Respiration and digestion may not be super sexy, but they are crucial to our overall health and shouldn’t be ignored. While most of us focus on attaining that ideal beach body, it’s important to focus on vital functions that happen behind the scenes.
Circulation definitely falls into this category, too, playing a central role in the complex, interlocking systems of the body. Great blood flow keeps oxygen moving throughout our muscles and organs, and helps remove waste products.
Your circulatory system is like a massive, looping freeway that fast-tracks important deliveries to every corner of the body. Then it takes out the trash when it piles up. It’s an incredible machine that we definitely take for granted.
If you’ve ever struggled with poor circulation, you know what a burden it can be. Energy levels fall, it becomes harder to focus, and you may even experience cold fingers and toes. If any of those symptoms sound familiar, it’s time to get that blood flowing strong once again!
Here are 3 exercises to improve circulation. Plus we’ve added a few tips to make sure your cardiovascular health stays in peak condition.
Steady State Cardio
With most aspects of health and fitness, intuitive answers are usually the best. Swap burgers and fries for salmon and veggies. Drink fresh water instead of soda. If your circulation is lagging, it’s best to get up off the couch and move around!
It may seem overly simplified, but simply raising your heart rate for 20 to 30 minutes a day should be your goal. The best part? You get to pick your favorite activity and still experience all of the benefits of stronger circulation.
Here are a few forms of steady-state cardio you may want to try:
- Morning walk to get an energy boost with the sunrise
- Bike ride around the neighborhood for the speed demons
- Game of pickup basketball, tennis, or your sport of choice
- Brisk walk with the dogs in the park or local trail
- Gentle jog at a reasonable pace (no sprinting needed)
- Swimming laps in the pool
- Hiking in the foothills or mountains
You don’t need to be gasping for air or sweating through your shirt to get the benefits of steady-state cardio. Your circulatory system can improve drastically in just a few weeks if you stick to a daily activity routine.
You should try and push yourself to the limit now and again. However, it’s smarter to put in a manageable daily workout than to burn out and quit. As you toughen up, you can amplify your workout intensity and go for gold.
The benefits of steady cardio for circulation are twofold.
First, you get that instant boost of endorphins and expanded blood vessels that makes exercise a joy in the moment. On top of that, your whole body will warm right up when your heart rate increases.
Turn cardio into a group activity with friends and family members if that helps you stay on the right track. Some folks even sign up for online exercise groups for extra accountability and support from people with similar goals.
Weight loss, better sleep, and improved digestion are just some of the added benefits you get from daily activity.
Yoga and Stretching
Circulatory health isn’t all about rigorous exercise. You can improve blood flow by stretching your muscles and joints in the comfort of your own home. Your arteries and veins benefit greatly from daily stretching, and you don’t even need to break a sweat.
Most of us lead sedentary lives and never experience the full range of motion to let our blood properly circulate. Stretching your arms, legs, back & neck can reduce built-up tension and allow your system to fully function.
Dedicate 10 minutes in the morning to stretching, then repeat the session at night so you can rest easy.
If you need more structure to your routine, sign up for our Daily Email Coaching to get day-by-day instructions on what to eat and what video to press play on. We have several stretch programs included which will help boost your circulation and keep you limber.
You may enjoy one of our newest additions to the Body FX lineup, DaYo. The primary goal of this rhythm-based yoga program is to achieve a deep stretch like never before, holding poses that lengthen and loosen your muscles for better blood and energy flow throughout the body. It’s also a relaxing environment that can help melt away stress and bring you into the present moment, which is never a bad thing for your health.
Stretching and yoga aren’t going to send your heart rate through the roof, but they aren’t exactly a walk in the park, either. To get the most benefit from these movements, you need to commit to a routine and stick with it daily. Over time, you’ll see improvements in your physical and mental health, plus a major boost to your circulation.
Exciting Dynamic Aerobics
Walking, jogging and stretching are the foundation of cardiovascular health, but sometimes you want to spice things up with a more exciting aerobic routine. We don’t blame you if the treadmill gets boring or you’re tired of walking the same old trails.
In fact, it can be hugely beneficial to add something like a dance workout class to your routine as a way to bring your circulation to the next level. These aerobic sessions engage every muscle of the body, burn fat from the stomach and lower back, and keep a smile on your face the whole time.
If you’re brand new to the idea, you’ll want to start at home with an online routine you trust. We have several dance programs to choose from with varying levels of intensity that you can select depending on your experience and energy that day.
At the end of the day, the best way to boost circulation is to follow a daily routine that you actually look forward to! That’s the secret of the fittest people on the planet – they love to work out and they follow their passion. It’s not a chore to exercise, it’s an exciting activity that offers a unique challenge each day.
The best part about a dance workout? You’re doing natural, fun movements that feel great and inspire you to be your best self. Compare that to a long session on the treadmill or stationary bike, and it’s a night-and-day difference!
Just ask any of the hundreds of real people who transformed their bodies and minds with dance workout programs online. The testimonials speak for themselves!
Maintain Those Healthy Habits
We’ve given you three great exercise methods to help improve blood flow, but we can’t forget about the other healthy habits that will benefit your circulatory system as well.
Cleaning up your diet, getting plenty of deep sleep, and combating daily stress will also be a blessing for your circulation, and these will all fall into place when you start moving and grooving daily.
You can also find more support from our Body FX community to help keep you accountable and engaged.
We don’t typically think of circulation as a main motivator for better health, but you may not know what you’re missing! These exercise strategies will help you take those first steps in the right direction and make the journey that much more enjoyable.
As you see your body start to transform for the better, you can thank your circulatory system for doing the heavy lifting and bringing your overall health to the next level.