The cardiovascular system is responsible for pumping blood from the heart to the rest of the body. Learning how to improve circulation in legs guarantees that the blood that travels downward will go back to your heart efficiently.
A healthy heart ensures that your cells, tissues, and organs get the nutrients they need from your blood. Thus, poor circulation doesn’t only affect the heart itself, but the rest of your systems as well.
Blood Circulation in the Legs: Why is It Important?
Circulation refers to the constant flow of blood within the body. Blood travels away from the heart and towards organs through the arteries, while it goes back to the heart through the veins.
Pushing the blood back to the heart from the legs is an exercise in circulation. Your body will need the extra help from the muscles around the veins to get the blood flowing accordingly.
From a big picture perspective, it’s understandable why we must work on improving our circulation. If you don’t get the optimal amount of nutrients from your blood, your health will suffer.
That said, even your physical abilities can be affected if you have poor circulation in your legs. For athletes, it may lessen their leg strength and prevent them from running faster.
But athletes and gym enthusiasts aren’t the only ones who should worry. In general, men may deal with erectile dysfunction because blood can’t properly flow through their lower body.
Factors That Affect Circulation
One of the most common factors that affect circulation is aging. As you grow older, arteries tend to become narrower and their walls less elastic.
In this case, your heart will need to work harder to pump blood into your systems. But even if you’re still in your prime years, your arteries can have a harder time doing its job when you’re overweight and lead a sedentary life.
Other causes of poor circulation include:
Addressing these factors is usually enough to solvs a great deal of your circulation issues. Once you eliminate the underlying cause, symptoms gradually disappear over time.
What Happens When You Have Poor Circulation?
Some symptoms of poor circulation aren’t immediately obvious. However, whether it’s obvious or not, poor circulation poses a risk because your body requires consistent blood flow to work as it should.
Wondering whether you may be dealing with poor circulation? Listed below are some of the most common symptoms:
Although these symptoms can also be signs of other health issues, it can be telling if you’re dealing with a number of them at the same time. The next section will discuss how to improve circulation in legs without having to spend on expensive treatments.
How to Improve Lower Body Circulation
Moving the blood from your lower body back to your heart isn't easy. After all, when your blood flows upward it goes against the force of gravity. That's why it needs that extra push to move properly.
Because efficient circulation generally declines with age, doctors may prescribe certain medications and blood thinners to help it. Fortunately, there are also a few tips that you can follow to boost your blood flow yourself, naturally.
If you want to improve circulation in your legs, here are 8 simple lifestyle changes that are guaranteed to help a lot:
1. Sit Properly
You can already do great wonders for your circulation simply by improving the way you sit. While sitting is a significant part of being human, it doesn’t mean we all know how to do it in a healthy way.
There are certain sitting positions that can inhibit blood flow, such as sitting with your legs crossed or sitting on your feet. It also doesn’t help that modern life has gotten us accustomed to all that sitting in the workplace.
The best sitting position would be a neutral position in which your feet are flat on the floor and your legs are at shoulder-width (or a little wider). This allows you to distribute your weight evenly on your legs and hips.
2. Go for Regular Walks
Nothing gets your circulation going like consistent movements. This is why if you have a desk job, it’s recommended to stand up and move from time to time.
If you find yourself glued to your office desk for a huge part of the day, your lower body circulation may suffer, especially if you don’t engage in any physical activity. A simple solution is to allot a few minutes of your time every day for walking.
It’s even better if you can simply integrate it into your daily life. For instance, if your commutes already involve walks, then you’re already on the right path.
Over time, walking will not only help you maintain a healthy weight and minimize the risk of developing heart disease, but also boost your mood as well.
3. Eat and Hydrate Well
Foods that are high in vitamin C, vitamin E, and omega-3 fatty acids can improve overall heart health. When your heart is heathy, it can do a better job in keeping your blood circulation in top shape.
Ensuring that you’re always well-hydrated also supports circulation. This gives the heart an easier time pumping blood to all your muscles.
Meanwhile, if you’re consistently dehydrated, your blood will lose its fluids and become more viscous as a result. Hence, when your blood is literally thicker, it will have a harder time flowing through your body.
That said, it might be worth avoiding beverages that have dehydrating properties, such as coffee and alcohol. Of course, you don’t have to give them up completely, but it’s better to consume them in moderation.
4. Perform Dynamic Stretches
Dynamic stretches are active movements that warm up your muscles and get them ready for the workout ahead. You may not necessarily need to warm up for anything, but simply performing dynamic stretches is enough to get your blood pumping.
Compared to static stretches where you hold a particular position for a few seconds, dynamic stretches mimic certain athletic movements to improve the body’s range of motion.
5. Try Yoga
On top of walking, yoga is another low-impact exercise that can get your blood flowing. When you think of yoga, you may not exactly think that it’s exciting, but fortunately it has more intense varieties if that’s what you prefer.
For beginners, the gentle Hatha yoga is a good entry point. This is the yoga that people typically imagine when someone mentions it to them.
If you’re looking for something more challenging, you can try out Bikram yoga. This is one of the best exercises to get into if you want to break a sweat while also improving your core strength and flexibility.
6. Ditch Cigarettes
Cigarette smoking is known to damage your blood vessels. It can also make you more prone to forming blood clots.
This is why athletes are discouraged from smoking, especially when they’re training for a big competition. However, even if you’re not an athlete, it’s still recommended to just avoid smoking altogether if you don’t want to have any issues with circulation.
7. Minimize Stress Levels
Stress can affect your life in many different ways. Have you ever noticed that when you’re stressed, you simply aren’t at your best physically, mentally, and emotionally?
That’s because it also affects your body’s circulation. As a result, you’re not getting the nutrients and oxygen you need.
Thus, it’s highly recommended to look for healthy ways to deal with stress. You can try being more active to make you more stress-resistant, or you can also learn breathing exercises to help yourself calm down at need.
8. Take a Black Ginger Supplement
To further improve the results that you’ll be getting from the aforementioned tips, top it off by taking Kaempferia parviflora, or more commonly known as black ginger.
In its native Thailand, black ginger is typically used by males as a tonic herb, energy booster, and a longevity agent. In fact, it’s popular among their Muay Thai fighters because it boosts their strength, muscle endurance, and athletic performance.
Some studies also suggest that it helps manage erectile dysfunction and improve blood flow. Best of all, it’s a natural ingredient with minimal side effects.
Improving Circulation in the Legs Boosts Overall Circulation
Lack of exercise and bad lifestyle choices can compromise your circulation. This can affect many aspects of your health because you aren’t getting the nutrients that your body needs to function at its best.
Thus, learning how to improve circulation in legs is important if you wish to enhance your overall health. Fortunately, this can easily be solved by following the all-natural tips we mentioned in this post.