Health and Wellbeing
7 Tips For Improving Blood Circulation
Blood circulation is a continuous cycle in which your body provides oxygen and nutrients to muscles and organs throughout your body. The circulatory system also removes excess waste from your cells and organs, so your body can efficiently dispose of it. At the centre of the blood circulatory system is your heart, working hard to pump about five quarts of blood through your heart every single minute.
Throughout your lifetime, your blood circulation can change due to a range of factors, including stress, illness and poor diet. If left untreated, you are at risk of developing more serious health complications in the future. It is important to recognise the symptoms and causes of blood circulation problems, supporting you to take action to improve your health.
Symptoms of Poor Blood Circulation
Poor blood circulation symptoms are varied and could be indicative of a variety of conditions. We advise you to speak to your doctor if you are experiencing any of these symptoms to ensure that you receive the correct diagnosis and treatment.
Poor blood circulation symptoms can include:
- muscle cramps
- throbbing or stinging pain in your limbs
- decreased energy
- difficulty concentrating
- tummy aches and constipation
Causes of Blood Circulation Problems
While blood circulation problems are most commonly associated with older age, that is not exclusively the case.
It is key to understand what underlying possible causes may contribute to blood circulation problems so that you can spot the signs early on.
Some of the most common causes of blood circulation problems are:
- heart conditions
- peripheral artery disease
- deep vein thrombosis
- inactive lifestyle
If symptoms are left untreated for a continuous period, you could be at risk of suffering from more serious health complications - such as heart disease - in the future. However, poor blood circulation is highly treatable with lifestyle changes.
7 Ways to Improve Your Blood Flow And Circulation
After consulting with your doctor about your blood circulation symptoms, they may suggest a course of medication. Your doctor will also recommend lifestyle changes.
To make a lasting lifestyle change, it is essential to choose adjustments that work for your time availability, ability and enjoyment.
We’ve shared how to improve blood circulation with these 7 lifestyle changes.
We know that cardiovascular activity is essential for a healthy lifestyle - but running isn’t for everyone. Alternatively, you could try walking, cycling, swimming or dancing. It could be anything, as long as you’re moving! You could even join a local group to help you keep on track with your goals and meet new people.
2. Elevate your legs
What’s one of our favourite tips for improving your blood circulation? Putting your feet up and having a rest. It sounds simple (and even a little too good to be true), but it really is backed by science. By elevating your feet six inches above your heart, you can reduce swelling in the lower body and improve your blood circulation. Your current settee or bed may not be giving you the elevated support that you need, but there are plenty of products built with your health and comfort as a priority. For example, Oak Tree has created the exclusive Ultra Leg Lift Plus feature for our recliners, designed to improve your circulation and reduce swelling in the lower legs and ankles.
3. Eat a healthy diet
A healthy diet doesn’t have to mean a boring diet. Below we’ve included some key ingredients to add to your shopping trolly to help improve your blood circulation.
4. Quit smoking
Local stop smoking services are free, friendly and can massively boost your chances of quitting for good. These services are staffed by expert advisers and provide a range of proven methods to help you quit.
Check out the NHS’ list of stop smoking resources for more information.
5. Lose weight
The NHS has designed an app approved by doctors to support you with your weight-loss goals. Please consult with your GP to discuss a healthy weight-loss plan that works for you.
6. Control your stress
Long-term stress can have some serious effects on the body, so it is important to utilise resources that support you in managing your stress. There are plenty of apps like Headspace and Calm that can help you make time in the day to relax.
7. Wear compression gloves or stockings
Compression and heat are known to support blood circulation, so you could try a set of compression gloves or stockings to help your swelling.
Foods to Improve Blood Circulation
Ready for some good news? We’ve got a list of doctor-recommended foods that you should be eating more of. When you’re next at the supermarket, be sure to add some of these to your shopping trolly.
- fatty fish
Try out some of these blood circulation enhancing recipes to get you started:
Drinks to Improve Blood Circulation
Did you know that having a cup of tea can have some serious benefits for your health? The antioxidants in tea promote cardiovascular health and may improve circulation. This is true for both black tea and green tea. It has been reported that black tea in particular is beneficial for blood-vessel health.
You should be able to choose from a wide range of black and green teas at your local supermarket.
Now that you know a bit more about blood circulation problems, it’s time to go and pop your feet up and have a cup of tea. It’s doctor’s orders after all.
Please do consult your GP with any questions around blood circulation problems.