Quite often people complain of muscle cramps or numbness in their legs and feet and look for ways to eliminate these symptoms. The key to finding the right solution is knowing what causes them. In most cases, the unpleasant feeling can be caused by poor blood circulation.
The symptoms of poor circulation quite often can be a result of improper diet or lack of movement throughout the day but in some cases, they can be a signal for a more serious condition. There are certain tips that can help you improve your blood circulation in legs and feet that are quite easy to follow. Still, if you experience continuous discomfort, it is advisable to consult a doctor who can prescribe you an appropriate therapy and/or medication that can reduce and eliminate the symptoms of poor blood circulation.
Why is blood circulation important?
Blood circulation is very important for the right functioning of our body. The circulation system is responsible for delivering oxygen and nutrients throughout the body. If the blood flow to some parts is reduced, the result is poor circulation that is not quite pleasant to feel. Most often this happens in your legs and arms. As a result, you feel them cold, numb or weak and you are not sure if you can perform your daily activities properly.
It is essential to try and help your body by doing your best to improve your blood circulation. This can be done in several ways and it is not necessary to feel the symptoms of poor blood circulation in order to implement the advice given below.
How to recognize poor circulation?
Not all of the pain or numbness you feel in your legs and feet is caused by poor circulation but still, these are two of the most common symptoms associated with the condition. Some of the other signs that can help you recognize the problem include:
- Felling your hands and/or legs cold
- Getting a blue tinge on your legs. This is especially visible on those people who have light skin
- Tingling in legs, feet, and arms
- Throbbing in your limbs
- Muscle cramps
- Dry skin
- Brittle nails
- Falling hair especially on the lower limbs
- Wounds and sores heal slower, especially for those people who are suffering from diabetes
If you experience even one of its symptoms, it is a good idea to change something in your diet and daily routine so that you can improve your blood circulation. In case you have most of the symptoms, it is advisable to consult your doctor in order to avoid the condition getting worse.
Improve leg circulation by leg-healthy habits
One of the best ways to improve your blood circulation in legs and feet is by adopting a few habits that are good for your legs in general. For example, some small changes to your body position while sitting can have a tremendous effect on your blood circulation. Here is a list of things you can do in order to avoid poor circulation:
- Avoid crossing your legs while sitting. This can cut off blood circulation to your legs and feet. It is better to sit with your legs spaced slightly apart.
- Elevate your legs while sitting. If possible, put your legs on a stool or other place about 6 to 12 inches (15.2 to 30.5 cm) above the ground.
- Get up from your chair regularly. Avoid sitting for too long without moving. You can even try working at a stand-up desk and move around while doing your job.
- Exercise. Exercise is good for your blood circulation and can strengthen your feet and help you with pain as well. You can start by walking for at least 30 minutes 4-5 times a week, do yoga, run, swim or ride a bike. If you exercise daily, you will enjoy better results and feel better as a whole.
- Choose the right type of shoes. We spend most of our time wearing shoes, so it is of paramount importance that they are comfortable. If your shoes are too tight, with pointy toes or on high heels, they may impede blood flow between your heart and legs. Make sure to choose such models that provide sufficient room for your feet and allow them to breathe. You can also substitute high heels for wedges.
- Put your feet up. If you are tired after work and your feet and ankles are swollen, a good exercise to improve your condition is by lifting your legs against a wall. It is a yoga pose called viparita karani that you can do at home even if you have never practiced yoga before. Lie on the floor or on a stiff bed and put your feet up with your bottom against the wall. Stretch your arms with palms down so that you can balance.
- Sleep with a pillow under your feet. This position will improve your blood circulation and is also quite good for your spine.
- Stretch regularly. Take on a proper stretching technique and do it regularly so that you can enjoy the positive effects it brings. It helps with blood circulation that affects the overall abilities to move and function and improves flexibility.
- Do a few squats every day. The exercise increases blood flow, lowers blood sugar, and can help to alleviate back pain.
These are various tips that can help you reduce poor circulation and feel fir and more energized throughout the day while being able to get a good rest at night.
