Best Cardiovascular Exercises for Poor Circulation
One of the most common causes of a decrease in circulation is a lack of physical activity. This can be a result of a lifestyle that doesn’t incorporate regular doses of healthy cardiovascular exercises or also a result of having an occupation that is entirely inactive in nature, such as working behind a desk all day. Decreased or poor blood circulation can lead to discomfort and symptoms such as swelling.
Most commonly, the lower extremities are affected. This is for multiple reasons, but the simplest of them is simply location. Foot and leg circulation is often the most impacted when blood flow problems persist because of the natural force of gravity. In short, blood that is traversing the lower regions of the body has to fight an uphill battle in order to get back up to the heart. This, combined with the longer distance from the feet to the body’s blood pumping organ, also play a role in decreased leg circulation when problems are present. But, cardiovascular exercises can help to not only prevent a reduction in circulatory health but also play a role in symptom management.
Mayo Clinic explains that there are multiple benefits to exercise as a means to increase blood circulation. For starters, increased muscle activity helps pump blood more effectively, helping it to get back up to the heart where it belongs. Additionally, cardiovascular exercise is also helpful because it can reduce blood pressure, a common cause of poor circulation. High cholesterol, a risk factor for disease as well as a cause of circulatory problems, can also be combated with exercise too.
There are many choices for effective exercises that can be useful to improve circulation. Some of them are high impact, and some are low impact. Which type is the best choice will depend on the overall health of the individual. For instance, arthritis sufferers and those with joint problems likely will want to avoid higher impact cardiovascular exercise options such as martial arts or kickboxing. But, in healthy individuals, these options can serve as effective and suitable choices for regular heart healthy activity. It may not be surprising to find that walking is one of the very best choices for low impact yet high benefit exercise. It is an ideal way to increase blood flow, manage symptoms of poor circulation and also reduce risk factors for cardiovascular disease.
Stretching may not be considered a cardiovascular exercise by most people, but eHow.com (quoting the staff of the Mayo Clinic as well) explains that stretching provides a tremendous amount of benefit for circulatory woes. Because the activity is effective at enhancing the blood flow to the muscles of the lower extremities, circulation is improved in a low impact and relaxing manner. This can also prove useful following injuries and as a means to relieve discomfort and swelling that can result from reduced circulatory function. Similarly, low impact exercises that are related to stretching such as yoga are also beneficial. They can help to relieve muscle tension, enhance blood flow and provide healthy physical activity to promote good circulation.
Swimming and jogging are also great cardiovascular exercise options to consider regularly to increase blood flow. And, whether stationary or traversing down paths, riding a bike is another great way to keep the blood pumping through the circulatory system. And, many simple exercises that can be done at home or even at the office can provide a boost to blood flow. Take arm and leg circles for instance. These stationery yet effective exercises, characterized by moving the arms and legs in circular motions at repeated and alternating intervals, are a great way to keep the blood pumping periodically throughout the day.
Essentially, increasing the heart rate is the main benefit to the circulatory system when cardiovascular exercises are performed. MedicineNet explains that when activity is sustained for longer than a few minutes, the body pumps more blood in an effort to spread needed oxygen to muscles. Therefore, circulatory function is improved where exercise is maintained for certain periods of time. This however does not need to be for a long period of time. Just ten minutes of cardiovascular exercise a few times a week can be hugely beneficial and reducing the symptoms of poor circulation and staving off health conditions.
While there are many treatment choices for enhancing circulatory health including everything from compression socks to supplements to improve circulation, exercise is one of the best choices. Of course, the immediate benefits are evident, with increased blood flow occurring almost instantly. But, there are other long term effects as well. Cardiovascular exercise is associated with a reduced risk of obesity and heart disease, both of which are related to circulatory wellbeing. When combined with a healthy diet including foods that improve circulation like leafy, dark green vegetables, exercise can lead to a whole wealth of healthful benefits, making this combination approach a sure winner for poor circulation treatment.