What happens to your body when you have poor blood circulation?
Tingling hands and feet, hair loss, constant fatigue, hypertension, headaches, feeling cold, aching muscles, swelling feet, and ankles, dry itchy skin, varicose veins, anxiety, chronic inflammation, memory loss, sluggish digestion, heart disease – are all associated with blood circulation problems.
Increasing the blood circulation in your legs and feet naturally – is not as hard as you may think – and can improve symptoms of a slow blood flow significantly.
In fact, the simple tips you’ll find below are mostly effortless, work super-quickly, and you may even enjoy doing them.
- 1 What Causes Poor Blood Circulation?
- 2 10 Ways to Increase Blood Circulation in Legs & Feet
What Causes Poor Blood Circulation?
We have an uncanny ability to spend hours on end sitting down, usually at work, and when we’re done with that we’re so exhausted we become one with our couches at home.
1. Lack of movement – when we don’t move, blood circulation decreases.
Every cell lacks enough oxygen and nutrients and nothing functions the way it’s supposed to.
That’s why sitting makes us much more tired than an hour of walking.
2. Food and diet – the modern American diet of processed foods and insufficient fruit and vegetables allows for plaque build-up in our arteries followed by a narrowing of our blood vessels.
3. Being overweight is another common reason. The more belly fat you lose, the better your arteries are able to expand when needed, allowing more flow of blood (according to researchers at John Hopkins University).
4. Poor blood circulation can be a warning sign of serious diseases like weak heart muscles, hardening of arteries, and Peripheral Artery Disease.
10 Ways to Increase Blood Circulation in Legs & Feet
As you probably know, the best way to improve blood circulation in your extremities is to change your lifestyle completely.
Switching to a real food diet, exercising regularly, and avoiding household toxins are the best ways to go, but this can be really hard for most people.
So, to make it more practical, discover 10 easy ways to give your blood circulation a quick boost:
1. Foods & Herbs That Improve Blood Circulation
Generally, fiber and antioxidant-rich foods are well-known for their ability to encourage blood circulation, but some specific circulation-boosting superfoods, herbs, and spices are:
1. Sunflower seeds – these contain a lot of Vitamin E, a particularly effective circulation-boosting nutrient.
Other Vitamin E rich foods are nuts, dark leafy greens, and tomatoes.
Toss all of them in your salad, add some pure olive oil, and your circulation-boosting (yummy) salad is ready.
2. Cod Liver Oil – Cod liver oil is a nutrient powerhouse, especially for Vitamins A, D, E, and omega-3 fatty acids. The fermented kind is even better.
3. Lemon, Orange, Vitamin-C-rich foods – lemons and oranges contain citrate, which naturally improves circulation.
Vitamin C that they offer is also important because a lack of it is associated with the narrowing of the arteries.
Other foods rich in Vitamin C are dark leafy greens (especially kale), bell peppers, fresh herbs, broccoli, cauliflower, kiwi fruits, etc.
See how to make an all-natural homemade Vitamin C powder – for pennies.
4. Cayenne Pepper – Chili peppers are well-known for their ability to increase blood flow, strengthen arteries, and stimulate the heart.
The main medicinal properties of cayenne are derived from a chemical called capsaicin. Capsaicin is the ingredient that gives peppers their heat.
You can add 1/4 teaspoon of ground Cayenne Pepper to your green juice, add it to soups, and use it topically for swollen ankles and feet by making a paste with water and olive oil.
Basically, any food that is naturally spicy will increase your blood circulation: mustard, ginger, and the all-mighty Turmeric are a few examples.
5. Ginko Biloba – Ginko is often used as a natural remedy for memory problems for its ability to help with blood circulation problems in the brain. Varicose veins can also be relieved with Ginko.
The most common way to use it is through a supplement, like this one.
6. Garlic – garlic was found to “cleanse” the blood and prevent plaque build-up in the arteries.
To get the benefits you’ll have to eat it raw (No more than 1 clove of garlic a day).
7. Berries – All berries are high in fiber, antioxidants, and just about every nutrient on earth.
And they taste so great so it’s easy to snack on some every day, right?
8. Beet Juice – Beet juice or beet powder is high in nitrates, which your body converts into nitric oxide.
Nitric oxide relaxes blood vessels and increases blood flow to muscle tissues.
Note: Make sure to check for contraindications if you’re taking other supplements or prescribed medication.
Easy Juice for Poor Blood Circulation
If you find it hard to incorporate all these foods, herbs, and spices into your diet, juicing is the easiest thing to do.
2. Exercises to Boost Blood Flow
Rebounding was declared the best exercise of all time by NASA scientists and is my favorite exercise.
Jumping on a rebounder (or mini trampoline), even for just a few minutes (a few times a day) is a super-easy way to instantly boost your blood circulation from head to toe while enjoying a good lymphatic system cleanse.
It’s like giving your blood vessels a personal trainer and a cleaning crew all in one!
Trampoline exercise works by promoting the movement of fluids through the body and stimulating the contraction of blood vessels and lymph vessels.
The act of jumping causes the body’s muscles to contract and relax rapidly, which can help to pump blood and lymph fluids throughout the body.
It also stimulates the contraction of the smooth muscle in the walls of blood vessels and lymph vessels, which can help to push fluids through the vessels and promote circulation.
3. Far Infrared Heating Pad
Heat is a quick way to temporarily increase local blood circulation. Heat expands the arteries (vasodilation) and capillaries and allows for the blood to flow more easily and effectively.
