Natural Ways to Increase Blood Circulation

Woman slumping in a chair
Decreased blood circulation. (Image: Brand X Pictures/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of blood circulation through the body promotes a healthy, strong cardiovascular system. The cardiovascular system -- also called the circulatory system -- consists of the heart, the blood and complex networks of blood vessels called arteries, veins and capillaries. The circulatory system transports blood, nutrients and oxygen through the body and removes certain waste products. Natural ways to increase blood circulation commonly involve lifestyle modifications that have been approved by a health-care professional.

No More Butts

Close up of cigarettes
Stop smoking. (Image: Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Cigarette smoking damages your heart and increases the risk of cardiovascular disease. Even breathing secondhand smoke can weaken your heart's ability to properly pump blood through the circulatory system. The American Heart Association's Guide for Improving Cardiovascular Health points out that healthier lifestyles lead to reduced cardiovascular disease and improved blood circulation. Not smoking -- or quitting if you do -- is part of a healthier lifestyle.

Get Moving

Aerobics class
Aerobic exercise. (Image: Comstock/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

A sedentary lifestyle in which fewer than 30 minutes per day are spent being physically active contributes to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and decreased efficiency in the body’s circulatory system. Aerobic exercise increases blood circulation by raising your heart rate, which causes the heart to circulate blood more rapidly. Walking regularly for exercise strengthens the heart, enabling blood to circulate more quickly to muscles and improve circulation to small blood vessels.

A Healthy Diet

Portrait of a woman eating breakfast cereal with a spoon
Eat healthy meals. (Image: George Doyle/Valueline/Getty Images)

Drinking plenty of water each day helps you maintain a normal blood volume, which is needed for good circulation. In addition to proper hydration, a well-balanced diet of fruits, vegetables and whole grains supports your cardiovascular health by keeping your heart muscle strong and functioning normally. A healthy diet also decreases your risk for high cholesterol and fatty deposits forming in blood vessels, which can weaken the heart and impair circulation.

If the Shoe Fits

Woman Wearing High Heels on her Blistered Feet
Keep shoes loose and comfortable. (Image: Digital Vision./Photodisc/Getty Images)

Shoes and boots that are ill-fitting can decrease blood circulation by compressing your toes, feet and ankles. This creates pressure that flattens blood vessels and interferes with normal circulation. Shoes that don't fit properly can also cause swelling in the feet and legs that further interferes with circulating blood. Shoes that fit correctly will help to increase blood circulation and may decrease the risk of future circulatory problems.

REFERENCES & RESOURCES
Comments
PARTNER & LICENSEE OF THE LIVESTRONG FOUNDATION

Copyright © 2018 Leaf Group Ltd. Use of this web site constitutes acceptance of the LIVESTRONG.COM Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Copyright Policy. The material appearing on LIVESTRONG.COM is for educational use only. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. LIVESTRONG is a registered trademark of the LIVESTRONG Foundation. The LIVESTRONG Foundation and LIVESTRONG.COM do not endorse any of the products or services that are advertised on the web site. Moreover, we do not select every advertiser or advertisement that appears on the web site-many of the advertisements are served by third party advertising companies.