Good circulation, and that includes leg circulation, is important for maintaining your health. As we age, we may need to take a more proactive approach to our health to protect ourselves from injury, disease, and illness.
You can improve your circulation with a little practice and patience.
Understanding Good Circulation
Good circulation is a critical part of living a healthy lifestyle. Circulation ensures blood and oxygen are dispersed throughout the body, allowing your body to function, grow, and thrive.
As we age, natural changes in our bodies and lifestyles can make proper circulation more difficult to maintain. However, while some factors are out of our control, there are many ways to improve circulation, even as we age.
Symptoms & Causes
The signs and symptoms of poor circulation include:
- Chest pain
- Pale/blue skin
- Cold fingers/toes
- Frequent muscle cramps
- Pins & needles sensations
Anyone could develop poor circulation because many factors can cause poor circulation, such as:
- Weight gain
- Heart conditions
- High blood pressure
- Lack of physical activity
- Drinking excessively & smoking
- Natural changes in heart & blood vessels
If you or someone you love is experiencing symptoms of poor circulation, you should contact your doctor. While poor circulation can be common for many seniors, it can become a cause for concern.
Peripheral artery disease is a common circulatory issue that occurs when arteries narrow. This condition reduces blood flow to the limbs and if left untreated can lead to more serious medical issues.
Improve Your Circulation
Leg circulation is directly connected to good circulation throughout the body. There are things you can do to help improve your circulation.
Start with Self-Care
Taking care of your mind and body is the first step to being healthy. Self-care can help improve your circulation. Self-care looks different in many ways depending on the person, but there are some things you can try to improve your circulation overall:
- Try yoga
- Get a massage
- Practice meditation
- Visit with loved ones
- Spend more time on your hobbies
- Learn & use calming breathing techniques
- Sit in a sauna (make sure you’re hydrated first)
Put Your Feet Up
A quick, easy way to help promote better circulation in your legs is by propping your feet up. Try elevating your feet at a 45° angle for 15 minutes at a time. Your feet should be above your head, so you might have to lay flat on your back.
You can do this in bed, while watching TV, or lounging around the house. Use this as an opportunity to relax, meditate, and unwind!
Go for a Walk
Another thing you can do to boost circulation is to move around. Going for a 30-minute walk once a day can help promote good circulation throughout your body, strengthen your legs, and improve your mobility.
Other exercise works, too! You could try swimming, joining a fitness club, a dance or yoga class, practicing stretching each day, and so much more.
Eat Healthy & Stay Hydrated
While this might seem like a no-brainer, eating a proper diet and drinking enough water is key to good circulation.
Many seniors don’t get enough water or enough nutrients, which can make them feel weak or tired, and put them at risk for more serious issues. A heart-healthy diet can help improve your circulation. This involves:
- Control your portion size
- Eat more vegetables and fruits
- Select whole grains
- Limit unhealthy fats
- Choose low-fat protein sources
- Limit or reduce salt (sodium)
- Plan ahead: Create daily menus
- Allow yourself an occasional treat
If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it 1000 times. Quitting smoking is one of the best things a person can do for their circulation and overall health. While it may feel daunting, it’s certainly not as daunting as long-term health problems.
See Your Doctor
Visiting your doctor regularly is important to maintaining your overall health. Your doctor can prescribe you medications and treatments to help you improve your circulation in a way that works for you. Not only that, but your doctor can help you test different treatments safely.
Live Life Easily
Improving circulation, managing health, and taking on the day-to-day chores can become more difficult as we age. We’re here to help. Learn more about our senior living communities today.