Your heart is pumping blood throughout your body around 72 times per minute, 4,320 times per hour, and 103,680 times a day. It works tirelessly from the moment you develop in your mother’s womb and until your last breath. Its goal is to ensure that every part of you, from the brain right to the tips of your toe, are functioning as intended.
With every beat, the heart sends blood onto your arteries which deliver oxygen and nutrients to the tissues. It is essential to one’s overall health.
However, sometimes, the blood flowing through the body slows down. There are many possible reasons behind poor circulation including cigarette smoking, obesity, having a sedentary lifestyle, and certain illnesses like diabetes and heart conditions.
Those who have poor circulation may experience physical symptoms such as tingling, numbness, pain, and muscle cramps, especially in their extremities. A reduced blood flow may also lead to decreased mobility, wounds that would not heal, and other health consequences.
How can you improve your blood circulation? Follow the tips below.
Keep Calm and Get Pampered
Pain is a common symptom of poor circulation. When the blood does not flow correctly, it might not reach certain parts of the body and, therefore, cannot deliver oxygen and nutrients to the tissues. The sensation of stiffness and cramping is a result of poor circulation.
Going to a massage spa, which most people do to relieve the pain, is not a bad idea. There is evidence that backs the claims that massage therapy can not only ease sore muscles but improve blood flow in certain body parts.
Moreover, the effects of massage therapy on circulation has been observed for up to 72 hours or three days. Those who are not as physically active can benefit from massage therapy, too.
Stop for Tea Time
What you eat affects your circulation and one of the best things you can do for your body is drink tea. Tea, both black and green, are high in antioxidants which maintain heart health. When your cardiovascular system is working efficiently, it can pump blood better throughout your body.
One study found that black tea protects the blood vessel which ensures that blood is flowing to every important organ and body part.
Moreover, green tea counts toward your daily water needs. Drinking beverages and keeping the body well-hydrated will ensure that all processes within your body, including circulation, are working fine.
Pile on the Peppers
Spicy food can make your heart beat faster and your blood flow to improve. Cayenne pepper, in particular, is rich with a phytochemical called capsaicin which lowers blood pressure, releasing nitric oxide and other vasodilators. Vasodilators improve circulation by expanding blood vessels which allow blood to flow freely.
There have been studies that have proven that ingesting cayenne pepper improves blood flow by boosting blood vessel strength and preventing plaque build-up in the arteries. That is why cayenne peppers are often an active ingredient in pain-relief creams. The spicy vegetable increases circulation in the affected area, allowing it to heal faster.
Exercise Every Day
Countless studies have already shown that exercise is good for your health. It should not be surprising that working out will lead to your blood flowing faster and better than when you are sitting down.
The heart pumps faster, delivering oxygen and nutrients throughout the body during physical activity to ensure that you have enough energy. Blood flow, therefore, becomes more efficient during exercise.
A sedentary lifestyle can restrict the arteries, reducing blood flow and increasing the risk of blood clots. Short-term, it can lead to muscle cramps. Long-term, it may lead to arterial ulcers on the lower extremities, particularly the legs and feet. If left untreated, amputation may become necessary.
Poor blood circulation is bad for your health, but it is easy to improve. By maintaining a balanced diet, exercising regularly, saying no to vices — things that you should already be doing — you can avoid blood flow issues and their consequences for your overall well-being.