for this one. They would be able to manipulate your limbs and get the perfect results you want, based on the health concerns you currently have.
#4 – Relax
A massage can be relaxing, but not everyone has the budget for weekly visits to the massage therapists.
If this is not for you, then you can always opt for a cheaper way of relaxing. Specifically, you can try just sitting on the couch and watching television.
For others, relaxing means going outdoors and taking a walk or perhaps riding their bike. The point is that you are supposed to give your body a break and allow everything: mental and physical aspects to just sit back and relieve stress.
Understand that your stress-relief method must be the healthy kind. Some people eat to de-stress and you DO NOT want that. Instead, try doing yoga, meditation, Pilates or reading.
#5 – No to Smoking and Alcohol
Smoking can restrict the blood vessels and lead to the production of plaque that prevents proper blood flow through the system. It also limits the function of the organs – including the heart, therefore limiting its capacity to pump blood.
In fact, smoking increases the risk for numerous health problems including lung cancer, kidney damage, liver damage, and cardiovascular issues.
If you want to significantly lower your risks of poor blood flow, smoking is a habit that should be cut off completely instead of just limited to a few sticks each day.
The same goes for alcohol. Alcohol is a diuretic that essentially prompts the body into expelling water from the body. This is why after a night of drinking, you usually get a headache.
This is because you are dehydrated and the blood vessels are so constricted that not enough blood is rushing to the brain. You will need to rehydrate in order for the pounding headache to go away.
Multiply this several times and you will get poor blood circulation all over the body.
#6 – Eat Spicy
Studies show that eating spicy food items can help boost blood circulation. More specifically, you should be eating cayenne pepper, gingerly adding some to your diet as a spice and a way to heat up blood flow.
This is perhaps one of the easiest way to handle the problem although keep in mind that too much spicy food can actually cause health problems. Make sure that you are not eating too much of this stuff, perhaps adding only a bit of hotness for every single meal.
Of course, cayenne pepper is just one of the options if you are looking for something hot. The choice is really up to you, therefore giving you the chance to find something that fits best with your diet.
Just make sure that whatever you are eating for spices, the origin of the item is as natural as possible.
#7 – Hot Bath
A hot bath is another great way to relax, but the heat actually adds to the benefits of the practice. Heat has the ability to expand the blood vessels, therefore making it easier for it to pass through.
Even better, it opens up the pores, allowing you to easily get rid of any dirt that may be trapped in the dermis. Muscles also relax under sufficient heat so that any tight muscles you have will suddenly slacken, giving you better chances of reaching nirvana through relaxation.
If you wish, you can add Epsom salts into the mix and really get into the spirit of relaxing.
Others prefer essential oils such as tea tree oil or lavender – all of which can contribute to the satisfaction of your bath. Let this be your “me” time and just enjoy yourself in the water for 30 minutes or more!
#8 – Elevate Legs
Elevate your legs to promote blood flow to the thighs all the way to the feet. The legs are perhaps the most overworked part of the body, essentially carrying the whole weight of the person during the way. It therefore makes sense for them to become painful and stressed out after a long day.
By elevating your legs – preferably higher than your head – you will be giving your feet a much needed rest. The pressure is off on them, allowing blood to flow freely through the vessels that ordinarily would have been pinched due to standing.
You will instantly feel the positive effects of this simple change in posture. You will feel more relaxed and somehow, you will feel as though the weight is completely off.
#9 – Buy Good Shoes
Poor blood circulation usually starts with the feet, which makes sense considering how it carries all your weight. As mentioned in the previous number, elevating your feet is the best way to handle poor circulation of the lower area.
However, there are days when you can’t help but stand for hours in the course of your work. When this happens, you will have to make sure that you’re wearing the right shoes for the job.
Ideally, the shoes should be flat or at least platform in style. The heels should be kept wide since there’s actually more stress if you’re forced to balance on thin heels.
The fit must also be perfect – no pinching of the toes or any constriction to their positioning in your feet.
#10 – Proper Posture
Have you ever tried sitting on your legs for a prolonged period of time and suddenly felt a numbness followed by a tingling sensation? This is how poor circulation feels like because the improper posture essentially restricts the blood flow to the area where pressure is applied.
The tingling sensation you get is your body’s way of saying that they’re not getting enough oxygen to sustain life. As you know, cutting off blood flow to a particular limb can actually kill it to the point where it no longer becomes operational.
To fight this problem, always assume proper posture whether sitting, standing, or walking. Keep your shoulders straight, back erect, and head elevated at a 90-degree angle. Not only does this help with your blood circulation but good posture also contributes to how people view you.
#11 – Buy Comfortable Clothes
Have you heard about the woman who wore skinny jeans and went to the hospital because of it? Skinny jeans may be in fashion, but they can be incredibly dangerous to blood circulation.
This is because by their nature, skinny jeans are tight and pushes thigh muscles and tissue into a packed space. The result is constriction of the nerves and vessels which, when worn for long periods of time – can result to a numbness and tingling feeling.
This woman actually made full recovery after 4 days, but she wasn’t able to walk properly prior to that. Note though that the problem arose because she was squatting for long periods while wearing the jeans.
Still, the circumstances of the case don’t cloud the fact that skinny jeans are a health hazard. Skip the dictates of fashion for once and opt for clothing that fits comfortably.
#12 – Eat Roots
Specifically, eat spices such as onion, garlic, and ginger. All these three are known for their blood improvement capabilities.
Perfect for individuals who want to hit two health problems with one, onion garlic and ginger have properties that help fight bacteria.
Ginger is actually anti-inflammatory which is good for individuals who suffer from varicose veins or those who experience swelling due to blood constriction.
As a bonus, onion and garlic are both anti-bacterial, which means that they are capable of boosting the red blood cells when fighting off invaders.
#13 – Eat These Healthy Food Items
Lastly, don’t forget the impact of diet in proper blood circulation. Ideally, you should consume food items known for aiding the flow of blood and contributes to the quality of red blood and white blood cells.
Aside from the previously mentioned spicy foods, following are other healthy choices that lead to natural blood circulation improvement:
- Red Bell Peppers
- Citrus Fruits
Of course, those are just few of the natural techniques you can use for improving blood circulation.
If any of the symptoms of poor blood flow appears more than often than usual, it would be best to contact a doctor immediately since in some cases, poor circulation results from trauma or a birth defect.
If you feel like the circulation problems arose naturally however, treating them with the same natural methods is highly recommended.