How To Improve Circulation In Hands And Feet
Do your hands and feet stay cold most of the time? Do you experience cramping and swelling in your legs and hands frequently? Do you feel pain in your legs just after only walking around the block? If yes, then you probably have low blood circulation in your extremities. This simply indicates that your hands and feet are not getting enough blood flow. The possible reasons for this poor circulation, however, are diverse. To understand why you might have poor circulation, you need to take a look at its symptoms and causes. By reading this oneHOWTO article to on how to improve circulation in hands and feet we'll look at what might be the cause and how we can improve your blood flow.
Symptoms of poor blood circulation
There can be several symptoms which indicate that you have poor blood flow in your hands and feet. You have this condition if you encounter following symptoms in your extremities:
Causes of Poor Blood Circulation
Sitting in the same position for several hours is one of the most common causes of poor blood circulation in hands and feet. You have likely experienced pins and needles, muscle ache, cramps and other symptoms during long plane, bus or train journeys, However, if you also experience such symptoms during days when pins and needles or cramp are unlikely, perhaps you are suffering from an underlying condition. Certain health conditions that can cause poor blood circulation in your hands and feet include:
- Peripheral artery disease: It is a circulatory health issue that narrows down your arteries and blood vessels.
- Atherosclerosis: In this condition, plaque builds up in your blood vessels and arteries, and causes arteries to stiffen and restrict blood flow.
- Blood clots: Clots of blood can block blood flow completely or partially. Although blood clots may form anywhere in your body, those formed in hands and legs may cause poor circulation problems.
- Varicose veins: The back of your legs are the most common place where varicose veins form. Your veins get damaged and do not allow blood to pass through them.
- Diabetes: Diabetes not only affects your blood sugar levels, but also causes poor blood circulation in some parts of your body, especially your extremities.
- Obesity: Being overweight exerts extra pressure on your body and ultimately leads to blood circulation problems. Obesity also increases your risk of having blood vessel problems and varicose veins.
- Raynaud’s disease: In this disease, small arteries present in your feet and hands become narrow and they are not able to receive optimum flow of blood.
Tips to Improve Blood Circulation in Hands and Feet
Here are a few ways with which you can improve blood circulation in your limbs and extremities:
- If you have to sit or stand for several hours at work, try to take breaks regularly and find ways to move your legs and arms. For example, do some arm or leg exercises, take a short walk around the workplace, do some on-the-spot walking or running, etc. At least shake your arms and hands from time to time and do some feet circling exercises
- Use your lunch time to walk around, even if for a very short time. Instead of messaging or emailing a colleague, you can choose to walk up to them. Use the stairs whenever you need to climb up or down. Such simple steps will get fluids freely flowing around your body and improve circulation.
- Do not wear restrictive or tight-fitting clothes, as they may restrict your hands and feet and lead to poor blood circulation. Socks, belts and undergarments that are too tight should be avoided at all costs
- Make sure you wear comfortable shoes, especially if you are going to wear them for several hours at a stretch. If you choose to wear heels during the day, try to wear sports shoes and slippers at home so that your feet can at least get a few hours of comfort and oxygen. This is why a lot of people will say they want their feet to ‘breathe’ for a while.
- Try to increase your walking hours each day. This will increase inhalation of oxygen and will pump blood faster into your hands and feet. This will also allow your cells to remove waste products faster, thus improve your heart health also. If you have a gym bike at home or the office, it's good practice to use it.
- Drink lots of fresh water every day. According to an estimate, a healthy adult should drink at least 2 liters of water in 24 hours. Water will keep your cells hydrated, aid digestion, and supply required minerals on a regular basis. Drinking water will also help in getting rid of waste products.
- Avoid eating high-fat foods, especially if you are living a physically inactive life. High fat foods without physical exercise can clog up your arteries and lead to poor blood circulation in your hands and feet.
- Avoid saturated fat in your diet as well, as it can lead to build up of plaque and cholesterol in your arteries. This deteriorate the health of your arteries and veins in the long run.
- Try to keep your hands and feet warm by wearing proper clothes during cold temperatures. Wearing warm and dry shoes is helpful in maintaining your body temperature. If you need to get your hands in the cold and there is no heating provided, then wearing fingerless gloves may be helpful. During winter months, wear thermal undergarments to maintain your body temperature and stay warm.
- Do some exercises and activities to promote blood flow in your hands and feet. Such exercises and activities include playing tennis, hockey or netball, running, jogging, walking or swimming. You may even join your local cycling group or rambling club. Increasing your physical activity level not only improves your blood circulation, but also helps you maintain weight, improves your heart health and provides several other health benefits.
- Smoking is a major cause of poor blood circulation in your body. Try to quit smoking as soon as possible. Cigarettes contain nicotine that constricts your blood vessels and worsens circulation. Not only this, smoking also causes numerous other health conditions and it is always best to stop it for good.
- Massage your hands and feet gently by rubbing them in circular motions. Start from wrists and move towards fingertips. Perform same circular motions on your heels and toes. You may also get a regular massage from a professional therapist once a week. It will be helpful in improving circulation. Using a special equipment like a leg massager and exerciser can be helpful in stimulating circulation and improving flow of blood.
- For feet, stand on tiptoes, then roll back on heels to improve circulation. For hands, get a hand exercise ball and squeeze it to keep your hands filled with fluids. Get a ball that has an elastic band wrapped around your fingers, as it will create resistance and give better blood flow to your fingers.
- Reduce stress levels by doing some relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing, meditation and yoga.
- Eating healthy food can be extremely helpful in opening up clogged arteries. Eat foods that are high in fiber and low in saturated fats. Also try to increase content of vitamins A, B6, C and E in your diet, along with omega-3 fatty acids.
- Elevating your legs can be a simple remedy to improve blood circulation. When you come home from work, sit in a recliner while keeping your feet up. These days, some offices even keep recliners in their premises in order to let their employees relax from time to time.
This article is merely informative, oneHOWTO does not have the authority to prescribe any medical treatments or create a diagnosis. We invite you to visit your doctor if you have any type of condition or pain.
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