How to Improve Poor Blood Circulation and What Causes It

improving poor blood circulation

Good blood circulation is crucial to the overall health of your body. As your blood flows through the body it delivers oxygen and nutrients to your organs and facilitates bodily healing and the removal of excess waste products in your system. Since your body relies on blood circulation to function properly, having a restricted blood flow can lead to health complications, some very serious.We’re taking a look at how to improve poor blood circulation and what causes it.

Signs of Poor Blood Circulation

Signs of poor blood circulation are typically most experienced in the extremities such as arms or legs. This is because the restricted blood flow inside your body is reducing the amount of blood circulating in the farthest reaches of the body.

Learning how to improve poor blood circulation means knowing how to recognize the symptoms. The most common symptoms of poor circulation include:

  • Tingling or pins-and-needles sensation
  • Numbness in affected areas of the body
  • Swelling of lower extremities, especially seen in the ankles
  • Muscle cramps
  • Cold hands and feet
  • Pain or discomfort

While we all experience poor blood circulation from time to time, it’s important to note the difference between situational circulation issues (i.e. resulting from an uncomfortable sitting position) and chronic poor blood circulation stemming from an underlying health condition.

What Causes Poor Circulation?

The signs of poor blood circulation can point to a variety of underlying medical conditions. Left untreated, the lack of proper blood flow to any part of the body can lead to severe complications and consequences. Small bruises or bumps can turn into ulcers, which can become infected and cause severe health issues while cuts and sores will heal more slowly without proper blood supply.

In more serious cases, going without treatment to help poor blood circulation increases the risk of heart attack or stroke. Furthermore, some cases of poor blood circulation to extremities can also lead to the death of tissue and cause amputations.

So what causes poor circulation? Some of the most common underlying conditions for poor circulation include peripheral artery disease (PAD), blood clots, obesity, diabetes, and varicose veins. Each of these conditions restricts blood flow throughout the body, increasing the risk for health complications.

Perhaps the most common, PAD is often associated with atherosclerosis. This is where arteries stiffen due to plaque buildup within arteries and blood vessels. The result can be painful, cause tingling sensations, nerve damage, and tissue damage. Reduced blood flow to the brain from the carotid artery may result in a stroke while buildups in the heart drastically elevate the risk of heart attack. Peripheral artery disease is most commonly found in adults over 50 but can afflict people of any age. Smoking increases the chance of developing PAD, especially in younger adults. 

How to Improve Circulation

Now that we’ve learned about common symptoms and underlying causes, the next step is to take a look at how to improve poor blood circulation. You’ll find a few easy lifestyle changes can make all the difference. In addition to improving blood circulation, these changes and self-care activities improve heart health and are easily integratable into your daily routine:

Quit Smoking or Vaping

Smoking increases the risk of developing peripheral artery disease, especially in younger people. The root cause is nicotine, an active ingredient in cigarettes, electronic cigarettes, and smokeless tobacco methods like vaping. Nicotine harms the arterial walls and thickens blood, making for a bad combination. Quitting smoking can be very difficult but is worth the effort. 

Change Your Diet for Poor Circulation Improvement

Poor eating habits are another contributor to bad blood circulation. While a balanced diet is healthier all around, certain foods and drinks have been shown to help poor blood circulation. You may be familiar with some common suggestions such as pomegranates, cayenne pepper, and garlic, but others may surprise you. Fatty fish like salmon and tuna are great for how to improve poor blood circulation as they are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. If you’re vegetarian or vegan, kale is another source for omega-3 fatty acids.

Drinking certain liquids is another simple change to your diet for poor circulation improvement. The most obvious and suggested one is to drink more water. The goal for water intake is half your body weight in ounces each day. Drinking water helps improve blood circulation and flush toxins from your body. Another great drink to fight signs of poor blood circulation is green tea. It helps widen blood vessels in your body and is packed with antioxidants. 

Exercise for Better Circulation

Of course exercise makes our list on how to improve poor blood circulation! This doesn’t mean you have to hit the gym every day. Anything you do to get the blood pumping from traditional exercise to taking a brisk walk is enough to help boost blood flow. There are even loads of ways to integrate zero gravity chairs into your daily fitness routine so you don’t have to leave the comfort of your home! Other benefits of exercise include improved sleep quality, better moods, and increased libido.  

Massage to Improve Blood Flow

The pressure applied through massage is a great way to move blood throughout the body and improve general circulation. If you can’t get to your local massage spa, alternatives such as zero gravity massage recliners are great ways to experience these benefits at home. Massage not only works to help poor blood circulation but also keeps muscles from tensing up, allowing them to heal more quickly.

Manage Stress Levels

Managing stress levels is a simple method for how to improve poor blood circulation. There are endless ways to achieve this so finding one that fits your preferences is easy. Popular methods for managing stress levels include practicing mindfulness, meditation, and low-impact activities such as yoga and tai-chi. Not only does stress management help poor blood circulation, it helps improve heart function and simply makes your every day better!

Use Zero Gravity Chairs to Help Poor Blood Circulation

The health benefits of zero gravity chairs definitely include improving blood circulation. Designed by NASA, the zero gravity position evenly distributes weight along the entire body, reducing pressure on the spine, improving heart function, and increasing blood flow throughout the body. It’s also easy to incorporate a variety of activities while relaxing in your zero gravity chair that improve both your physical and mental health.

Other benefits of zero gravity chairs for improving blood circulation come from features such as massage and heat therapy. While the benefits of massage have already been noted, heat therapy is another great method for how to improve poor blood circulation as it encourages better blood flow throughout the body and works to alleviate blockages.

Learning how to improve poor blood circulation is paramount to your overall health. Since blood flow is connected with the health and performance of vital bodily systems, treating symptoms as soon as they occur is key to avoiding lasting damage or complications. As a versatile device for methods to improve circulation, choosing the right zero gravity chair to meet your needs is a choice you won’t regret.

Double Bonus: More ways to manage stress levels and take care of mental health (add articles on music apps and brain games) Looking for more ways to manage stress levels and take care of your mental health? Read 5 music & sound options for relaxing in a zero gravity chair and 7 brain games to play while relaxing in zero gravity position