Numerous negative consequences of prolonged sitting include decreased blood flow to the legs. Circulation can be slowed down by experiencing tingling, throbbing, pins-and-needles sensations, or even swelling.
Poor circulation initially seems unharmful. Nothing that can’t be fixed by shaking the legs. But if ignored, the problem could get worse.
One of the body’s most vital processes, blood circulation has a significant impact on your general health. Unsurprisingly, the heart, the body’s most important organ, is the primary mechanism for enhancing blood circulation.
Many people disregard the significance of blood circulation, leading them to adopt lifestyle habits like smoking, ignoring blood clots, and skipping workouts that severely hamper this process.
Diabetes and heart disease are two conditions that can result from issues with vein health and blood flow.
It can be challenging to keep in mind the significance of blood circulation because it is a normal part of daily life.
A frequent discomfort that millions of individuals experience each year is poor blood circulation. It can be as harmless as your leg dozing off after spending a lot of time sitting still or as dangerous as a blood clot.
Your entire body receives blood and oxygen thanks to the circulatory system. When blood flow to a particular area of your body is decreased, poor circulation, also referred to as poor perfusion, results.
In this article, we will be looking at some of the best ways to improve blood circulation in the legs.
Ways To Improve Blood Circulation In Legs
Elevate Your Legs
By keeping the blood from collecting in your lower legs, elevating your legs at or above heart level improves blood flow to the rest of your body.
Since your veins don’t have to fight gravity to return blood to your heart when your legs are elevated, it relieves pressure on them. Simply lie down and raise your legs above your heart level.
Try Leg Extensions
Leg extensions can be performed with varying degrees of weight in the convenience of your own home or office as your legs get stronger.
You will need a chair and some leg weights to start. Starting with your ankles, secure the weights by wrapping them around them tightly.
Slowly elevate your foot off the chair until your knee is straight. Hold for a few seconds in this position, then slowly bring your leg back to the floor.
Alternate the legs and exercise them equally, being careful to control the motion as you raise and lower them.
Maintain A Healthy Diet
Making simple dietary modifications is one of the best strategies to improve poor blood circulation in your legs.
Additionally, good food is recommended for promoting healthy blood circulation in your legs. Increase your intake of omega-3 fatty acids.
These nutrients are crucial for heart health and can help with blood circulation. Your blood pressure may rise as a result of eating too much salt, placing stress on your blood vessels and possibly resulting in poor blood circulation.
Increase your intake of fiber. Fiber is crucial for good health in general and can enhance blood circulation.
Develop A Habit Of Walking
For people of all fitness levels, walking is a great, low-impact technique to increase blood flow.
Of course, other cardiovascular exercises are equally effective, but virtually anyone can walk and only needs a pair of comfortable shoes.
An excellent way to increase your venous blood flow is to take a brisk walk around the neighborhood in the morning or the evening.
Bonus points if you can fit in quick walks throughout the workday as well. The best exercise for improving circulation in your legs is waking up.
For best results, walk quickly for 20 to 30 minutes each day. You can increase the difficulty of your workout by including incline exercises like stair climbing and hills.
Keep Yourself Hydrated
Our bodies consist of around 70% water, while the blood contains 50% water. When one is properly hydrated, the heart has an easier time pumping blood to the muscles by way of the blood vessels.
Your weight, the weather, and your level of activity will all affect how much water you need. If you exercise in hot weather, drink more water than the recommended 1.2 liters per day.
Do not wait until you are thirsty to drink because by that time you are already dehydrated.
A few vitamins, minerals, and dietary supplements can improve circulation. The most common element for blood circulation is iron.
This necessary mineral aids in the function of hemoglobin, which carries oxygen throughout the body.
All bodily functions, including the creation of red blood cells and cardiovascular health, are aided by B vitamins, particularly B12. Black pepper, ginseng, turmeric, vitamin E, and other essential supplements are also recommended.
Frequent Leg Massage
A good massage not only makes you feel calm, but it can also aid to promote blood flow. Blood circulation in the legs can be hampered by gravity.
Because your legs are located below your heart, it is more difficult for blood to rise to your heart. Thus, massage can increase blood flow, which your legs and overall body will appreciate.
