Poor circulation is often the result of living a sedentary lifestyle. A very easy and natural way to get your circulation going once again is to boost your activity level. If you work at an occupation where you are sitting for a prolonged period, that too can make your circulation sluggish.
By simply upping your level of activity, from intense exercises to simply getting up more from your seat, you can begin to experience the benefits that proper circulation has to offer.
Below you will find a wide variety of activities and exercises that you can perform to boost your circulation.
Exercises for Poor Blood Circulation
The simplest exercise of all, walking is a great way to promote blood circulation. Make it a habit of skipping the elevator and taking the stairs instead. Even a short walk daily can make a difference in your symptoms.
Research conducted at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital’s Institute for Exercise and Environmental Medicine found that a moderate amount of aerobic exercise, like walking, a few times a week could improve blood circulation to the brain as much as 15 percent.
Lead researcher Rong Zhang explained “There are many studies that suggest that exercise improves brain function in older adults, but we don’t know exactly why the brain improves. Our study indicates it might be tied to an improvement in the supply of blood flow to the brain.”
Lie flat on your back with your hands resting at your sides. If you feel some strain in your lower back, you can put your hands under your buttocks for more comfort. Lift your legs off the floor and start pedaling, as if you were on a bike. The more you raise your legs, the better you can boost your circulation. Keep cycling until you can feel the blood flowing in your legs and the pain starting to subside.
Do Leg Lifts
Start in the same floor position as in the previous exercise. Raise your right leg and hold it perpendicular to the floor. Make sure your butt is pressed down and your lower back remains imprinted on the floor. Hold until you feel the blood flowing back into your feet, calves, and thighs. Repeat the exercise for your left leg. You can also raise both legs up to the ceiling, resting against the wall. Another option is rotating your ankles while your legs are still up high.
Do Knee Bends
While lying on your back, bring one knee into your chest, holding on behind your knee. Alternate between pointing and flexing your foot in this position. Pay attention to the form and don’t rush through the exercise. You want to make sure that the muscles on your calves and the tendons around your ankles tighten. Let go, and switch legs.
Squat-To-Row with Resistance Band
While holding on to a resistance band that is wrapped around a fixed object, squat down. When you come up perform a row which is when you pull your arms back, keeping your elbow bent at 90 degrees.
This can be performed on your toes or on your feet. First, lay flat on the floor on your stomach. Bring your hands out to the side of your body. Now, push your body weight up and then lower yourself back down.
This exercise boosts circulation to the calf and foot. Sit on the floor and extend one leg in front of you. Alternate moving your foot towards you so it is straight up and then flex if forward as if it is pointing away from you. Essentially the same motion as pushing the gas on a car and releasing.
Lay on your back and place one hand on your stomach and the other on your chest. Breathe in and try to raise your hand from your belly. When this happens, you are breathing from your diaphragm. If the hand on your chest raises, then you are breathing incorrectly and not as deep.
In a standing position, have one foot in front of the other and your stance should resemble that of a boxer/fighter. The hand should first be in front of your face as if you are guarding yourself against a hit. When you punch, you extend one arm out in front and pivot your body weight. This means slightly raising on your back toes. Rotate punching between arms.
These exercises will help you relieve discomfort and pain while boosting your blood circulation. Along with proper weight management and a healthy diet low in sodium and high in fiber, it’s a wonderful way to reduce symptoms. For best results, avoid high heels and tight-fitting clothes, don’t cross your legs when seated and alternate your sitting or standing position often.
Yoga Poses to Improve Blood Circulation
Mountain Pose: There are many studies that suggest that exercise improves brain function in older adults, but we don’t know exactly why the brain improves. Our study indicates it might be tied to an improvement in the supply of blood flow to the brain.
Chair Pose: Stand up straight with your feet together and arms down at your sides. Now raise your arms over your head so that your palms touch in prayer pose above your head. While stretching your arms and hands upward, slowly bend your knees as much as you can without causing pain or injury. While doing this, your arms will naturally start to lean forward. It is important to keep your thighs touching or as close as possible during this time. Now try to get your arms up alongside your ears. Tilt your pelvis and round the spine, creating a bit of a hollow abdomen. Hold for 30 seconds and breath slowly through your nose
Warrior II: To complete the warrior 2 stance, begin in a lunge position with your right foot in front of your left foot. Your right knee should be bent at 90 degrees and toes should be pointed toward the front of the room (or straight ahead).
Rotate your torso so that it is facing forward along with your left foot. Your back leg should be straight and your right foot should be aligned with your second and third toe.
Now inhale and raise your arms and hands so they are at the height of your shoulders straight out.
Keep your core engaged and stay in this position for 12 to 15 breaths.
Triangle: For this position, envision yourself becoming a triangle. To achieve the triangle shape, extend your front leg from your extended side angle pose so now both legs are straight but still apart.
Your right hand will now be to the floor – or yoga block, if needed – but no longer resting on your knee. Your left arm is now straight up to the sky. Hold this position for 12 breaths.
If you can’t reach your hand to the floor, it can be rested on your shin.
Once you complete all three poses on your right side, you can repeat them on your left side.
Downward Dog: A common yoga pose and one that starts down on all fours. Raise yourself on all for limbs and raise your buttocks into the air. Your body should be in a triangle-like position. Hold this position for 10 breaths.
Yoga Lunge: Begin from a standing position. Take a large step forward until both knees make 90-degree angles. Do not let your knee touch the ground. Raise back to a standing position and repeat with the other leg.
Pigeon: The pigeon pose is a fairly advanced yoga technique, so make sure you are comfortable before attempting the pose. Start in a plank or push-up position. Bring one knee up so that it is on the floor near the opposite hand. Slide the other leg back while lowering your body on top of the bent leg. Repeat with the opposite leg.
Savasana: Also known as “corpse pose,” savasana is one of the most relaxing, restorative, and rejuvenating postures. It may seem like all you’re doing is lying down, but the reality is that you’re focusing on exercising the mind and relaxing the body by ignoring outside stimuli as much as possible while simultaneously acknowledging, but not responding to, their existence. The goal is to use your senses to pay attention to your surroundings and remaining mindfully present while accepting that there are certain external forces over which you have no control. Corpse pose is generally ideal to do at the end of your practice or right before going to bed.
Benefits of Exercise for Circulation
Simply put, physical activity keeps your heart healthy. Even a little bit of exercise every single day — at least three or four times per week — can greatly improve your circulation, not to mention keep you in great shape.
A higher volume of blood moves more rapidly through your arteries and veins whenever your heart muscle contracts at a faster rate. This causes a boost in your overall circulation.
Exercise helps keep the veins and arteries flexible, which is important for circulation because when arteries are stiff, this increases blood pressure and blood cannot travel through the body as smoothly.
At first, try cardio activities, such as walking, before attempting a light jog. Swimming is highly effective, too, especially for anyone with knee and joint problems.
Also read: Poor circulation treatment: How to improve blood circulation