Exercises that help stimulate blood circulation
Circulation is the process by which the heart pumps a person's blood around their body. Good circulation is vital to a person's health. So, how can someone improve their circulation?
As the blood circulates, it delivers oxygen and nutrients to the body's cells and takes away waste products. If people want to improve their circulation, there are some obvious places to start. These include:
- stopping smoking tobacco
- productsreducing intake of
- saturated fats
- trying not to sit still for long periods
In addition, trying one or more of the following may help improve circulation:
1. Maintaining a healthy weight
Maintaining a healthy weight helps promote good circulation. If a person is overweight, it may negatively affect their circulation.
A 2009 study found that losing weight improved circulation for women who were overweight. The participants increased their levels of a protein called adiponectin that is associated with vascular function.
Regular cardiovascular exercise, such as jogging, supports the health of the circulatory system and improves circulation.
A 2003 review noted that exercise improves the body's ability to take in and use oxygen. It also improves the capacity of blood vessels to dilate, which helps them work more efficiently, allowing the muscles to receive oxygen more easily.
These benefits of exercise improve circulation and mean that daily activities may be less tiring.
3. Practicing yoga
Yoga is a low-impact exercise that is easy to modify for beginners. It involves bending, stretching, and twisting. These movements can help to compress and decompress a person's veins, which may improve circulation.
A 2014 review of evidence published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiologyfound yoga was beneficial for the cardiovascular system and a person's metabolism.
A simple yoga position for beginners to try is the down-facing dog. This helps improve circulation as it puts the hips and heart above the head, allowing gravity to increase blood flow towards the head.
To do the downward-facing dog, a person should:
start on all fours, with shoulders above wrists, and hips above kneesbreathe inpush hips backward and up into the air while exhalingstraighten the arms and legspress firmly into the handsbreathe deeply, lifting and pressing down each heel in turn to deepen the stretchlet the neck relaxstay in position for three deep breathslowly lower hips back into starting position.
4. Eating oily fish
The omega-3 fatty acids in oily fish promote cardiovascular disease and improve circulation, according to this 2013 study.
Oily fish include:
salmon/ mackerel/ sardines/ tuna
For those who are vegetarian or vegan, kalecontains a small amount of omega-3 fatty acid. Supplements containing omega-3 fatty acids are another option for people who do not eat fish. A range of omega-3 supplements is available for purchase in health food stores, pharmacies, and online.
5. Drinking tea
The antioxidants in tea promote cardiovascular disease and may improve circulation. This is true for both black tea and green tea. A 2001 study, published in the journal Circulation, found that black tea improves blood vessel health. Healthy blood vessels help improve circulation.
Another study found that green tea consumption is associated with a lower rate of coronary artery disease. A range of teas is available for purchase online, including black tea and green tea.
6. Keeping iron levels balanced
Iron is an essential mineral for the circulatory system. It is required to make hemoglobin, one of the major components of red blood cells, which is needed to carry oxygen. Eating foods rich in iron, such as red meat or spinach, helps the body maintain this essential mineral. However, maintaining a healthy balance is necessary as well.
Too much iron may negatively affect cardiovascular health. A 2013 study found a link between having too much iron in the body and cardiovascular disease in people with high cholesterol and higher waist circumference measurements.
* Iron supplements are available for purchase online.