Wear Socks With Proper Fit
Your veins will receive additional assistance if you wear compression socks. It aids in preventing the veins without muscle wrapping from dilating.
Long durations of a sitting position or even a standing position can cause veins to grow and become very dangerous, which might result in the twisting of veins that might be very painful and even cause edema.
Wear socks that are helpful for compression from morning to night to gradually compress your legs and improve blood flow through your veins.
It can be difficult to get your blood flowing, especially at night when you are sleeping, but proper blood circulation is essential for your health.
Your heart, lungs, and muscles need a constant supply of blood and oxygen to carry out their vital functions and remove any waste they may produce.
To move throughout the body and fight off potential illnesses and infections, immune system cells also need healthy circulation.
Your body cannot perform at its best if proper circulation is not present. Regrettably, the legs are one of the body parts most vulnerable to circulation issues like varicose veins.
Therefore, it is extremely necessary to take care of the circulation of this area, whether you have already experienced such troubles or simply want to keep them at bay in the future.
Get moving with frequent workout sessions to increase circulation in your legs. Small dietary adjustments, such as drinking more water, consuming more vitamin C, and drinking ginger tea, are also beneficial.
The circulation in the legs can also be boosted by a massage and avoiding heels and tight-fitting footwear.
Working4Health prefers using primary and verified references. We have strict sourcing guidelines and our primary references include peer-reviewed research, academic, and medical institution studies.
- Jacqueline K. Limberg, Rebecca E. Johansson, Patrick E. McBride, et. al. Increased leg blood flow and improved femoral artery shear patterns in metabolic syndrome after a diet and exercise program. Clin Physiol Funct Imaging. 2014 Jul; 34(4): 282–289. Published online 2013 Nov 18. doi: 10.1111/cpf.12095
- Hayato Ishizaka, Azusa Uematsu, Yuta Mizushima, et. al. Blood Flow Restriction Increases the Neural Activation of the Knee Extensors During Very Low-Intensity Leg Extension Exercise in Cardiovascular Patients: A Pilot Study. J Clin Med. 2019 Aug 19;8(8):1252. doi: 10.3390/jcm8081252. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31430903/
- Hamideh Naghedi-Baghdar, Seyed-Mohammad Nazari, Ali Taghipour, et. al. Effect of diet on blood viscosity in healthy humans: a systematic review. Electron Physician. 2018 Mar; 10(3): 6563–6570. Published online 2018 Mar 25. doi: 10.19082/6563
- Elaine M Murtagh, Marie H Murphy, and Janne Boone-Heinonen. Walking – the first steps in cardiovascular disease prevention. Curr Opin Cardiol. 2010 Sep; 25(5): 490–496. doi: 10.1097/HCO.0b013e32833ce972
- José González-Alonso, José A L Calbet, and Bodil Nielsen. Muscle blood flow is reduced with dehydration during prolonged exercise in humans. J Physiol. 1998 Dec 15; 513(Pt 3): 895–905. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-7793.1998.895ba.x
- Claudio Borghicorresponding author and Arrigo F G Cicero. Nutraceuticals with a clinically detectable blood pressure‐lowering effect: a review of available randomized clinical trials and their meta‐analyses. Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2017 Jan; 83(1): 163–171. Published online 2016 Mar 15. doi: 10.1111/bcp.12902
- Hidetoshi Mori, Hideo Ohsawa, Tim Hideaki Tanaka, et. al. Effect of massage on blood flow and muscle fatigue following isometric lumbar exercise. Med Sci Monit. 2004 May;10(5):CR173-8. Epub 2004 Apr 28. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15114265/
- Nurcan Ertug, Tugba Cakal, Seyda Busra Ozturk, et. al. The effect of clothes on blood pressure measurement. Pak J Med Sci. 2017 Jan-Feb; 33(1): 205–209.
- About the Author
- Latest Posts
Alisha Matthew has been a practicing nutritionist since 2016. She holds a master’s degree in nutrition from the University of IOWA. She is a staunch believer in improving the human health index by educating people about nutrition and the importance of nutrition in leading a healthy and happy life. Her long-term goal is to keep educating people on general health and keep herself updated with the latest trends in the field of health.