Naturally Improving Poor Circulation
Poor circulation is at the root of many potentially serious health issues. If untreated, poor circulation can lead to complications associated with heart attacks, stroke, high blood pressure, aneurysms, and kidney damage just to name a few. The first symptom is usually noticeable in the hands and feet. Extremities may get unusually cold or go numb for no apparent reason. Some blood circulation problems are caused by medical conditions, but the majority of people who have these issues can reverse them by changing certain aspects of their lifestyle.
How Blood Circulates
Circulation of the blood throughout your body begins with an organ the size of your fist. It’s through your heart that the blood is pumped through many miles of blood vessels in order to reach every part of your body. However, a free-flowing pipeline is required for good circulation. Your blood vessels must be clear for blood to circulate freely.
The circulation system is set up in such a way that the veins carry blood to the heart and the arteries carry blood away from the heart. This flow system efficiently carries nutrients and oxygen to every cell in your body. This system is also a way to carry unwanted toxins and waste material to the various excretory organs for disposal. If the blood vessels in the human body were laid end to end they would circle the Earth. Yet, if everything is working properly, it only takes about a minute for your blood to make it through the entire circuit.
The fact is that circulation is of the utmost importance to your health. Did you know that the first symptom of heart disease in over half of all cases is death? This figure warrants paying attention to how well your blood is circulating throughout your body and taking steps to improve circulation.
One of the major causes of poor circulation is leading a sedentary lifestyle. The modern job culture requires that many people do their jobs from a desk and, oftentimes, that requires sitting for six or eight hours a day. But one important factor in preventing or reversing poor circulation is to become more active. Be sure you are getting up and moving around every hour. It’s also important to get at least 30 minutes of continuous exercise every day. It doesn’t have to be particularly strenuous, just regular. Exercises like walking, stretching, or yoga are great for improving circulation.
Many circulation problems are caused by bad eating habits. Junk food, alcohol, and high-sugar beverages like soda are staples many Canadian's diet and, not surprisingly, diets that contain these non-nutritive foods are implicated in many health conditions including poor circulation. The best health advice is to give up this way of eating and drinking. Eat whole foods like fresh fruits and vegetables instead. Oranges in particular have bioflavonoids that strengthen capillaries and promote the circulation of blood throughout the body. Foods like watermelon and tomatoes contain lycopene which is known to help prevent the buildup of plaque which can hinder blood flow.
Combined with a balanced diet and regular exercise, massage therapy is a wonderful way to improve circulation. Massage helps to encourage blood flow which flushes toxins from the skin and muscle tissue. Massage also encourages and improves circulation of lymph fluids which results in improved body function.
Symptoms of Poor Circulation
Poor circulation affects the entire body. For example, if enough blood is not getting to the brain, it can cause dizziness, memory loss, or severe headaches. If blood does not circulate adequately to the liver, it can cause a buildup of toxins in the body. Some common signs of poor circulation are as follows:
- Very cold or numb hands, feet, or ears
- Extreme fatigue
- Leg cramps
- Sores that do not heal
- Irregular heart beat
- Itchy hands and feet
- Swelling in the hands and feet
Blood circulation problems can be very serious and can even be life threatening. But circulation can be significantly improved by making some positive lifestyle changes. Improving your diet and becoming more active are two very important modifications that can often prevent and reverse issues with poor circulation.
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