In this article, we'll look at some great home remedies for blood circulation and a great treatment option from Eliquis (Apixaban), which is used to prevent serious blood clots from forming due to a certain irregular heartbeat (atrial fibrillation).
Improve your Poor Circulation by Moving
While some kind of movement is safe for most individuals, it's important to discuss your plans to become active with your healthcare team. This guidance is particularly true if you suffer from heart disease or have experienced a cardiac emergency. In addition, the many reasons for becoming physically active are compelling. For example, Medical News Today reports, "Exercise can improve circulation and make daily activities less tiring.”
In addition, the USA Vein Clinic states that “with just a few minutes of basic stretching a couple of times a day, you can drastically improve your circulation. Stretching increases blood flow to your body’s tissues and organs.” Further, a recent study suggests that a mild stretching routine may have circulatory benefits. When their findings were assessed, the researchers found that “stretching exercises improve vascular endothelial function and peripheral circulation in patients with acute myocardial infarction.”
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While I exercise regularly, I am also a fidgeter. Those around me often remark on my inability to sit still; I credit this busyness with my improved circulation (my feet tend to get chilly), as well as my enhanced low blood pressure. My circulation (including my cold feet) sees vast improvements when I am physically active on more days than I am not. Simply put, I get off the couch and get moving.
If your work or home life requires you to stand or sit for long periods, get moving! Try marching on the spot, toe raises, stretches, and mild calisthenics as you work! Many offices now offer standing desks, allowing for more healthy movement while at work. In addition, take a micro-break each hour to get your body active. Set an hourly alarm as a reminder. Becoming more physically active will help you to maintain an ideal body composition (think lean!); staying at a healthy weight will aid in your circulation.
Giving up tobacco for good is a huge ask and a significant challenge to meet. However, smoking cessation has never been better medically supported, and there are multiple tools to help you kick this unhealthy and expensive habit. In addition, the harmful effects of smoking on the body, including on circulation, are now well-known and better understood.
For example, USA Vein Clinics notes that “as you continue to smoke, blood vessels narrow, limiting arterial blood flow and causing a dramatic decrease in the oxygen and nutrients able to reach your cells, which in turn, can cause swelling in your feet and ankles.” When you consider the other health-related risks that come from smoking, including cancer, quitting is the only sensible option.
The American Cancer Society strongly advocates for a smoke-free lifestyle and offers numerous resources for quitting. In addition, the Society highlights that after just two weeks after quitting smoking, “Your circulation improves and your lung function increases.” By quitting smoking today, you are on your way to better circulation.
Enjoy a Glass of Water
Staying well hydrated throughout your busy day is essential for many health reasons, including adequate circulation. The USA Vein Clinic has considered how vital water is to our circulation and overall health: “When you are dehydrated, it can cause your blood pressure to drop, which creates disruption in the nutrients and oxygen your organs need to operate.”
Remember that caffeine and alcohol can be quite dehydrating, so avoid taking in too many caffeinated and alcoholic beverages and, instead, reach for a glass of water. Also, add sliced fruits such as lemons, oranges, limes, and berries to jazz up your water; adding flavor may increase your water intake.
Most health experts recommend a healthy diet. Avoid fast, highly processed foods high in fats and salt. Other food items to avoid for multiple health reasons are sodas, cakes, and other sweet treats. Instead, choose fruits, vegetables, and legumes. While it may be challenging to make this diet shift, the health rewards are numerous!
Other delicious staples of a heart-healthy diet include nuts, fish, and lean animal protein. Several other delicious foods are reported to aid in improving circulation; these can easily be added to most diets. My favorite is garlic, which helps to open blood vessels. More yummy ingredients include capsaicin, ginger, and turmeric, all of which can aid blood flow. Try adding beets, onions, and bright berries to your meals as a nutritious and delicious way to improve your circulation.
Poor blood circulation may be so much more than cold feet. When the body cannot adequately move blood through the body’s blood vessels, several concerning health issues can arise. These include muscle cramps, numbness, swelling, varicose veins, and even blood clots.
Poor circulation can also negatively impact skin health, digestion, and brain function. So, of course, you should check in with your doctor to ensure your overall health is excellent and there isn't an underlying cause for your poor circulation. But there are also many easy, at-home methods to increase blood flow and improve blood circulation!
The Cleveland Clinic provides a clear reason for wanting to improve your circulation:
- Plaque buildup, blood clots or narrowed blood vessels can lead to poor circulation. When
obstacles or narrow paths slow down blood flow, it’s difficult for your body to send blood to
every part of your body efficiently. Exercise and healthy food can help.