How Can I Improve Circulation in My Legs and Feet?

How Can I Improve Circulation in My Legs and Feet?

Poor circulation in the legs and feet is the mark of a condition called Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD.) It’s a condition that has no known cure, but there are preventative measures that can be taken to allow the patient some control of the situation.

Places of Improvement

Preventative measures are plenty. However, in this case, it’s not just one or the other. To cover such methods, we need to first discuss the objects that require improvement. What needs improving? We’ve broken down these main issues down below: 

  • Arterial Inflammation: Arterial Inflammation can be caused by a diet that is high in sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, artificial trans fats, excessive alcohol, processed meats, vegetable and seed oils, etc. It’s a condition that is closely linked to atherosclerosis (the buildup of plaque in the arteries.)  As such, it is important that arterial inflammation is kept as reduced as possible, to help improve blood circulation in the legs and feet.  
  • Blood Viscosity: Blood viscosity is a measurement of how “sticky” or “thick” one’s blood is. Thick or sticky blood does not flow easily in the arteries and veins. As such, it is important that one preemptively take measures to keep the blood thin — in order to allow it to flow naturally through the legs and feet. 
  • Arterial Function: Of course, the arteries themselves are of concern. In order to keep the blood circulation in your legs healthy, then the arteries should stay flexible and be able to dilate and contract as needed. 

How to Improve Circulation in Legs and Feet? 

With the places of improvement in mind, let us discuss a couple of preventative measures that can be taken to address the aforementioned issues.  

  • Healthy Diet: As a way of reducing blood inflammation, reducing blood viscosity, and supporting healthy arterial functioning, it is important that one keep a healthy diet. Studies have shown that the best diet for improving circulation in the legs and feet is a Mediterranean diet (filled with nuts, fish rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids, olive oil, etc.)  
  • Exercise: Walking, and other low-impact exercises have also been said to help promote healthy blood circulation in the body. For example, in a study of elderly patients tasked to walk regularly for a 12-week period, it was concluded that the risk of cardiovascular problems was greatly reduced.  
  • Smoking Cessation: Chemicals in cigarette smoke (like Nicotine) have been studied to cause cellular damage that goes as far down as your legs and feet. In this case, said chemicals can cause the arteries to narrow and clot more easily. As such, if you have been diagnosed with poor circulation in your lower extremities, it is important that you stop smoking immediately.  

Conclusion — How Can I Improve Circulation in My Legs and Feet? 

Poor circulation in the legs and feet does not have a cure-all solution. However, if you are diagnosed early enough, there are ways for you to target whatever issues might have prompted your condition in the first place and take control of the situation.  

As such, if you are over the age of 50 (with a history of smoking or diabetes), it is vital that you get tested for an ABI. The sooner that you make improvements, the better off you will be.  

 

REFERENCES 

  1. He, L I, et al. “Effects of 12-Week Brisk Walking Training on Exercise Blood Pressure in Elderly Patients with Essential Hypertension: a Pilot Study.” Current Neurology and Neuroscience Reports., U.S. National Library of Medicine, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29363988. 
  2. Ruiz-Canela, Miguel. “Mediterranean Diets and Peripheral Artery Disease.” JAMA, American Medical Association, 22 Jan. 2014, jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/1817779.  
  3. Timisjärvi, J, et al. “Effect of Smoking on the Central Circulation at Rest and during Exercise as Studied by Radiocardiography.” Current Neurology and Neuroscience Reports., U.S. National Library of Medicine, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7465436