What is one thing that keeps your body healthy, your extremities warm, your immune system strong, your face glowing, and your energy levels lasting all day long? If you guessed proper blood circulation, you’re right. Your circulatory system is responsible for a very important mission: to deliver oxygen and vital nutrients to all organs and tissues, ensuring they function normally.
As with many processes that are hidden from the eye, you can’t really appreciate the true value of healthy blood circulation until there’s a problem. There are many factors that can negatively affect your circulatory health—sedentary lifestyle, processed foods, smoking, and tight shoes are just a few examples. As a result, the temperature may change in your feet and hands regardless of the temperature, you might feel tired all the time, and your body tends to retain water—which results in swollen legs and puffy eyes. (Without proper circulation, your body becomes a toxic cesspool.)
The following tricks are very easy to do at home, helping boost blood circulation and promoting a healthier blood flow.
1. Wear comfortable clothes and shoes. Being stylish and fashionable doesn’t mean you have to be uncomfortable. Yes, tight-fitting clothes and high heels may give you that posh red-carpet look, but they are only appropriate for occasions that call for them, rather than for daily wear. Choose clothes that don’t put too much pressure on your waist, legs, and groin area. Your swollen legs and cold feet could, in fact, be caused by movement-restricting pants and improperly fitting shoes. Low heels or flats let you keep good posture and even promote blood circulation by making the muscles in your calves’ work and pump the blood more efficiently.
2. Self-massage. If you feel pain and swelling in a certain part of your body, treat yourself to a self-massage to improve the circulation of blood and lymph. Start by gently rubbing the back of your knees, then work down your legs to your feet. As you squeeze and pull your muscles, you’ll make your blood move through the congested areas, improving the flow. (American doctor finally endorses the European vein secret that can support vein health in men and women.)
4. Make hot and cold compresses. You can go back and forth, alternating between hot and cold water in the shower (bonus point: a contrasting shower has an anti-aging effect on your skin), or you can apply hot compresses for a few seconds and then change to cold compresses. The heat dilates the blood vessels, increasing the blood flow and, as a result, oxygen delivery to the organs and tissues. The cold relieves pain and inflammation.
You don’t need to go out of your way to implement these simple changes—they can be easily worked into your daily life. The key is to remember what you can do to keep your blood vessels happy and in good shape. Don’t wait for the problem to get worse. These tricks can also help you prevent circulatory problems, not to mention they’re fun. Spicy foods, contrasting showers, massages, and comfortable flats—sounds like a great day, doesn’t it?