Do you feel tired? Have trouble concentrating? Are your hands and feet cold, even though the weather is warm? The reason for these things can be bad circulation. Natural methods, like exercise and diet, can easily alleviate the problem.
We rarely think about circulation, because its an automatic body function, as is breathing. When functioning properly, the bloodstream is like a highway with smooth traffic. Transport is efficient and all the drivers arrive at their destination in time.
This process is similar in the human body. The blood moves through the heart, lungs, arteries and veins supplying cells with oxygen necessary for life and nutrients, and removes carbon dioxide and waste products. But if the blood flow is impeded, all cells in the body are affected. Symptoms of poor circulation include a whole range of problems, from “blurry in my head” state, to numbness, burning, pain in the legs when walking, shortness of breath, fatigue and cold, especially in the limbs. Circulatory problems also contribute to serious health disorders, such as high blood pressure, stroke and heart attack.
First check your health
Healthy circulation can be hindered by inflammation, fat deposits or clots in the blood vessels. Sedentary lifestyle, excessive body weight, smoking and poor diet can also impair circulation. There are some diseases that also affect on circulation, including peripheral arterial disease and chronic venous insufficiency. Detailed medical examination is the best way to diagnose circulatory problems.
Healthy lifestyle helps
In many cases, simple lifestyle changes, like moderate physical exercise, can do wonders for circulation. Exercise can also strengthen the heart, lower your blood pressure, and lower your stress levels (read here the most effective stress management techniques)
If you’ve decided to start exercising, but your problem is starting, here are a few suggestions that may help:
- Exercising should be the first thing you do in the morning
- Try to exercise from 30 to 45 minutes a day in 2 or 3 intervals (read here what is happening in your body during the 30 minutes run)
- Change the type of exercise to avoid boredom or injury (example: a day of brisk walking, light jogging on the second day, the third riding a bike, etc.)
Changing diet is a good way to improve your circulation:
- Start by reducing the use of caffeine, alcohol and carbonated drinks
- Avoid foods that slow down the circulation, such as foods that contain a lot of sugar, starch and fat
- Eat more fresh fruits and vegetables in order to lower bad cholesterol. Instead of saturated animal fats and trans-fats (hydrogenated fats) use good fats rich in unsaturated omega-3 fatty acids, which can be found in olive oil, and monounsaturated fat which can be found in linen seed and nuts.
- Drink plenty of water. Even slight dehydration can slow circulation, because it makes the blood thicker. Its harder for thicker blood to move through the body. To improve the taste, you can add lemon or orange in the water.