How Exercise Improves Blood Circulation in Your Hands & Legs
We all know that proper circulation is important; but do we know which exercises to improve blood circulation we should consider?
I didn’t know before I started to get pretty deep into my research about ergonomics.
This is because ergonomics and blood circulation are very closely linked and by improving your ergonomic situation either by using a high quality office chair, or by finding other ergonomic office equipment that helps to take the strain of your various pressure points, you will will see an improvement in your blood circulation.
However, correct ergonomics is only part of the equation and exercise (click here) being of equal importance.
Proper blood circulation is hugely important in your general health; your circulatory system continuously transports oxygen and other nutrients to the brain, skin, and all of your vital organs in your body.
When your circulation is reduced, diseases both cosmetic and serious such as varicose veins, kidney disease, and even stroke may occur.
I will detail below several ways that exercise can increase your blood circulation and therefore improve your overall well being.
I will start with general methods for overall body health and then move on to specific body parts.
General Exercises to Improve Blood Circulation
Any exercise that you use to increase your heart rate will get your blood pumping and your circulation flowing around your body.
But there are some specific ways that can certainly help and that do not have to mean punishing exercise!:
- Any kind of martial arts
- Skipping rope (jump rope)
- Punchbag workouts
- Shadow boxing (in front of a mirror)
- Star jumps or other calisthenics
- Push ups and other body weight exercises
Remember that the idea here is not to punish yourself, but to get your heart squeezing and pushing your blood around your body whilst improving the elasticity of your blood vessels.
Don’t worry about only being able to do one push up or being out of breath after 5 minutes of running. The fact that you are trying is the first step and you should be proud that you have taken an active decision to improve your health.
Try Resistance Training
Studies have shown that resistance training results in increased blood flow to the extremities, which we can take to mean that your heart is stronger and can push your blood around your body further.
Both aerobic (a process that uses oxygen like running) and anaerobic (a process that doesn’t use oxygen like weight lifting) exercise improve circulation, but other studies have shown that anaerobic exercise show a better improvement in circulation.
In a study funded by the National Strength and Conditioning Association, researchers determined that resistance exercise increased blood flow to limbs more than aerobic exercise.
Resistance exercises to incorporate into your workout may include:
- Lifting weights
- Pushups and chin-ups
- Bench presses
- Leg curls
- Overhead presses
These exercises improve your blood circulation by stimulating muscle growth and strength. Your circulation can only improve through consistent resistance training.
To see increased circulation, incorporate resistance training into your workouts. Incorporate a variety of weight training exercises such as .
These exercises can be done by themselves or as part of your overall workout.
You Can Try These Out To Improve Your Health:
Improve Blood Circulation in Legs
Having good circulation in your legs is really something to think about because you have the biggest muscles in your legs as well as some very big arteries, (ever heard of the femoral artery?).
This is also where blood clots can originate from and flow up to the brain or heart causing very unpleasant health problems.
Again as with everything I will talk about on ErgonomicHealthHQ, ergonomics is really so important for improving blood circulation, and especially so in your legs.
This is because if you are sitting down behind a computer all day and do not have the correct chair, you will pinch off certain parts of your blood flow and while they may not result in horrible health problems, it will make your life more uncomfortable.
Don’t sit or stand for too long should be the mantra you live by when working in an office and even just setting a timer to walk around for a while will be good (also for your eyes).
You could set a timer for 20 minutes and then walk around the office for 1 minute before going back to work, or work for 30 minutes and then walk around for 3. It really depends on what you are doing but these times are kind of rules of thumb.
If you are the opposite and are standing for long periods during the day, this is also bad for you and you should consider not standing in 1 place.
I am certainly aware that there are some jobs that require standing in one position for long periods of time, but usually these places have rules in place that require rests at certain intervals. You should take this time to stretch your legs slightly and sit down to take the strain off.
Walking around is really the best way to improve circulation to your legs, but being aware of the shoes or insoles that you are wearing is an important factor.
Some great exercises to improve blood circulation in legs include:
- standing on your tip toes and back down repeatedly
- Rotating your feet clockwise 5 times then anticlockwise 5 times
It is also beneficial to breathe in deeply and in rhythm whilst you are doing these things.
Improve Blood Circulation in Feet
When reading about improving the blood circulation to your legs you may think that this would in turn lead to better circulation for your feet.
While true to a certain extent, the feet are a different beast to work.
Just like your legs, investing in the correct pair of ergonomic shoes will do wonders for your feet and make you feel more comfortable as well as improving your blood flow.
They also have other benefits to other parts of your body including your back.
Improve Blood Circulation in Hands
Spreading the Fingers and breathing normally, you will first close your fingers into a fist with the thumb inside and then spread them wide.
The key to this exercise is repetition so do this movement 10 times.
Fist Circling is also another great one you can try which will help to increase the movement of your wrist.
Close the fingers into fists with the thumbs inside and make 5 circling motions in each direction (a total of 10)
Flexing and extending your wrists is another great exercise to improve blood circulation in hands.
Use an alternate movement to bend your hands up and down from the wrists, keeping the fingers straight.
Repeat this 5 – 10 times everyday and you will soon start to see an improvement.
All of the exercises listed here are meant to be used as often as possible, but also as part of an overall exercise routine.
The main thing to take away here is that any kind of exercise you do will improve blood circulation. Just by walking for an extra 10 minutes a day, you will start to see an improvement in the way you feel!
If I were to really give any advice to improve your blood circulation it would be this: https://www.ergonomichealthhq.com/best-massage-chair-reviews/
Any exercise is great. You will not only benefit from increased blood circulation, but also from all of the other positive benefits that come from regular exercise such as increased strength, vitality and happiness.
As always, comment below and give us all some other suggestions about how to increase circulation!