Cold hands and feet? Ways to improve your blood circulation this winter

29th September 2017 by Daryll Baker0
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Problems with our circulatory systems can be a sign of other health issues, such as varicose veins and thrombosis. High or low blood pressure is a leading cause of circulatory problems. Having cold hands and feet, which is often accompanied with a tingling ‘pins and needles’ sensation, are common signs that the circulatory system isn’t working at its best.

Insufficient oxygen to the tissues due to poor circulation can cause the fingers and the toes to become white or even blue in colour.

In cold weather, the condition can be worsened. It is therefore important to take steps to improve blood circulation during the colder months.

Drink less caffeine

Caffeine is proven to constrict the blood vessels, which can lead to a rise in blood pressure. To avoid caffeine negatively impacting your circulatory system, refrain from drinking too much coffee, tea and other caffeinated drinks this winter.

Keep moving

When it’s cold and dark outside, it can be tempting to curl up on the sofa and not want to move! Though sitting for long periods of time can take its toll on the circulatory system as it decreases the flow of blood around the body, which can cause cold hands and feet and could potentially lead to more serious ailments.

Make the effort to regularly move around during the winter, even if it’s just going for a short walk or doing some exercises as you’re sat down.

Consume higher amounts of garlic

Garlic has incredible immune-boosting properties and is also extremely good for the heart. Consuming garlic can help improve cholesterol levels in the blood and lessen the chances of platelet clumping in the blood.

Get plenty of exercise

Exercise gets the heart beating and the blood pumping around the body, keeping you warm and helping to stave off high blood pressure and other circulatory issues.

You might not feel like exercising when it’s cold and wet but getting regular exercise is one of the key ways to improve your blood circulation all year round.

Eat plenty of ginger

Ginger is another food type that has great healing properties, including improving the flow of blood around the body and helping keep cold hands and feet at bay. So, ensure there’s plenty of ginger in your herbs and spices cupboard this winter!

If you are concerned with any aspect of your vascular health and would like to discuss your concerns with specialists in vascular systems, get in contact with the Vascular Consultancy, experts in treating varicose veins and other vascular conditions.


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Daryll Baker is a Consultant Vascular Surgeon at the Royal Free Hospital London and Clinical Lead for North Central Region Vascular Services.

He read Medicine at Oxford University and trained in Vascular Surgery in Nottingham, London and Edinburgh. He obtained his research PhD from the University of Wales.

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