Did you know that if you removed all the blood vessels out of your body and laid them out in a straight line, that line would stretch over 100,000 miles long? Those miles of blood vessels are responsible for carrying oxygen down from the heart to every part of your body. This complex rhythm of blood, heart, and vessels is called the circulatory system, and without proper care, this system can negatively impact your entire body, from brain and motor function, to your body’s ability to digest food. Follow these straightforward steps to keep this vital highway running smoothly.

Work it Out

Your heart is a muscle, and like all muscles, it gets stronger with use. Although it’s always beating, making it work harder also makes it healthier. One of the most effective things you can do to keep your circulatory system healthy is exercise. In addition to combating the effects of sedentary, desk-job lifestyles, regular exercise gives the oxygen supply in your body a much-needed boost, strengthens your heart, and helps keep your blood vessels in tip-top shape.

If you do not keep tabs on your circulatory health, you do run the risk of developing varicose veins–large, gnarled veins that typically manifest in the legs and feet. Varicose veins are the result of poor circulation, and while the most common issue is cosmetic, often these enlarged veins also cause pain and discomfort. Once varicose veins develop, the treatment options vary from self-care–exercising, elevating legs, and wearing compression stockings–to more advanced treatments such as injecting the veins with a solution that scars and closes them, called sclerotherapy.

Eat Your Way to Great Circulation

To increase your circulatory health, maintain a healthy diet full of fruits and vegetables. Foods rich in vitamin K, omega-3s, and fiber are excellent:

  • Olive oil
  • Avocado
  • Cold water fatty fish
  • Nuts
  • Legumes
  • Oatmeal
  • Berries
  • Citrus
  • Tomatoes
  • Leafy greens
  • Dark chocolate

Try to avoid foods that have a lot of saturated fat or trans fat, which can cause fat to build up in the blood vessels and potentially cause a heart attack. Sugar and refined carbohydrates also don’t do any favors for your heart.

Where There’s Smoke…

The final and easiest step that you can take to ensure the health of your circulatory system is to keep tobacco products and secondhand smoke far away. Smoking puts dangerous chemicals in your body, damages your heart and blood vessels, releases unhealthy gases into the blood, and deprives your cells of the oxygen they need for optimal function.

To learn more about keeping your cardiovascular system in tip-top condition, visit the Ivein Treatment Center of Provo, Utah online.

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