A healthy circulatory system is crucial for feeling and functioning your best! You might think circulation is only a problem if your limbs “fall asleep” easily or if you have a heart condition, but there are definitely other signs…
Is This You?
- It’s 2:30 in the afternoon and you just mysteriously find yourself reaching for the sugary caffeinated thing you had swore off earlier this morning… like you just can’t seem to have any self control?
- Or maybe you start off the day pretty clear-headed but just can’t seem to maintain that sharp mental focus like you used to. Sure it could be just a slow sign of aging, but perhaps it’s your circulation that needs a boost?
- Perhaps you still enjoy your partner as much as you used to but just don’t seem to be “in the mood” as much as you used to. Certainly some of that is typical, but circulation plays a key factor in your libido!
- Are your hands and feet frequently cold or swollen with hair and nails that seem brittle? Another sign of poor circulation.
- Perhaps instead you suffer from some of the more “visible” signs of poor circulation – varicose veins, dark circles under your eyes, or perhaps other body parts with a bluish or purplish tint to them… yep, these can all be signs of poor circulation!
If you are reading this and just piecing together that you might have poor circulation, I recommend making an appointment with a primary care physician for a full check up to evaluate your specific medical needs.
The 4 Components of a Great Circulatory System
- Healthy blood
- Healthy heart
- Optimized blood pressure (not too high but not too low)
- Healthy blood vessels
Because there are 4 basic components to your circulatory functioning, understanding where your own unique problem is might be the key to making your biggest improvements in circulation within your unique body. The following are several options to consider that will address one or more of these components to support improved circulation.
Get moving to move your blood!
Pretty much any cardio activity to get your blood pumping is good for circulation. But there are a few stand out champs in the group.
Jumping or “rebounding” on a mini-trampoline (also called a rebounder) is an excellent way to get your cardio going AND improve your supporting lymphatic system.
Walking is certainly another great option that most people can do easily without extra cost or a lot of skill. Even walking several times throughout the day with breaks between can also increase circulation as you build up your tolerance for longer walks.
Even if you don’t have a lot of time to get your heart pumping for a full cardio workout, you can certainly plan to take movement breaks throughout your day. You can sneak lunges in during your bathroom trip, do squats as you wait for your coffee to percolate. Or just decide to take a brisk walk around the office to talk to people in person instead of calling or emailing them.
Even just adjusting your posture throughout the day can improve your body’s circulation… poor posture often means restricted blood flow!
Chronic stress is one of the many causes of poor circulation. Meditation is a powerful natural remedy to reduce your stress level. it helps you to regulate your breathing rate, which is in turn connected to your heart rate and other physiological responses… including your circulation!
External Circulation Boosts
Where so many blood vessels are close to the surface of your skin, external options for boosting your circulation are an option!
You can try a massage – a delightful therapeutic option for sure!
If you prefer something you can do at home easily by yourself, perhaps dry brushing would be more your preference. Here’s a video that explains the process.
Foods to Eat
And of course there are nutritional ways to boost your nutrition as well!
Adventurous Alternative Therapies to Boost Your Circulation
Beyond just basic nutrition, movement, and massage, you can certainly try some more interesting approaches.
You can use light to improve your circulation! Therapy using Far Infrared Light has been shown to improve circulation! It’s not the cheapest option, but there is a growing body of research that supports a wide array of benefits beyond just circulation.
Additionally, therapy with hot or cold water will help your blood vessels open more or close a bit. If you alternate between the two extremes in a “contrast bath”, it is very beneficial for your circulation because it challenges your blood vessels to adapt quickly. But this therapy is not for the faint of heart as it’s generally not pleasant to start… although most people who have done it a few times report loving it after a while! If you are willing to give it a try, there is a lot of research to back up the benefits for several major body systems!
What do you think?
This post outlined a lot of options to boost your circulation, which one(s) sound interesting to you? Let me know in the comments below!