7 Ways to Improve Your Circulation
There are simple and fun solutions to improve poor circulation.
A healthy circulatory system delivers blood, oxygen, and other nourishment necessary to sustain life throughout the body. When the valves that control the return of blood (against gravity!) to the heart break down resulting in poor circulation, swelling in the lower extremities, and bulging, painful varicose veins can result.
Varicose veins are the outcome of poor circulation. Fortunately, there are many simple steps that you can take to improve circulation (and, in the process, your varicose veins). Below are a few simple changes you can make today to help you work towards a life free of ankle, leg, and foot swelling and unsightly varicose veins.
1. Regular Exercise
Aerobic exercise dramatically increases your heart rate, causing your heart to pump blood much more quickly. Try running, cycling, or a similar all-body training for at least half an hour daily. With time, your base heart rate should begin to rise as well.
2. Frequent Walks
If your body can’t handle the stress of intense aerobic exercise, regular walks can provide you with similar benefits. Since circulation in the veins is partly stimulated by muscle contractions, walking can promote blood flow throughout your body, particularly your legs. Walking can also help you lose weight, significantly contributing to varicose veins.
3. Stay Hydrated
The plasma in your blood is composed of 93 percent water. If you’re constantly dehydrated, you aren’t providing your blood with the fluids necessary to function correctly, much less flow through your body as it should. Try to minimize caffeine and alcohol consumption, as well, since both can be dehydrating.
4. Bathe in Warm Water
Since your veins and arteries expand in response to heat, a hot bath or shower can counter the effects of varicose veins and give your blood the space it needs to flow through your blood vessels.
Stress can cause a significant increase in blood pressure, which itself can exacerbate varicose veins. Finding a way to decompress can make a difference in managing your condition (and life!).
6. Stop Smoking
Among its many other detrimental effects, smoking damages your veins and increases your risk of blood clots. Quitting immediately can result in significant improvement with venous insufficiency (vein disease).
7. Stop Crossing Your Legs
The way you sit has more of an effect on your circulation than you think. If you regularly cross your legs, for example, you’re inadvertently restricting blood flow to them, further aggravating varicose veins. Whenever you sit, try to keep your legs spaced apart with your feet on the ground. If possible, elevate your legs to encourage circulation back to the heart.
Schedule With a Vein Health Expert
Because varicose veins have a hereditary component, you should pursue interventional medical treatment in addition to these basic lifestyle adjustments. Learn about the minimally invasive office procedures available at CVR by calling 1-800-FIX-LEGS to speak to a Patient Services Representative. Or, schedule an appointment today HERE.