The heart is one of the most vital organs in our system.
Constant blood circulation through the blood vessels is the single most crucial factor for each organ’s survival. Not just the heart but the lungs, arteries, veins, and capillaries create the much-needed blood flow so that each organ receives its share of oxygen.
You can say that staying fit depends significantly on the circulatory system because, without oxygen and nutrients, the vital organs will suffer. Don’t worry if you didn’t give this much thought until now because you can always start today.
Small yet consistent changes in lifestyle can improve blood flow and keep you healthy. Let’s take a look at a few things you can do today to improve blood circulation.
Why Is Good Blood Circulation Important?
While the main purpose of keeping the blood vessels in good condition is for the continuous supply of oxygen, there are many more reasons. Firstly, good blood circulation keeps your brain sharp and alert because of the proper nutrient supply.
Healthy blood flow also helps heal wounds and injuries faster and maintains a clear and glowing complexion. This beautiful-looking skin is a result of internal harmony, which occurs when you improve your circulation. 
11 Ways To Improve Blood Circulation Naturally
1. Healthy Diet
Sticking to a natural, healthy diet is one of the first changes you can make for better vascular function. Changing the things you eat a little at a time gives you great results in the long run by keeping you fit and free of diseases.
Cholesterol levels are scrutinized whenever one wants to get a good idea about the heart and circulatory health of any individual. The lipid profile speaks volumes about body health and predicts whether issues like high blood pressure or poor circulation are likely.
When cholesterol is present at high levels in the blood, it tends to stick to the inner lining of the blood vessels and forms plaque. Since the artery walls become narrower, there is an increase in blood pressure, and sometimes blood vessel inflammation is observed.
With narrow arteries, it takes the heart much more effort to pump blood which can take a toll on cardiovascular health. Besides this, the cholesterol can also form blood clots or thrombi that can circulate in the blood vessels and block any artery. 
Blockage of arteries compromises heart health since it can cause stroke or heart attack. If the artery in the leg is blocked, we call it peripheral artery disease. If one limits the number of hydrogenated oils and saturated fats in the diet, the chances of poor circulation are limited.
What To Eat
Opt for omega 3 fatty acids found in fatty fish, which assist in proper circulation. You can also include leafy vegetables and citrus fruits in your diet, foods that are rich in vitamins and minerals. Other ingredients like garlic, ginger, and turmeric can further help in improving blood flow.
2. Quit Smoking
The heart, arteries, and veins are not the only part that makes up the circulatory system; the lungs are also an integral organ. After all, once the heart pumps blood, it travels straight to the lungs to get oxygenated. Now think about this, the exchange of gasses takes place wherein the deoxygenated blood gets exchanged with fresh oxygenated blood.
With regular smoking, the small alveoli (where the carbon dioxide and oxygen exchange takes place) get damaged. This results in poorly oxygenated blood that goes to the rest of the organs in a somewhat compromised state with insufficient amounts of oxygen. When one does not smoke, the oxygen levels in the blood are maintained.
This is why when one quits smoking, overall improvement is observed in the circulatory system. Besides, research has shown that increased smoking may have a correlation with an increased risk of heart illness and vascular diseases.
3. Get Active
Getting your body up and about might be the single most effective way to naturally increase the body’s blood flow. Your cardiovascular system will thank you for giving it much-needed exercise every day. And the rewards of daily movement greatly outweigh the cons of taking out 30 minutes per day.
It is widely acknowledged by health care professionals that even if you indulge in moderate-intensity exercise daily, it lowers blood pressure. Not to mention, it also improves blood vessel function and prevents cardiovascular disease significantly.
The exercise need not be an intense workout that tires you out. Instead, a simple activity like walking done consistently can reduce your risk of heart and circulation issues. It also makes one less likely to have circulatory diseases like heart attacks and stroke. 
Moreover, you can improve the efficiency of your cardiovascular system by exercising aerobically. When you do, your heart pumps blood through itself and the arteries, which then flows to all parts of the body. Hence, exercise may decrease your risk of circulatory diseases like stroke, heart attack, or vascular disease.
4. Eat Fiber-Rich Foods
While we have discussed how excessive amounts of cholesterol are dangerous for health, there are a few other details you should know. Cholesterol is classified into two types – LDL or bad cholesterol and HDL or good cholesterol. When we talk about reducing cholesterol levels in the blood, we want to reduce LDL levels since they are the ones that sit in arteries and block the blood vessel walls.
Fiber-rich foods play a role in reducing the cholesterol levels in the blood, thus improving circulation and keeping the system healthy. Soluble fibers keep the blood levels of LDL under control, thus preventing plaque build-up.
Fruits like apples, blueberries, oranges, and strawberries are a good choice, and so are all other citrus fruits. Leafy green vegetables along with beans, carrots, cucumber, nuts, flax seeds, and oatmeal are also fiber-rich, and you can include them in your daily diet.
5. Build Up Leg Muscles
Keeping the body moving is essential, as we’ve discussed earlier, but working on building leg muscle is specifically important. Basically, circulation does not end with the function of the arteries. Instead, the blood that arteries transfer to the muscles also needs a way back through the veins to complete the cycle.
