How to Improve Your Blood Circulation

Before improving your blood circulation it is important to know about the Human Circulatory System and its impact on the human body. The Human Circulatory System is a combination of the cardiovascular system and lymphatic system.  The cardiovascular system functions to distribute blood to the body and the lymphatic system returns surplus, recycled plasma to the blood.

The circulatory system is not only responsible for supplying blood but is also responsible for the removal of carbon dioxide and several other wastes from the body along with providing fresh oxygen. Main components of this system are the heart, arteries, capillaries, and veins. The heart pumps and forces the blood to start its journey.

 Causes of poor blood circulation

There are many causes of poor blood circulation: our unhealthy lifestyles, over consumption of junk food, and remaining in a state of inactivity for long periods of time. All these things have an effect on our blood circulation. However, the most common causes of poor circulation are as follows:

  • Drinking Alcohol and smoking
  • Inadequate sleep
  • Chronic Diseases
  • Poor Diet
  • Long periods of sitting and standing
  • Wrong sitting and standing postures
  • Lack of exercise
  • Unnecessary Stress
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Blood vessels

Symptoms of Poor Circulation

There are several typical symptoms and signs of poor blood circulation. Most of them usually occur in our legs, hands, arms, and feet. Some common signs are:

1.       Pain in legs and arms

2.       Leg cramps during night

3.       Swelling and soreness in some body parts

4.       Chest pain

5.       Weakness or laziness

6.       Breathlessness

7.       Change of skin color

8.       Difficulty in climbing stairs

Effects of Poor blood circulation

Poor circulation can be dangerous for your health. Circulating the blood throughout the body is very important. Poor circulation not only affects the heart but the liver, brain, kidneys, and vital reproductive body parts. If we do not take care of our blood circulation and the blood is not flowing properly in our body then it causes many problems and diseases like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, swelling in the legs and arms, poor memory, headaches, heart problems, heart attack, hypertension, numbness, slow healing of wounds, cardiovascular diseases, paralysis, and many more.


How to improve blood circulation:

There are many simple and effective ways to improve your blood circulation. Taking care of a few simple things can help you improve your blood flow immensely and it is not that difficult at all. You can quit the habits of smoking and alcohol consumption, start some physical exercise, eat healthy food etc. These simple changes do not require any surgical intervention or intake of medicine, hence are strongly advised. As they say, prevention is better than cure.

Following are a few effective ways of improving blood circulation:

1.       Exercise

One of the major causes of poor circulation is our modern lifestyle. Many people have office jobs in which they have to sit for six to seven hours daily. But it is very important to be active and do some exercise.  To make yourself healthy you should walk for at least 30 to 40 minutes. There are some simple exercises such as yoga, swimming, stretching, biking, running, and aerobics that help to improve the blood flow.

2.       Diet

The food we eat has a deep effect on our health. Eating junk food can cause improper blood circulation. A high fiber diet is very good for circulation and should include foods such as corn, wheat, rice, oats, and nuts. You should include garlic in your routine diet as it helps prevent the formation of plaque. Fresh fruits and vegetables also play a good role in improving blood circulation like oranges, watermelon, lemon, onion, and pumpkin seeds.

Make a habit of drinking plenty of water daily.  Use foods that are high in vitamin B such as chili peppers, potatoes, and beans.


3.       Making Small Lifestyle Changes

A healthy lifestyle includes getting an adequate amount of sleep, too. Try to take a hot bath daily and do some heat treatments. It boosts the blood flow. If some areas of the body are tense or tight, try massaging the area. Swelling and tension in the muscles block the path of oxygen, so it’ s important to relieve this tension. Use the  stairs instead of an elevator before and after work. If you are going to some nearby store try walking instead of driving. Anger management is also very vital for a healthy blood circulation. If you find symptoms of poor circulation, consult a doctor immediately        .

4.       Relax Deeper and More Often

Relaxation is very important for your body. You should make some time for it every day. Do not neglect it as it settles your body. Long and intense stress is dreadful for blood circulation. Manage your time so that you get some to spend by yourself daily. Do things that you enjoy most, such as listening to some relaxing music or reading a good novel. Laughter is a great way to relax too. Indulge in things that make you smile, or laugh.

5.       Medical treatments

Apart from the above natural therapies there are a number of medical treatments through which blood circulation can be improved. Many medicines are available for this purpose but it is necessary to use medicine under a doctor’s supervision.

Blood thinners prevent clots from forming and improve circulation.

Vitamin supplements are also used in restoring and boosting blood circulation. Some of these are Vitamin A, Vitamin B, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin B6, Magnesium, Zinc, Vitamin B Complex, and flavonoids.

Physiotherapy also helps in improving circulation related problems.

In more serious conditions, surgeries are conducted. They remove the blood clots and blood plaque during the surgeries.

About the Author

Kaki Zell - Vice President of Sales, Marketing, eCommerce at Legs-4-Life LLC Kaki holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and Management from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. She’s been working in the medical device industry for over 11 years and currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Greensboro Science Center.  

Written April 2013 | Page Last Updated December 2021

Sources: “The Lymphatic System”

Cleveland Clinic. “Circulatory System: Anatomy and Function” 

Endeavor Physical Therapy and Wellness. “How Can We Treat Poor Circulation?” 

Life Hack. “3 Things You Didn't Know Can Cause Poor Blood Circulation” 

Medical News Today. “Can Vitamins Help Increase Blood Flow?” 

Medical News Today. “Increasing Blood Flow: Foods and More” 

Medical News Today. “What are the Symptoms of Poor Circulation?” 

Med India. “Poor Blood Circulation - Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis & Treatment” 

Nemours Kids Health. “Heart and Circulatory System (for Teens)” 

Nemours Kids Health. “Spleen and Lymphatic System (for Teens)” 

Vascular Health Clinics. “Why Blood Thinners Can Be Vital to Your Health” 

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