5 Ways to Boost Your Circulation, Daily
When the cold weather settles, one may really see how healthy our circulation is. Our skin cracks and peels; our muscles cramp and extremities feel numb as the blood rushes to keep the internal organs warm; and our blood pressure elevates as the vessels constrict to conserve body heat.
If these symptoms persist, we itch, our immune system weakens, and we feel fatigued.
But there’s no need to be a shell of ourselves for the sake of hibernation. Keep the good vibes flowing with these five at-home, head-to-toe treatments.
Start with what’s on your plate. Delicious basics like oranges, dark chocolate, sunflower seeds and watermelon may be mixed in to a heart-boosting breakfast. There’s much science about why these are good for you.
There’s also the more “exotic” staples like goji berries and ginko biloba, and the more savory and spicy complements like garlic and cayenne pepper.
All of these either improves our immune system; and/or strengthens capillaries, arteries and vessels via such things like flavonoids — shout out again to the chocolate.
Cayenne pepper is best consumed raw on salads or juiced. Similarly ginger root is another food that ought to be a beverage, when it comes to improving our metabolism and circulation. Boil some hot water and drop some fresh root slices in to make tea. Ginger is widely known to heal our digestive and circulatory systems.
Two to three cups daily of green tea, which is chock-full-o’ antioxidants, is another effective way to indulge in the subtle shifts towards a healthier life.
Of course, when in doubt (or debt), go for some good ol’ fashioned regular H2O. Consuming plenty of water (eight ounces!) supports the flushing of toxins that are carried through the body by circulation, before it’s eliminated.
It’s not hedonistic, if it’s healthy. We promise. The luxurious treat of an at-home sauna may be just what the doctor ordered. In fact, a doctor designed the Jacuzzi ® Sauna with infrared heat technology to deliver the same benefits of sitting in the sun without battling harmful ultraviolet rays.
It plugs into a regular outlet, and can be ordered small enough for some alone time (1-2 people) while the radiant heat penetrates deeply into the tissues, muscles, and joints to increase oxygen and improve circulation, detoxification, and tension release.
According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, regular use of a sauna has a similar effect on the cardiovascular system to running. Take that, paved roads and runner’s knee!
Common practice is to use a loofah in the shower to slough off dry skin and let your dermis “breathe” in the moisture. However, to truly reveal the glow of good circulation, start before you shower.
The dry brushing technique is a practice that supports lymphatic drainage; reduces the appearance of cellulite; and results in smoother, happily ruddied skin.
Start at the feet and work in circular motions all the way up — get it? Circular. Circulation. Sometimes the simplest answer is the only one.
Self-massage with aromatherapy oils like ginger and rosemary is a soothing alternative. Lest you forget to dry brush before you shower, afterwards, slather the bod with a self-care spa treatment, starting at the feet and working the oil into your skin in circular motions — longer strokes than you would use with the dry brush.
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Gentle stretching and meditative movements like Tai Chi and Yoga also improves circulation. Keep the body in motion throughout the day. Get up from the office chair before you legs fall asleep, get up off the couch before that arm you’re leaning on starts tingling.
For an added dose of blood flow, go upside down. Inversions relieve pressure off the feet, legs, and hips in ways that seated (or even standing) stretches do not. “Legs Up the Wall” (viparita karani) and “Shoulder Stand” (salamaba sarvangasana) are ideal to focus the freshly oxygenated in regions like our brain and heart. Once you return right-side-up again, the blood then rushes back into the lower limbs to benefit circulation there.
The mood shift when stretching is immediate. Imagine what it does for the body. So good.