Come to think about it, how often do we pay attention to our circulatory system? Presumably not as often as we should. For the most part, the ladies might be concerned about their monthly flow and what about the guys? Blood circulation is indeed the least glamorous part of our wellness routine and it’s also highly underrated. But without it, your organs would fail to function and your whole system would shut down.
Well, the circulatory system in our body plays an incredibly vital role in overall health and beauty. Besides supplying our body cells with proper nutrients, improved circulation can also enrich our organs with oxygen, and even promote healthier skin. After all, the skin is our body’s biggest organ. So it’s no surprise that when our health, diet, or emotions are out of whack, our skin may be the first to betray and expose us.
Disclaimer: Before you go on and begin incorporating any of these suggested tips to improve your blood flow, it’s important to consult a doctor prior if you have any existing heart conditions. Depending on your condition, your heart may not be able to handle the increase in blood pressure due to stimulated blood circulation. Otherwise, keep reading and start practising!
We’ve heard it far too many times, to the point where it becomes a nuisance, but exercising is imperative for good health. Especially during this time when outdoor activities are limited, it’s even more important to focus on staying active and giving your heart a good pump. There are countless equipment-free cardio workout videos freely available on YouTube. From cardio dancing to kickboxing, you would never get bored with the variations of exercises you can do in your humble abode. In fact, simple exercises such as climbing up and down the stairs or stretching are also good to get your blood flowing.
When you are feeling stressed, your body automatically enters into a state of “fight or flight”. As your heart palpitates, the demand for oxygen also increases. It has been proven that stress hormones can cause your blood vessels (the network of tubes that transport your blood) to constrict and divert more oxygen to your muscles, which provides you with the burst of energy needed in response to danger. However, when you’re stuck in this state for too long, it can result in high blood pressure, heart diseases, and worse still, heart attacks. So, don’t forget to loosen up!
3. Quit smoking
If you have this habit of smoking to cope with stress, hate to break it to you, but you might want to consider looking for a new coping mechanism. Smoking causes your platelets to stick together and damages the lining of your blood vessels, which raises the risk of unwanted blood clots. This then results in poor blood circulation.
4. Dry brushing
Dry brushing may not be a popular thing here in Singapore but it actually does wonders to your skin and overall circulatory system. It seems tedious at first but once you commit yourself to consistent brushing, you’ll reap the many benefits of this Ayurvedic-inspired ritual. The firm bristles of the brush give your skin a thorough exfoliation while the pressure helps to stimulate your blood circulation and lymphatic system to eliminate toxins from your body. Allegedly, dry brushing can also help banish stubborn cellulite.
Contrast showers are a thing. One quick and easy way to reap the benefits of hydrotherapy is to take a steamy hot shower and then switch to the coldest setting for the last 20-30 seconds. Warm water helps your blood vessels to dilate and thereby stimulating blood flow. Cold water, on the other hand, helps your blood vessels to constrict. So when you end your shower with cold water, the contrasting temperature causes your blood to rush deeper into your vital organs. Not just that, you will also feel an instant sense of energy. Need a refresher? Hop into your shower!
6. Eat more iron-rich food
Iron is an essential mineral in your body and it is also a crucial component in your blood to transport oxygen throughout your body. [Iron]ically, iron deficiency is among the most common health concerns in today’s world. Moreover, in recent years, veganism and vegetarianism see a larger following as people are more conscious about animal cruelty. When done right, it’s fine. But many people still lack the knowledge of getting proper nutrition from substituting meat with its vegan counterpart. Check out some iron-rich food here. Alternatively, if you ARE a vegetarian or vegan, you can take off-the-shelf iron supplements to ensure optimal iron level in your blood.
7. Drink red wine
A good benchmark for moderate wine-drinking is 1 drink (150ml) a day for women, and 2 drinks (300ml) a day for men. Anything more than that would be considered as “excessive drinking”, and you may also risk developing heart diseases or a stroke due to hardened arteries. Why red wine? Whether it’s made from grapes or berries, these fruits are known for its amazing antioxidant properties, which help to repair and protect your cells against free radicals. Furthermore, it can also increase the HDL (good) cholesterol level in your body that help remove unwanted cholesterols from your bloodstream, thus promoting smoother circulation.