Boost Your Blood Flow For Healthier, Happier Skin
Maintaining optimal health requires proper circulation, a.k.a. blood flow. It ensures that blood and oxygen circulate smoothly throughout the body, allowing all of the body's organs to operate effectively. It helps you heal wounds, keep your mind sharp, maintain your heart health, and even gives your skin a natural flush.
- Having good blood flow gives our cells the proper nutrients to function
- Quitting smoking and engaging in regular exercise have huge impacts on circulation
- Numbness and coldness in the hands and/or feet could be a sign of poor blood flow
Boost Your Blood Flow
Poor blood flow is often caused by poor or overly convenient lifestyle choices that cause your circulation to slow down. Here are some easy adjustments you can make to help your muscles, organs, and brain receive essential oxygen and nutrients:
1. Quit smoking
While most people are aware that smoking is harmful to their health, few are aware of how. When it comes to circulation, blood transports oxygen to our important organs, allowing us to operate. These oxygen-carrying cells are destroyed by carbon monoxide, which is produced by smoking. Our heart, lungs, and other organs begin to fail as a result. Smoking-related circulatory disease, rather than lung cancer, kills more smokers, and the harm begins with the first cigarette. So, if you smoke, attempt to quit. Don't start smoking if you don't already. Also, keep your distance from secondhand smoke.
2. Maintain a balanced diet
When it comes to eating well, you're probably more concerned with weight than with circulation. However, in addition to weight gain, eating too much fatty, processed, salty, and/or inflammatory food can raise blood pressure and cause heart disease. Having an unhealthy diet high in inflammatory foods will reduce blood blow.
3. Take stretch breaks when sitting for several hours
Many of our jobs require hours at a desk, sitting in traffic, etc. As far as blood flow goes, this is not ideal. Over time, sedentary lifestyles can result in deep vein thrombosis developing when veins expand due to a lack of activity deep within the body. A potentially life-threatening pulmonary embolism can occur when clots are dislodged or torn away. We can avoid these types of consequences by taking preventative actions such as regularly stretching. Moving our bodies has so many health benefits and increasing our circulation is just one.
4. Don’t ignore long-term issues
Diabetes and excessive blood pressure are two primary threats to a healthy circulatory system and proper blood flow. They're known as "silent killers" since their symptoms appear suddenly and can lead to heart disease and blood vessel damage, both of which are harmful to your blood circulation.
5. Wear compression socks
Put your wardrobe to good use. Compression socks squeeze your legs slightly, ensuring that your blood doesn't sit around for too long. Instead, it will return to your heart. Consult your doctor to determine the appropriate length and amount of pressure for you.
6. Get a massage
A massage may not only help you relax and unwind from the worries of everyday life, but it can also help your body's blood flow. Massages, like walking and exercise, serve to maintain good circulation by moving blood and lymph fluid through your limbs. Regular massages can also help you sleep better by reducing stress, improving flexibility and immunological function, and reducing pain. Messages, in particular, aid in the passage of lymph fluid via lymph veins, which improves the immune system's effectiveness.
Exercise improves circulation by increasing blood flow, causing the heart to circulate blood around the body more quickly, and aiding in the flushing of blood through the arteries. Aerobic exercise — the sort that puts you somewhat out of breath – is the greatest way to enhance circulation. This includes activities such as running, swimming, cycling, dancing, rowing, boxing, team sports, aerobic or cardio courses, or brisk walking for 30 minutes every day.
What Causes Poor Blood Flow
Poor blood flow can also be caused by:
- High blood pressure: Having high blood pressure weakens your blood vessel walls since it pushes against them with a lot of force. This makes blood flow via them more difficult.
- Atherosclerosis: High cholesterol and triglyceride levels, high blood pressure, smoking, diabetes, obesity, physical activity, and eating saturated fat all contribute to this condition. This manifests as plaque (a substance made up of fat and cholesterol) building up inside your arteries, restricting blood flow.
- Obesity: Obesity puts you at risk for medical conditions that decrease blood flow, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.
- Diabetes: Although you may believe that diabetes simply affects your blood sugar, it can also cause poor blood flow in specific places of your body. Leg cramps, as well as discomfort in the calves, thighs, or buttocks, are typical. When you're physically engaged, the cramping may be worse. People with severe diabetes may have trouble recognizing symptoms of impaired circulation. This is due to the fact that diabetic neuropathy can result in a loss of feeling in the extremities. Diabetes may wreak havoc on the heart and blood vessels. Diabetics are more likely to develop atherosclerosis, high blood pressure, and heart disease.
Know the Symptoms
Being able to identify blood flow issues is important. Typically, bad circulation affects the hands, arms, legs, and feet, the symptoms of poor blood flow include:
- Warmth or coldness
- Blueish skin tone
- Dry skin
- Brittle hair and nails
Written by Kiana St. Onge