Boosting Your Blood Flow
You may have heard this amazing fact before, but your blood vessels would stretch out about 60,000 miles if they were laid end-to-end. That means, considering the circumference of the world is 25,000 miles, your arteries, veins, and capillaries could wrap around it almost two-and-a-half times!
Obviously, your blood can travel quite far. Of course, with all the blood vessels inside you—and not wrapped around the earth—the farthest it has to go is down to the feet. Healthy circulation is essential for healthy feet, so today we’re going to look at ways to boost your blood flow.
Often, poor blood flow (peripheral arterial disease, or PAD) can be attributed to atherosclerosis – a buildup of plaques (fatty deposits) along artery walls. This impairs the flow of oxygenated blood from the heart. PAD can develop in response to factors like smoking, diabetes, high cholesterol, obesity, and heredity.
It’s worth noting that when PAD develops in conjunction with diabetes, another issue you need to be aware of is peripheral neuropathy (nerve damage). When PAD and neuropathy coexist, it creates a potentially volatile situation wherein your body is unable to heal wounds you aren’t even aware exist (because of numbness from neuropathy). This can potentially lead to the formation of dangerous diabetic foot ulcers.
Some of the steps you can take to improve your blood flow include:
- Quit nicotine. Smoking is obviously a big culprit, but vaping and smokeless tobacco products are also a concern. One of the effects of nicotine is constriction and damage of the arteries.
- A regular exercise routine will condition your muscles to use oxygen in a more effective manner. If you haven’t been active for a while, though, keep in mind you will need to ease into a workout program.
- Eat a healthy diet. You can take control of cholesterol and blood pressure levels by eating a heart-healthy diet consisting of fresh fruits, veggies, whole grains, and lean proteins.
These are all great ways to boost your blood flow and ensure your feet receive the appropriate nutrients they need. Of course, if you are experiencing issues, you should come in to see us. General guidelines and tips are a starting point, but your body and life circumstances are unique. We can create a customized treatment plan for you.
(Also, make sure you consult with your primary care physician – poor blood flow doesn’t just affect your feet!)
For more information on healthy circulation, or if you need to request an appointment with our Roseburg, OR office, just give us a call at (541) 673-0742. One of our team members will be happy to answer any questions or help schedule your visit. If you’d prefer, you can take advantage of our convenient online form to contact us right now!