Drawing Circles

How To Improve our circulation

Our circulatory system has a big job to do:  it carries all the good stuff in and around and all the bad stuff out.  Basically, it circles . . . in a rather large way!  All the healthy eating we are doing and clean air we are breathing is delivered through the blood via this system to every single cell. And at the same time, all the bad stuff that enters our body, whether by choice or not, is kindly let out.

Two Systems That Work Together

Our circulatory system is two pronged:  the cardiovascular and the lymphatic systems.  They work together to keep blood and lymphatic fluid levels in check, provide nutrients to our cells as well as filter waste.

The circles they create play a large part on how fast we get better, too.  Our blood that is flowing through our arteries, veins, and capillaries also brings the white blood cells, immune cells and oxygen to the areas needed to help in healing.

While the circulatory system has the heart to engine its job, the lymphatic system isn't as fortunate to have a powerful organ like that to keep it going.  That system must rely on exercise, hydrotherapy (more on that later this week) breathing and various forms of massage to keep it in peak form.

Symptoms of Poor Circulation

If you are experiencing symptoms like these regularly, it could mean your circles need to get bigger and stronger: 
  • tingling and numbness
  • pins and needles feeling
  • cooler temperature of body part compared to rest of body
  • memory loss, fatigue, dizziness, even headaches
  • pale or even white or blue extremities
  • swelling and edema
  • varicose veins
  • itchy skin
  • cramping in feet and legs
  • lower leg pain 

How to Improve Your Circulation

So what do we do to help this bodily giant? 

Get plenty of this.   Regular exercise for one - both aerobic and strength training are vital.  If we don’t move around regularly and keep the muscles strong, weak circles, or at least diminished ones, formulate.

Here is an excuse to spend more time with your kids.  Many studies have shown rebounding, or jumping on a trampoline, appear to be especially effective at improving lymph system circulation   Lymphatic fluid must rely on physical exercise to circle about.  The up-and-down rhythmic gravitation force caused by jumping on a trampoline causes this system's one-way valves to open and close increasing lymph flow.

Chew on these.  There are plenty of foods that help, too.  Here they are:
  • nuts and seeds
  • onions, garlic and ginger
  • dark chocolate
  • citrus
  • chili peppers such as cayenne 
  • olive oil
  • lots of water
  • omega 3 rich foods like salmon, flax seeds and chia seeds
  • herbs such as gingko biloba
  • raw cabbage
Later this week, I will share a favorite recipe with three ingredients that can improve your cirulaiton as well as a free form of therapy you can do on your own to get those circles spinning.

photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/thomashawk/2275652483/">Thomas Hawk</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/">cc</a>