Change your diet for better leg circulation
Another major factor that affects blood circulation is the type and amount of food we take. By changing our diet and/or adding a few supplements, we can truly improve our condition. Here is an example of what you need to include in your diet and which types of food and supplements to avoid:
- Stay hydrated if you want your blood to keep moving. Blood is half water so it is essential to drink enough during the day.
- Eat less salt. The excess amount of salt makes your body retain water and swell. As a result, your veins are put under pressure and cannot serve its main purpose – to let the blood flow freely. All of this leads to poor circulation. Avoid salty snacks and try to reduce the salt intake as a whole.
- Snack on fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
- Avoid saturated fats. This means to eat less red meat, chicken, cheese, and other animal products.
- Take some supplements. There are a few herbs that stimulate blood circulation and that can be taken as a supplement or drunk as tea. A few examples of such herbs include birch bark, gingko, and cayenne pepper. Fish oil supplements are also a good form of adding Omega 3 fatty acids that increase the level of good cholesterol, which improves circulation.
Another important thing is to watch over your weight. even a few extra kilos cause problems to your legs and knees and slows down blood circulation. Try maintaining a healthy weight, which is appropriate for your body type. It might be a good idea to consult your doctor or a nutritionist. With the help of the experts, you will be able to find the right diet that gives you energy and helps your blood circulation. The general rule is to avoid junk food, fast food or microwaved dishes and opt for freshly cooked meals with lean meat, lots of vegetables and fibers. It is also better to cook your own food as thus you can control the salt and other spices that aim to improve the taste but might harm your health.
If you have established a daily routine that includes regular exercise and a healthier diet, it is highly recommendable to quit smoking as well, even if you just enjoy an occasional cigarette or two. Smoking can be one of the primary causes of poor blood circulation since it can affect the arteries in the legs by causing a peripheral artery disease. In this case, your arteries get harder and cannot circulate blood properly. But even without the disease, smoking causes your heart to work under unfavorable conditions that can cause damaged blood vessels and veins. Quite often, it also leads to swelling in the ankles and feet.
The solution to this problem is to keep your blood vessels healthy, which can be done by not smoking or using any other tobacco products.
Wear compression socks
Compression can help with blood circulation and help you get rid of pain and swelling. In order to achieve that, you only need to find the right pair of compression socks for you. There are various lengths of socks that apply a different amount of pressure to your feet, calves, and legs. You may need to consult a doctor to determine which type is the best for you. You can also order socks that are specifically made for your condition.
Meantime, you can have a look at our online store and choose among three of the most popular and comfortable types of compression socks that we offer:
- Zip compression socks that increase blood circulation while reducing the pain. The new zip technology allows for more comfort and makes putting the socks on much easier.
- Pain relief foot compression socks that will stabilize your ankles and feet, reduce swellings and relieve foot pain. They are good for everyday use and are also suitable for more active people and athletes.
- Professional calf compression socks that are a good solution to minimize swelling, reduce pain, and relief from fatigue. They are perfect for sports performance, sports recovery, shin splints, standing or sitting all day, travel, varicose veins, and swollen or tired aching legs
In addition to compression socks, ladies can opt for a compression hose that is specifically designed to offer more protection, stabilize the leg tissue, and enhance blood circulation.
Take a good rest
Quite often stress can be one of the main culprits for your worsened health and mental condition. It can also affect your blood circulation in a negative way. Therefore, it is necessary to find ways to manage your stress levels. Take a good rest, listen to your favorite music, use meditation or go out with friends. You can also take a long hot bath as it will have a double positive effect on you. Warm water stimulates blood circulation as it opens your veins and arteries wider. Sipping hot tea or water has the same effect.
Consult a doctor
If the condition is persistent, you may need to consult your doctor. In many cases, poor blood circulation can be a symptom of a more serious medical condition such as diabetes, obesity, heart disease, arterial complications or peripheral artery disease. Your doctor will be able to determine the right cause and prescribe proper treatment that is usually a combination of medication and a healthier lifestyle.
Poor blood circulation can be dangerous to your health and as a minimum, it causes unpleasant body reactions as cold and numb limbs, muscle cramps, etc. There are many ways to prevent poor blood circulation by incorporating small tricks in your lifestyle as the ones listed above. If the condition is persistent, though, make sure to consult your doctor and take proper care of your health.
Here are some of the best products to help blood circulation: