5 Tips to Improve Circulation in the Winter
When it’s cold outside, you may feel like it takes double the time to get moving. Swelling and stiffness can make your legs and feet uncomfortable in a season when all you want to do is sit back and relax. Instead of spending hours on the couch or staying in bed, there are things you can do to improve circulation in your legs this winter. In fact, a few simple activities can make your entire body feel much better. Try one or more of the following tips to enhance your wintertime routine. With just a few supplies and helpful hints, you’ll be on your way to feeling healthier and more energized.
1. Move Your Body
When you sit or lie down for long periods of time, blood can pool inside your legs and feet. This causes swelling and discomfort. Exercise helps to improve circulation and reduce fluid in the limbs by increasing blood flow back to the heart.
You don’t have to run a marathon to see benefits. Walking, indoor swimming and yoga are all gentle yet helpful activities for enhancing circulation in your legs, ankles and feet. Other ideas for regular exercise include jogging and dancing. Aim for 30-60 minutes of activity each day. Don’t forget to dress warmly when you head outdoors. The right pants and socks can help to prevent frostbite. If you have any questions about your winter fitness plan, talk to your doctor.
2. Wear Compression Socks
Compression socks can help to improve the circulation in your legs by squeezing the areas where you experience fluid buildup. They’ll also help to keep you warm. The best compression socks for cold weather include our knee-high and thigh-high socks and stockings. Wear them under your coziest winter outfits, including thicker pants and coats.
If you’re going to a special event or holiday party, try compression pantyhose. While they provide the same reliable compression technology, they offer the fashionable look of regular tights. Pair them with a dress or festive blouse and slacks.
3. Take a Bath
Ingesting just a cup of hot water can increase blood flow and circulation throughout your veins and arteries. The same effects can be applied to your limbs by taking a warm bath. Fill your tub at a comfortable temperature and then submerge your feet, legs or entire body.
Soak for about 30 minutes. As your muscles relax, you’ll probably feel your legs loosening up and your natural movement improving. You may also see a decrease in the swelling in your feet.
4. Massage Your Legs
A leg massage is one of the most enjoyable ways to warm and de-stress your muscles. The gentle, swift strokes will also help to move fluid throughout your lower body. If you can’t make it to the masseuse, you can do a self-massage at home. It’s simple to do—and it will keep your body limber without having to see a professional.
Begin your self-massage by applying a small amount of body oil or lotion to your fingers and palms. Use smooth, circular motions to move your thumbs over the soles of your feet and then continue slowly working your fingertips and palms over your ankles, calves and thighs. Continue gently kneading your leg on the front of the thigh, the calf and the top of the foot. A warming oil is an excellent addition to a wintertime massage session. A small- to medium-sized foam roller is also a helpful tool, especially after exercise or stretching.
5. Try Natural Remedies
Many people swear by natural remedies to stay well throughout the winter season. Eating foods that promote circulation are just one option. Cayenne pepper is thought to help warm the body, improve digestion and enhance the expansion of blood vessels from head to toe. Pomegranate is a delicious seasonal fruit that contains antioxidants thought to enhance blood flow. Cinnamon, garlic and turmeric are also popular.
Iron, niacin and Omega-3 fatty acids are just a few of the supplements used to increase circulation naturally. Talk to your primary care provider or specialist if you’re interested in these options, especially if you have a health condition or take other medications.
Improved Circulation Means Enhanced Winter Wellness
Once you get moving and taking the best care of your legs, you’ll probably notice that they feel less uncomfortable and stiff on a regular basis. Best of all, many of the activities above will also enhance your overall wellness. With more mobility and energy, you’ll be able to enjoy the falling snow, socialize at holiday parties and enjoy a season of better health.