Essentially, the blood circulation can be compromised in the legs if there isn’t a support system for the veins in the legs. Strong muscles form a system of support to the veins, thus allowing for better movement of blood through the vessels.
When the leg muscles are not strong enough, the strain of pushing back the blood lies entirely on the veins, and this causes varicose veins. If you can exercise, that would be ideal, at least 30 minutes per day. If you find your legs are strained due to long hours of standing, try wearing compression socks for comfort.
If you can build better muscles for your legs, you can avoid varicose veins altogether. Thrombophlebitis is another risk that can occur when there is a seepage of blood from stagnant veins.  The inflammation that follows as a result of the condition can be fixed with better circulation.
6. Take Alternating Hot And Cold Baths
Enjoying a spa in a pool of hot, steaming water sounds excellent for de-stressing after a long day. Another benefit of soaking in a warm tub is the improved circulation benefits. Peripheral blood vessels or the arteries and veins in the extremities like the head and legs tend to widen when exposed to heat.
This significantly allows for smoother blood flow and healthier blood vessels. In fact, an effective method to stimulate blood is associated with exposing the body to alternate hot and cold water. Wellness professionals use this technique to improve circulation and allow the blood to reach all parts of the body.
When you step into hot water, there will be an increased blood flow to the extremities. On the other hand, jumping into cold water will bring the blood flow back to the vital organs, thus fixing any issues of poor blood circulation.
7. Indulge In Massages
Massages have been a traditional solution to rejuvenating the tissues and muscles and easing poor blood circulation issues. Applying pressure in a systematic manner helps move the blood flow, especially assisting those parts with knots and blocks.
Kneading deep into the tissues stimulates the lymph fluid and regulates their flow within the body. These fluids help in removing metabolic waste from all body parts and work towards cleansing the internal organs. Ultimately, a massage session can reduce stress levels, promote greater blood flow, improve circulation, and relax the entire body.
8. Try Practicing Yoga
As we have discussed, any kind of movement can improve circulation, reduce blood pressure, and improve blood vessel health. Within the complex practice of yoga, there are a few specific poses that directly help the circulatory system. Poses like the “legs up the wall” and “shoulder stand” elevate your legs, thus helping gravity do its work and get rid of poor circulation.
9. Limit Alcohol Intake
Alcohol intake and coronary artery disease have a link that is widely explored by scientific studies. It is found that excessive alcohol intake can adversely affect general health and wellness; thus, it is best to drink in moderation.
10. Increase Water Intake
Dehydration will surely reduce your blood volume, which will, in turn, affect blood circulation. It could also cause blood pressure issues and impact cardiovascular health. To avoid any such issues, stay hydrated by replenishing with plenty of fluids throughout the day.
11. Drink Herbal Tea
Some of you may have come across an advert that suggests drinking certain teas can assist in fat loss. Actually, certain herbs can also improve blood circulation and heart health. Here are some of the herbs that are known to improve circulation-
- Cayenne pepper
- Green tea
- Goji berries
A. Cayenne Pepper
Capsaicin is a phytochemical present in cayenne pepper that gives it its signature spicy flavor. This component can play a role in stimulating nitric oxide in the bloodstream. Nitric oxide is a vasodilator that helps relax the blood vessels and increases blood flow.
A few studies show that intake of cayenne pepper could be related to expanded arteries and less build-up of plaque on the artery walls. 
As delicious as cinnamon is in winter season beverages, it also has some elements in it that can benefit the heart. A study shows that cinnamon consumption might be linked to reduced blood pressure and better circulation. 
Ancient traditions have relied on ginger as a medicinal herb for centuries, especially in Chinese and Indian cultures. Ginger may have some role in reducing high blood pressure issues and could improve circulation. 
Ginger Tea Recipe
Adding ginger to black or green tea is common in traditional cultures, but you can create any blend that suits your fancy. Here we’ve shared a simple ginger tea recipe that could help you refresh and possibly help increase blood flow.
- 1 pound of fresh ginger
- Half a lemon
- 1 tsp honey
- A pinch of cayenne pepper/cinnamon powder
Take the fresh ginger and juice it using a blender. The ginger juice can be stored in glass jars and refrigerated for future use. Take two teaspoons of ginger juice in a coffee mug and add hot water to fill it up.
Add a freshly squeezed lemon and a teaspoon of honey for taste. Your refreshing ginger tea is ready to enjoy. If you wish, you can add a herby powder to enhance the circulatory benefits and taste. We suggest adding a tiny pinch of cayenne pepper for a slight kick or a hint of cinnamon for a warm and cozy aroma.
As you have seen by now, there are plenty of ways to improve your circulation to help you get back your energy and youthful glow. Start with a couple of these methods and lifestyle changes to see a visible difference in your appearance and the way you feel.
However, before signing off, we’d like to clarify that none of our health and wellness advice can substitute a medical professional’s guidance. So, if in doubt, feel free to consult a doctor or dietician before incorporating any of the aforementioned ingredients into your diet.