Blood flow is an essential bodily function, supplying the body’s vital organs with enough oxygen and nutrients to operate.
Not only that, but blood flow is a limiting factor for exercise. Working muscles depend on good blood supply and oxygen delivery; without, they’ll fatigue.
Unfortunately, the consequences of ageing, particularly from age 50, can reduce circulation through plaque build-up from cholesterol and calcium in the bloodstream. These lead to hardening of the arteries and restricted blood flow, which can increase mortality risk factors.
What are the signs of poor circulation?
- Muscle pain, stiffness or weakness
- Lack of energy, excessive tiredness and poor concentration
- Hair loss
- Poor healing
- Numbness or cramping in the legs
- Skin discoloration
- Erectile dysfunction
How to improve circulation
There are numerous ways to take action. Here are our top five tips:
This may seem surprising, but yoga is one of the best exercises you can do for improving circulation. The bending and stretching required for the holds and poses help to decompress and compress veins, which stimulate the vascular system.2. Boost your berry consumption with blackcurrants
These berries are packed with phytochemicals that have a potent effect on blood flow. Research shows that a week's intake of CurraNZ boosts cardiovascular responses (stroke volume and cardiac output) in the region of 20% and main arterial blood supply by 35%.
Plus, as well as helping to normalise blood pressure, a week on New Zealand blackcurrant extract can turn back the clock ten years for the health of your blood vessels, making this berry an easy and cost-effective way of looking after your cardiovascular health.
3. Go for a jog, bike ride or brisk walk
Cardiovascular exercise helps keep your heart healthy and fires up blood flow like nothing else. Engaging in regular exercise that elevates your heart rate, such as biking, running or brisk walking is an easy route to good all-round health.
4. Add oily fish to your diet
Many types of seafood contain small amounts of Omega-3 fatty acids that can help beat heart disease and prevent heart attacks. Oily fish choices offer the greatest benefit, with salmon, mackerel, herring, lake trout, sardines highly recommended.
Aim for a couple of servings per week.
5. Enjoy a regular massage
The friction that massage creates on the skin stimulates and improves both blood and lymphatic circulation, which promotes healthier muscles, and also removes waste products and toxins from the body. Not only is it a great way to unwind and relax, but excellent for those with poor circulation - and a direct way to help boost blood flow in limbs.