The circulatory system brings blood, oxygen, and essential nutrients to all parts of the body. With the heart providing propulsion, blood flows through progressively smaller channels as it moves away from the heart to areas where it is needed. This blood flow can be compromised in a variety of ways: smoking, poor diet, high levels of sedentary activity, and stress all have major negative consequences for the cardiovascular system. Arteries may become stiffened, increasing the likelihood of blockages, stroke, heart disease, and heart attacks. A healthy lymphatic system--often overlooked by patients wanting to improve blood circulation--also works in conjunction with the cardiovascular circulatory system in order to remove bodily toxins and keep fluid levels consistent. The lymphatic system also transports immune cells through the body to combat infection. Unlike the cardiovascular circulatory system, though, lymphatic cells are not propelled by the heart. They must rely on gravity, exercise, and a healthy lifestyle for transport.
First and foremost, diet may be used to improve blood circulation and monitor heart health. A wide diet including frequent servings of whole, healthy foods will boost arterial strength and improve blood flow. Foods like blueberries, dark chocolate, and avocados contain high amounts of flavonoids, which combat the free radicals responsible for damaging healthy cells in the body. Oranges and other foods high in Vitamin C (such as many different peppers) help reduce arterial plaque--and corresponding potential blockages--while also improving the overall strength of the arteries. Garlic and nuts high in Vitamin E (walnuts, almonds, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds) help in thinning the blood and reducing risk of plaque blockage.
In addition to a healthier, more diverse diet, other general lifestyle changes will help immensely to improve blood circulation. Adequate hydration is extremely important here--low fluid levels in the body prompt the heart to work harder in order to reach all essential areas. There are also several water-soluble toxins that the body regularly purges. If hydration is inadequate, fewer of these toxins will be removed and blood toxicity will increase. Exercise that prompts increased cardiovascular activity--such as jogging, calisthenics, strength training, and stretching--will also help to improve blood circulation. Swimming, which uses many different muscle groups simultaneously, will quickly prompt the heart to increase its circulatory capability. Since lymph movement is entirely dependent on physical movement and gravity in order for lymph cells to circulate properly, frequent jumping exercises (such as the use of a trampoline) help immensely. Slow, low-impact jumps are also beneficial if your joints and stabilizer muscles are not up to more intense exercise. Try to incorporate all of these solutions--hydration, a healthy diet, and exercise--to provide maximum cardiovascular and lymphatic circulatory benefits.