Although we don’t often think about it, one can face severe health consequences without proper blood circulation. That’s why local health expert Chris Kays breaks down everything one needs-to-know about head-to-toe blood flow.
Our bodies do a pretty good job at sending blood where it’s needed most. One can feel it in the chilly weather as our fingers, noses and ears go numb. This is because our bodies prioritize organs over extremities when it comes to blood flow and heat. It also serves as a reminder of how crucial of a function blood circulation is to our survival.
“It’s important to have good circulation in our bodies because it’s a reflection of good health. It transports oxygen to tissues, nutrients and hormones which serve as growth factors and restorative compounds,” Kays said about the detriment of poor circulation. “It can cause blood clotting which can leave to nerve issues and make the heart work harder. In severe cases the arteries of the heart are being clotted.”
Kays breaks down blood circulation into three components: movement, hydration and nutrition. As our lives become more sedentary in the colder months — and as tempting as it is to cozy up under a blanket all day — Kays emphasizes the importance daily body movement.
“Moving your body, especially every joint in the body more often, is like a hydraulic pump for your body to move fluid. We should all be walking at least three to five miles a day and aim for five to eight,” Kays said sharing one of his favorite alternatives to running and walking. “I’m a bigger fan of something called ‘erectorcises,’ which involves getting up and down from the floor frequently. By doing this, you move your body and add variety to how you get up to involve the upper body or be more sparing on the knee and back.”
Beyond the body movement, our diets also play a big role in bolstering blood circulation. According to Kays: beets, tea, ginger and the Omega-3’s found in fish are amongst the many foods that help our body go-with-the-blood-flow. As far as hydration goes, the recommended standard is around one gallon a day.
“For a standard protocol, I would suggest someone walks through the day regularly and chooses the stairs more. Try to accumulate around four to six miles a day,” Kays said recommending a daily routine. “Also, sit on the floor more often than the chair or couch. By doing this, you have to bend the legs fully and get back up and it aids digestion. Getting up and down from the floor more often helps too. Doig it five to ten times will warm you up and get blood flowing.”
For more tips, tricks and general health and wellness information, visit Kays’ Instagram account @midyconnection.