Nine Ways to Improve Circulation in Your Feet

When you take in a deep breath and fill your lungs with air, it can be easy to forget the lungs are just the oxygen’s first stop inside your body. After oxygen enters your lungs, your heart pumps oxygenated blood through your body to deliver the oxygen to your body while also removing carbon dioxide and other waste products. This circulation helps your body heal if there’s an injury.

But what happens if your oxygenated blood can’t reach everywhere?

This is what happens when you have a circulation problem. Circulation problems typically show up in your feet first, as they are the farthest part of your body from your heart. Serious, unresolved circulation problems can lead to amputation.

Improve Your Circulation

So, how can you make sure your oxygenated blood can reach your feet? Here are nine ways to improve your circulation:

1. Meditate

Yes, really. Stress can cause high blood pressure, which will lead to an unhealthy heart. An unhealthy heart has a difficult time circulating blood everywhere it needs to go, so it focuses on core areas and not extremities like feet. Eliminating stress can help your heart stay healthy. Some ways to help manage your stress could include:

  • Guided meditation
  • Yoga
  • Eliminating stressors
  • Stretching
  • Laughing
  • Talking with someone
  • Sunshine

Turns out laughter is the best medicine!

2. Exercise

If you have poor circulation, your heart needs some help moving the blood around. Any movement is good, but see if you can work up to at least 150 minutes of exercise each week. Find ways you can incorporate more movement into your life. If your job requires you to sit a lot, take breaks to walk around and get in some steps. Park your car a little farther away at the store so you have to walk further. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Walk while you make phone calls. Schedule an after-dinner walk with your whole family. Your heart (and your feet) will thank you.

3. Eat healthy foods

High cholesterol can lead to poor circulation and an unhealthy heart. Incorporate fruit and vegetables into every meal. Limit the amount of fatty or sugary food you intake. You can still enjoy treats, just do so in moderation.

4. Take supplements

Your healthcare provider can help you choose supplements that will best suit you, but ask about adding an Omega-3 supplement to your diet. The anti-inflammatory effects of this supplement can help strengthen your blood vessels. Your doctor may have other supplement suggestions for supplements that will increase your heart health and circulation specifically for your situation.

5. Wear compression socks

Compression socks can help stimulate circulation. They will also help decrease swelling, varicose veins, and blood clot risk.

6. Kick your feet up

Not only will putting your feet up help you reduce your stress (which will help with circulation), but the act of putting your feet up itself will help with circulation. If you can lie with your feet above your heart, it will help boost your circulation.

7. Massage your feet

Rubbing your feet in small circles (from your heel to your toes) can help stimulate the blood flow to your feet. Plus, it feels fantastic!

8. If you smoke, quit

Smoking makes it much more difficult for your body to deliver blood everywhere. If you smoke, you are damaging your blood vessels and their elasticity. You are also causing blockages in your blood vessels. Talk to your doctor about quitting today.

9. Manage your blood sugar

If you have not been diagnosed with Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetes, your pancreas should handle this job for you. If you have been diagnosed with one of these conditions, follow your doctor’s orders to keep your blood sugar in range as much as possible. Over time, elevated blood sugars will cause your body to shut down in many ways, including circulation. You can develop diabetic neuropathy, which will damage the nerves in your feet. You won’t be able to feel if your foot isn’t receiving circulation (due to how you’re sitting), and you can cause severe damage without realizing it. Diabetic foot care is a very important part of the disease.

Signs of Poor Circulation

If you are worried you might have poor circulation, keep an eye out for these symptoms:

  • Tingling sensation
  • Coldness
  • Numbness
  • Post-exercise cramping
  • Slow-growing nails
  • Swelling

If you are experiencing any of these, have a chat with your podiatrist. They can help you decide if your symptoms are due to poor circulation or another cause and what you can do about it.


Nine Ways to Improve Circulation in Your Feet


Circulation problems usually manifest in your feet first because they are the farthest part of your body from your heart. If left untreated, serious circulation problems can result in amputation. To ensure oxygenated blood can reach your feet, find nine ways to improve your circulation in this infographic.

9 Feet Circulation Tips Infographic

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