by Will Grumke May 24, 2020 4 min read
Have you ever wondered what blood flow is? Do you want to know how to increase blood flow or why it is important?
If so, you are not alone.
A lot of people hear terms about heart health, but don’t truly understand what it means. This article will help you understand the basics of blood flow and cardiovascular health.
Blood flow is also known as blood circulation.
Blood circulation is the process your heart and blood vessels go through to transport blood and carry away waste from the cells in your body.
When the heart, veins, vessels, arteries, and lungs work together, it is called the cardiovascular system.
As your heart pumps, it pushes a “flow” of nutrient and oxygen-rich blood through your veins to all parts of your body.
This provides your cells with what they need to survive.
Healthy blood circulation helps with a lot of different issues.
It improves cell-level metabolism, supplies oxygen and nutrients to your brain and organs, stabilizes osmotic pressure, stabilizes body temperature, and maintains body pH levels from microbial and physical harm.
Poor circulation happens when blood can’t easily flow to your muscles, tissues, and organs.
This can cause a variety of symptoms.
Poor blood circulation usually occurs because of some type of fatty blockage in the arteries.
The blockage restricts blood flow or stops the blood from moving quickly and freely through your body.
If you have poor blood circulation due to artery blockages, you can have a variety of symptoms and develop some serious medical concerns.
Many people develop poor blood flow from the type of lifestyle they live.
Smoking, drinking lots of alcohol, eating sugary and fatty foods in excess, as well as not exercising are the leading causes of poor circulation and cardiovascular disease.
There are other causes such as sitting for long periods of time or chronic stress that can contribute to poor blood flow as well.
Your body will warn you if there needs to be a change in lifestyle habits by expressing different symptoms.
The following is a list of some of these symptoms and health concerns that can result from poor circulation.
• High blood pressure
• Cold hands and/or feet
• Vertigo and dizziness
• Muscle cramps
• Erectile dysfunction
• Leg ulcers
• Blood clots
• Cardiovascular disease
• Organ damage
While these symptoms and issues can be very serious, and you should consult with your doctor to find out how severe the issue is for you, there are some simple ways to help improve your blood flow and work to improve your health.
Exercise - Any activity that gets your heart pumping can help improve your blood circulation.
Jogging, yoga, weightlifting, hiking, or biking are common activities that people enjoy.
These activities strengthen your heart, improve the blood vessels’ ability to dilate, and help you become more efficient in taking in oxygen to your body's cells.
Stop Smoking - Smoking causes the blood vessels to constrict or narrow. It also introduces harmful chemicals that harden your blood vessels, and clog them.
Smoking is a triple threat.
Decreased blood vessels that aren't elastic and are partially blocked are very dangerous.
This is why smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States.
Even the effects of secondhand smoke can harm your blood flow.
Cut Junk Food Out of Your Diet - Processed foods high in sugar and fat can contribute to major cardiovascular health issues.
Plus these foods are usually void of good nutrients and antioxidants that can be used by your body in a good way!
Eating natural sugars from fruits or using healthy fats from avocados or olives when cooking can help satisfy cravings.
These healthy alternatives also provide your body with foods that are easier to process and packed full of nutrients.
Reduce Alcohol Intake - Alcohol in moderation can have positive effects on your health, yet too much can be seriously harmful.
Binge-drinking or consistently drinking more than 1 alcoholic beverage per day can lead to various health concerns.
A lot of these foods also provide other benefits such as lowering cholesterol, reducing blood pressure, and can help dilate blood vessels.
Take Supplements - There are certain vitamins, such as vitamins E, B, and iron that are believed to help improve circulation. You can also help improve blood flow with antioxidants.
And with supplements like Whole Heart, you can boost overall heart health and improve circulation.
Reduce Stress - Chronic stress can increase blood pressure and heart rate.
By taking time to breathe and take control of the stressors in your life, you can help improve your health and reduce the strain on your cardiovascular system.
Yoga, meditation, or talking to someone you trust are options for helping you take control of your stress.
Blood flow is an important part of living a healthy life. As we learn more and more about cardiovascular health, we can see that it plays a crucial role in our overall health and wellness.
In fact, every 37 seconds in the U.S. a person dies from cardiovascular disease.
If you have any medical concerns, consult with your doctor.
They will be able to help you in a more specific manner for your needs.
From a simple lifestyle, and healthy living standpoint, implementing even just one of our tips above, you can start working towards better blood flow and cardiovascular health.
If you have any questions, or need any help with your fitness lifestyle, never hesitate to reach out.
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