Would you believe that if we were to connect every capillary, artery, and vein in one adult, such that we link them in one continuous length; they would cover a distance of 100000 KM? That is enough to wrap around planet earth 2.5 times! Your blood covers a great distance while circulating to every part of your body.
Blood is defined as a bodily fluid supplying essential substances around the body. Examples of the substances include oxygen, sugars, and hormones. A complex and interesting system, the blood circulatory system is very important. The heart pumps 24/7, supplying blood to the network of paths created by blood vessels, which transport blood to every part of the body.
Poor blood circulation affects the functioning of the body, and can lead to the following problems:
1. A tingling sensation or numbness in your hands or feet
2. Swelling of limbs
3. Problems with your digestive system
4. Recurring fatigue
5. Cramping of muscle and joints
6. Changes in skin color
8. Foot ulcers
9. Poor brain functioning (cognitive dysfunctioning)
The above medical problems can be avoided or treated by improving your blood circulation. But let’s be honest, when was the last time you paid mind to your blood circulation?
This article aims to enrich you with the daily routine you can put into practice to improve your blood circulation.
One of the benefits of physical exercise is that it gets your heart going, pumping blood to every corner of your body. And don’t be deluded that exercise only means hitting the gym hard. No. A simple walk gets your blood flowing, or biking, jogging, swimming, floor scrubbing, and rope jumping among other exercises. The reason these exercises are called aerobics is that aerobic means involving or requiring oxygen. Ensure your schedule includes some exercise time, and also regularly monitor your blood pressure.
Get a massage
Relaxing under the masterful kneading hands of a massage therapist does a lot more than just blow away your fatigue while sending waves of relief through your body. It improves blood circulation. The pressure applied to your body can decongest areas of your body and improve circulation. Read more on the benefits of a massage.
Monitor your stress levels and introduce a healthy diet
Stress hinders the normal functioning of your body. One of the things this can do is deteriorate your blood circulation. Ensure that you have a grip on your mental state, by regularly engaging in activities that keep stress levels flattened. Such activities include yoga; meditation; eating a healthy diet (more plant-based foods); doing things that help you relax like listening to calming music; cutting back on your caffeine intake; hanging out with people who bring out the best in you, among others.
Another underrated way of handling stress is unplugging from work, to take a break. There’s a difference between quitting, and stopping to take a breather; regather your energies and proceed. Learn to prioritize your health, after all, where’s the point in working yourself bone-tired only to end up spending the earnings on medical expenses, or losing your mind? The trick is always in striking a healthy balance between work and play.
Wisdom, like a fountain, flows from words of advice once enunciated by Gary Keller, a real estate entrepreneur: “Work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. The other four balls—family, health, friends, and integrity—are made of glass. If you drop one of these, it will be irrevocably scuffed, nicked, perhaps even shattered.
Drink enough water, daily
About half of the blood comprises water. There are many proven benefits of drinking water, and taking at least 8 glasses per day is good for your blood circulation. The discipline it takes to stick to this routine is high-level, but with will, and determination, you can get it done.
Indulge in green tea
Green tea has amazing powers in the body. More than being rich in antioxidants, it widens your blood vessels. This improves blood flow.
Elevate your legs, ideally at or above heart level
We’ve already mentioned physical exercise to improve your blood circulation. Add elevating your legs to it. You could lie on your back and rest your legs on a wall. It takes the pressure off your veins. Alternatively, you could sometimes choose to work while standing as opposed to sitting.
Cut back on alcohol consumption
Excessive consumption of alcohol could harden your arteries, leading to poor circulation of blood throughout the body. Thus, we must be conscious of the alcohol content we take, avoiding copious intake. Completely cutting off alcohol consumption would also be a win for alcoholics unable to drink moderately, whose ‘one for the road’ always ends in a drunken stupor.
Quit smoking tobacco
The nicotine in tobacco injures the walls of your arteries while thickening your blood. If your blood thickens, easy flow is hindered and clogging happens.
Dry-brush your body
Stroking your body using a brush with stiff bristles not only rids you of dry skin but also improves your blood circulation. On a daily, before you run yourself a shower, do sweep motions on your legs and feet, and then work your motion in circles on your belly and lower back.