But, if you don’t like taking hot baths every day, an infrared heating pad is not only more convenient but more effective than a regular heating pad.
Infrared rays are proven to penetrate 2-5 cm deep, heating the body from the inside out, while ambient temperature stays relatively cool.
Infrared therapy dilates your arteries, gets your heart beating faster, and burns calories without moving a muscle.
4. Acupressure Mat
An acupressure mat, the modern-day bed of nails is truly a fast and easy way to improve blood circulation in a matter of minutes.
When you lie on an acupressure mat, dozens of little spikes (it doesn’t hurt, well, much) stimulate pressure points in your back, which makes your body “hurry” and send extra blood to the area, through the blood vessels being dilated.
Also, when the points on the mat are pressed against the skin, they can trigger the body’s release of endorphins, which are natural pain-relieving chemicals.
These chemicals can help to relax the muscles and reduce tension in the body, which can also contribute to improved blood flow.
It is also believed that, by stimulating the acupressure points, the mat helps to balance the flow of energy through the body and promote overall health.
5. Dry Brushing
Use a dry, natural bristle brush to gently scrub your skin in circular motions.
This process can help to improve blood circulation by physically stimulating the skin and underlying tissues.
It can also help to unclog pores, remove dead skin cells, and encourage the production of collagen, leaving you with silky smooth, and healthy skin.
Dry brushing is also a great way to wake up your skin and get the blood flowing in the morning, like a warm-up workout for your skin.
So, grab your brush and get ready to give your skin a little tickle and a boost in blood flow!
Brush in upward, circular motions toward your heart. Move the brush in a clockwise manner and go over each area of skin twice.
Did you know?
Dry skin brushing may help to soften hard fat deposits below the skin while distributing fat deposits more evenly. This may help to diminish the appearance of cellulite.
Dry brushing is also said to help reduce cellulite by removing toxins that may break down connective tissue, although some believe the effect is temporary.
6. Self Massage – Foam Roller/Infrared Foot Massager
Regular massages can really help you improve your blood circulation.
But, since most of us can’t afford frequent massages, using a self-massage tool is a great alternative.
A massage is like giving your blood vessels a pat on the back, telling them to wake up and start moving.
A self-massage applies pressure on the muscle and the blood moving.
This increased blood flow can help to oxygenate and nourish the body’s tissues.
Also, a self-massage can act as a gentle persuasion, convincing those stubborn knots in your muscles to loosen up and release tension, so that the blood can flow more freely.
It can also help to stimulate the lymphatic system, which is responsible for removing waste products and toxins from the body.
A foam roller is an amazingly effective tool for boosting blood circulation in your legs and feet, and you won’t need anyone’s help to use it.
Infrared Foot Massager
The infrared heat emitted by the massager can help to increase blood flow throughout the body by dilating blood vessels and encouraging the flow of oxygen-rich blood to the feet and lower legs.
The heat emitted by the massager gets your blood vessels ready for action.
Also, the vibration and massage functions of the foot massager can also help to stimulate blood flow by physically compressing and releasing blood vessels.
The more you stay hydrated, the better your blood will flow.
Drinking more water is like giving your blood vessels a thirst-quenching drink, they’ll be hydrated and ready to flow like a river.
When your body is dehydrated, it can cause the blood to become thicker. This can make it more difficult for the blood to flow through the vessels, leading to poor circulation.
When you drink water, it will help to thin the blood and promote better blood flow.
8. Breathing Exercises
If not the quantity, then the quality, right? If you have poor blood circulation and your cells don’t get enough oxygen, why not add more oxygen to every breath you take?
Deep breathing a few times a day is an easy (and very relaxing) way to increase the oxygen in your blood and thus your entire body, and even to instantly lower your blood pressure!
Some would claim stretching is not an easy way to boost blood flow, but I consider it to be because it’s fun.
Any stretch (you don’t have to become a master in Yoga) will boost your circulation immediately.
Get up at work or at home and do some stretches. Imagine you’re a cat and you’ve just woken up (again) from a long sleep.
When you stretch, your muscles contract and relax, which helps to pump blood throughout the body, kind of like a workout for the blood vessels.
This can help to bring oxygen and nutrients to the muscles and tissues, helping them to function at their best.
Breathe and enjoy that fantastic and relaxing feeling of just stretching for fun. Not to lose weight, not to work out, not for anything. Just for fun.
You can see stretching exercises for leg circulation HERE.
10. Inversion Therapy
Hanging upside down or even just inverting at the slightest angle helps your body to “work” with gravity to ease the circulation process.
Gravity helps your blood return faster and more effectively from your legs back to your heart and all the way to your brain.
The immediate results are improved brain function, collagen-boosting in your skin and joints, muscle relaxation, stress relief, and pain relief (which is almost immediate).
I am a great fan of inverting, and if you are not, you probably don’t know these fascinating little-known facts about inversion therapy (and why actress Eva Mendez and author Dan Brown use it every single day…).
Remember to keep your results by living healthy (and as naturally as possible), moving your butt, and laughing each and every day, and your blood flow will thank you by the end of today, I promise.
To your health and happiness,
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Cugusi L, et al.; Working Group of Gender Cardiovascular Disease of the Italian Society of Cardiology. Effects of a mini-trampoline rebounding exercise program on functional parameters, body composition and quality of life in overweight women. J Sports Med Phys Fitness 2018;58:287-94.
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