Circulation is one of those “under the hood” aspects of your health that can be easy to overlook.
You most likely don’t wake up thinking “Oh I really need to improve my circulatory health today”. Most of us are focused on more obvious things like energy levels, fitness, and appearance.
But the interesting thing is that good circulation can have a significantly positive impact on energy, fitness, and appearance. And arguably, even more important things like long-term cardiovascular health.
Let’s take a deeper dive into the benefits of good circulation, how to tell if yours is on point, and how to keep your blood flow in peak health.
What Exactly Do We Mean By Circulation?
First, let’s quickly define what we mean by “good circulation”
In simple terms, it’s the ease with which blood flows through your arteries to deliver oxygen and nutrients to all parts of your body, while efficiently removing waste and carbon dioxide.
It encompasses a variety of factors, including the health of the heart, blood vessels, and blood itself.
Bad circulation means you’re going to be struggling through the day and feeling sluggish, along with some distinct signs of poor circulation as we will discuss below.
Good circulation will add a bounce to your step, you’ll be full of energy whether at the gym, at work, or with your loved ones, and you’ll feel like you’re running like a well-oiled, finely-tuned machine.
Benefits of good Circulation
Let’s look at some of the main benefits of having good blood circulation, for fitness, appearance, and the risk of developing diseases.
Better Muscle Hypertrophy
Blood flow helps to deliver oxygen and nutrients to the muscles during exercise allowing them to work harder and longer, thereby promoting muscle hypertrophy or growth.
Increased blood flow also promotes the removal of waste products like lactic acid, which can cause fatigue and limit performance.
After a workout, good blood flow helps to bring nutrients and oxygen to the muscles, facilitating better and faster recovery and growth. This can also help to reduce muscle soreness so you can get back to the gym quicker.
Better Post-Workout Pump
There’s nothing better than a nice hard-earned muscle pump after a tough session in the weight room.
And with better circulation, you’ll get a longer-lasting post-workout pump.
The pump is due to increased blood flow to the muscles and this effect is thought to contribute to better muscle growth over time.
Improved Skin Appearance
Optimal blood flow is one of the most effective forms of anti-aging when it comes to skin health and appearance.
Good circulation can help to improve the health of your skin by delivering essential nutrients and oxygen to skin cells. This can help to improve the appearance of your skin, reduce the risk of developing wrinkles, and promote a healthy glow.
Better Immune Function
If your blood flow is on point, then the white blood cells and antibodies can be delivered faster to fight infections and diseases. This can help to reduce the risk of developing infections and other health problems.
You can heal faster from injuries, wounds, and other health issues if oxygen and nutrients are delivered more quickly and efficiently to affected areas of the body.
Improved Cardiovascular Health
Good blood circulation can help to prevent and manage cardiovascular diseases such as high blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke. It can also reduce the risk of developing varicose veins, blood clots, and other circulation-related conditions.
What are the Signs of Poor Circulation
Ok, now you know that good circulation is vital. So the next logical question might be how do you know if your circulation needs improvement?
As always the best thing to do is to consult with your doctor to see if there is a need to further examine your blood flow.
But here are also some other signs that you can watch out for that might indicate that you need to improve your circulatory health.
Please note that it might be totally normal to experience these things every now and then. But if you start noticing a trend where you regularly experience one of more of these signs, then it could be a good idea to speak to your physician.
Cold Hands and Feet
Poor circulation can cause a decrease in blood flow to the extremities, which can result in cold hands and feet.
Numbness or Tingling
Reduced blood flow to the nerves can cause numbness or tingling in the affected area. This can occur in the hands, feet, legs, or arms.
Unusual Fatigue or Weakness
Poor circulation can cause a feeling of fatigue or weakness due to a decrease in oxygen delivery to the muscles and tissues.
Slow Healing of Wounds
As discussed above, faster wound healing is a benefit of good circulatory health. On the other hand, poor circulation can cause wounds and injuries to heal more slowly due to decreased blood flow to the affected area.
How to Keep Your Circulation in Peak Health
Regular Aerobic Exercise
Well, this one is pretty obvious. Aerobic exercise will force your heart to be more efficient in pumping blood, and sort of strengthen that pumping muscle if you will.
It’ll promote the efficient delivery of oxygen and nutrients throughout the body.
Stay Well Hydrated
Now this might not seem so obvious, but drinking enough water is important for maintaining healthy blood flow and circulation. Dehydration can cause the blood to thicken and slow down, which can impair circulation.
Chronic stress can cause the body to release stress hormones, which can contribute to high blood pressure and impair circulation. Managing stress through techniques like meditation, yoga, or deep breathing can help to improve circulation and overall health.
Manage a Healthy Weight
The more stress you put on your system, the tougher it becomes for your heart to pump blood easily to all parts of your body.
Managing a healthy weight will make it easier for your heart to circulate blood with ease and efficiency.
One of the best things you can do to manage weight better is to increase your protein and fiber intake.
Both protein and fiber will increase satisfaction, reduce cravings, and ultimately keep you within a healthy calorie range, allowing you to lose unwanted weight and improve overall health.
Active recoveries like massage or stretching can help to improve circulation by stimulating the muscles and blood vessels, which can promote blood flow and reduce muscle tension.
Take a Reds Supplement
Red fruits contain flavonoids that have a vasodilating effect, which means it becomes easier for your blood to flow through arteries.
But it can be tough to eat enough red fruits regularly to adequately impact circulation.
Unless you’re eating a good amount of berries, pomegranates, etc regularly, your circulation could benefit from a daily reds supplement like Naked Reds.