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Exercises to Increase Blood Circulation

by
author image Meredith Crilly
Meredith C. has worked as a nutrition educator, chef and community health projects since 2011. She received a Bachelor of Science in nutrition from the University of Tennessee and is currently completing an MS/DI program in nutrition.
Exercises to Increase Blood Circulation
A man jogging outside Photo Credit Karl Weatherly/Photodisc/Getty Images

Proper blood circulation plays a vital role in general health. The bloodstream continuously transports oxygen and nutrients to the brain, skin, and vital organs in the body. When your circulation is reduced, various diseases such as varicose veins, kidney disease, and even stroke may occur. However, exercise plays a vital role in improving blood circulation.

Raise Your Heart Rate

Any type of exercise that increases heart rate improves circulation. When the heart muscle contracts at a higher rate, the increased volume of blood moves more rapidly through the arteries and veins of the body, boosting circulation. You may know these exercises as cardio activities, and they are a vital part of improving your circulation. Daily activities such as walking or riding a bicycle strengthen and enlarge the heart muscle, improving the pumping efficiency. Increased circulation does not require extreme exercise, but can be achieved through daily exercises. If you want to incorporate more cardio exercise into your day, consider taking up running, swimming, kickboxing, skipping rope, and skiing. These are just a few effective options.

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Pump Your Blood With Resistance

Both aerobic and anaerobic exercise improve circulation, but studies have shown that anaerobic or resistance exercise shows a greater increase in circulation. In a study funded by the National Strength and Conditioning Association, researchers studied 10 healthy, active men during both aerobic and resistance exercises. They determined that the resistance exercise increased blood flow to limbs more than aerobic exercise.

Amp Up Resistance Training

Resistance exercises may include lifting weights, sit-ups, pushups and chin-ups. Resistance training stimulates muscle growth and strength, improving blood flow to the arms and legs. Your circulation improves through consistent resistance training, making it an important component of a workout. To see increased circulation, incorporate resistance training into your workouts. Incorporate a variety of weight training exercises such as bench presses, squats, lunges, leg curls, overhead presses, and oblique twists. These exercises can be done by themselves or as part of your overall workout.

Building A Healthy Body For Life

Maintaining proper blood circulation should be a priority for all people. Regardless of your age or physical abilities, regular exercise to promote circulation has beneficial effects. Improving and maintaining blood circulation builds a strong heart muscle and also improves the efficiency of your body, ensuring that both the arms and legs receive oxygen and other vital nutrients.

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