A healthy circulation makes a big difference in how you feel. If your circulation is weak, your heart will have a harder time pumping blood throughout your body making you more lethargic and more prone to serious illnesses.

When you walk or move around, the muscles in your legs and feet help circulate the blood that is flowing downwards from the heart, back up throughout the body. Gravity is making this job much harder for most of the day, which is why sleep is so important (when you’re lying down.) When your muscles contract, blood is pushed upwards and when your muscles relax, your veins are filled with fresh and new blood.

If you’re sitting still for too long, the blood has a much harder time moving around your body and instead of pumping fresh blood, you might be recycling old blood throughout the bottom part of your body (legs/ankles/feet.) This can cause a lot of issues including pain, weakness and blood clots.  This is why it is recommended to get up and move after sitting at a desk for a long period of time or on a flight for several hours.

If you notice that your circulation is poor, you should immediately take steps to improve your circulation to prevent your body from sustaining any permanent damage. Blood supplies the cells in your body with oxygen, nutrients, sugar and hormones.  It also takes away waste and keeps your body as clean as possible. Without proper circulation your blood cells will just be sitting around unable to eliminate waste.

You can try adding ginger, orange, dark chocolate, cayenne pepper, sunflower seeds, or garlic to your diet. You can add more than one ingredient together – like dark chocolate covered orange slices or chicken with ginger, garlic and cayenne pepper. You can also use a fitness tracker or app to make sure you get up every 30 minutes or so to take a quick walk around if you’re sitting around for most of the day.

If you feel like your circulation in your feet or legs is not improving, come to Clifton Foot & Ankle Center.  Dr. Kenneth R. Wilhelm has been treating patients in the Centreville, VA area for over eighteen years. You can call our office at 703-996-3000 or make an appointment here.

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