Whenever you come across a new fad diet or exercise or read about ways to improve your health, there will always be a mention of blood circulation. You’ll hear phrases like “eat this to improve your blood circulation” or “do this exercise to increase blood flow in this body part.”
But just how important is the circulation of blood to your health? And how can you maintain healthy blood and oxygen flow?
A healthy circulatory system means that your arteries are pumping blood, and your veins take them back as they should. This way, your organs can receive the necessary amount of nutrient-rich blood and oxygen to properly fulfill their functions. This is why restricted blood flow in the brain, for instance, can cause memory glitches, dizziness, and slurred speech. Low blood flow in the kidneys, on the other hand, can diminish these organs’ waste filtering mechanism, which could eventually lead to kidney failure.
Diminished blood circulation can be caused by diseases, such as diabetes, obesity, and Reynaud’s disease, or habits such as smoking, not exercising, stressing out too often, and drinking too much. On the other hand, good blood flow can lead to these positive outcomes.
The Benefits of Good Blood Circulation
Keeps your organs working optimally
Good blood circulation ensures that your heart, lungs, and muscles function properly. If your heart pumps out blood efficiently, it can send out the needed nutrients to your other organs, so they can do their job without any complication.
Helps you fight off illness
Good circulation helps transport white blood cells your immune system needs to fight off diseases. It can also help you prevent any clogging in the arteries or plaque buildup, leading to heart diseases, the leading causes of death worldwide. When the nutrients are delivered to your blood cells efficiently, your body can quickly eliminate waste and toxins in your system.
Improves your mood & energy
Good blood flow also helps regulate your mood and boosts your energy. This way, you can perform daily tasks more effectively and don’t get tired quickly. And better mental well-being can do wonders for your physical health.
Reduces your risk of infections
A healthy circulatory system also means that cuts, wounds, and inflammation can heal more quickly. The availability of oxygen in cells in the wound area makes the healing process more efficient and reduces the likelihood of infection.
Keeps sexual problems at bay
It is an uncontested fact that good blood flow can improve your sexual performance and boost your libido. This is why GAINSwaive, low-intensity shock wave therapy, is a popular treatment for reversing the effects of erectile dysfunction caused by poor blood circulation.
Keeps your memory sharp
Just as a healthy circulatory system keeps your brain functioning properly, it also helps you focus and keep your memory and other cognitive abilities sharp. It can also help you achieve quality sleep, which has its own set of health benefits.
How to Maintain Healthy Blood Flow
1. Avoid cigarette smoking – smoking is one of the leading causes of poor blood flow. The best thing to do is quit smoking altogether as it depletes your body’s essential vitamins and nutrients and increases your risk of heart disease-causing blood clots.
2. Control your blood pressure – if you want to keep your blood flow in check, consult with your doctor about what the ideal blood pressure is for your age and health. Then aim to keep your numbers steady by regularly checking them and correcting lifestyle habits that cause your blood pressure to drop or rise.
3. Stay hydrated – drinking 3.7 liters (for men) and 2.7 liters (for women) of water or fluid is essential for good blood circulation. If you exercise, you’d need more, since blood needs water to keep it moving.
4. Use a standing desk – if you work all day on a computer, consider spending half of it with a standing desk. Prolonged sitting can cause blood flow restrictions and could even cause clots in your legs.
5. Practice yoga – mindfulness exercise and light yoga poses can get your blood flow going. In fact, yoga poses such as twists, stretches, and upside-down positions can help distribute blood to your organs more efficiently than any other workout.
6. Do aerobic exercises – the word “aerobic” basically means “with oxygen.” If you want to get your heart pumping blood the good way, include aerobic exercises into your routine. These can include biking, walking, running, and swimming.
7. Eat more plants and less meat – keep your cholesterol levels in check by eating a balanced, nutrient-rich diet. Make it a habit to eat raw vegetables, fruits, and healthy fats found in plants like avocado and nuts. Reduce your intake of salt and meats high in saturated fats.