Tips to improve your circulation

Did you know that your body is made up of about 60,000 miles of blood vessels that carry blood to every corner of your body? If you ever have poor circulation, this means your blood flow is slow or something is blocking blood flow and those cells in your body aren’t getting the nutrients and oxygen they need to thrive. 

There are many ways to know if you have poor blood circulation:

  • Your hands or feet feel cold or numb
  • Your skin may be more dry than usual
  • Legs on light-skinned patients might get a blue tinge
  • Your nails are brittle or your hair falls out
  • Patients who have diabetes may have scrapes or sores that heal slowly
  • Men have trouble getting or keeping an erection

Here are some tips for improving your circulation:

  • Eat more plants. Consume a balanced diet with lots of fruits and vegetables. Avoid excess salt consumption and keep your weight in a healthy range.
  • Drink plenty of water. Water helps keep your blood thinner and moving through your body. Try to get at least 8 glasses of water every day.   
  • Quit the tobacco in any form. Nicotine harms the walls of your arteries and thickens your blood to the point where it can’t get through your veins and arteries. Nicotine is found in cigarettes, smokeless tobacco and electronic cigarettes. Talk to your doctor about ways to quit the habit. 
  • Get up and move. If you sit or stand for long periods of time for your work or at home, it’s important to get up and move every hour. Sitting for several hours at one time weakens leg muscles and slows blood flow in your legs, which can lead to a dangerous clot.
  • Exercise. Choose an exercise program that works for you and is approved by your doctor if you have any health conditions. Even low-impact exercises such as walking and yoga can help with blood flow and bring oxygen to your cells.
  • Watch your blood pressure. High blood pressure can cause arteriosclerosis, which hardens arteries and chokes off blood flow. Check your numbers at least once a month and consider keeping a blood pressure monitor at home for more frequent checks. Talk to your doctor about blood pressure medicine to keep it in check if you can’t do so with diet and exercise changes. 
  • Wear compression socks. These socks help put a squeeze on your legs so that your blood moves back up through your veins to your heart.

If you are interested in learning about more ways to improve your vascular health, call 817-893-2699 for an appointment.

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