Did you know that you need to walk at least 7000 steps a day? If you walk less than 7000 steps a day, you are considered sedentary! Today, we are sharing a video from www.primalplay.com. It helps to quickly show the results of living a sedentary lifestyle. Primal Play is a great website to check out if you want to incorporate more movement into your day in a fun and easy way! Have a wonderful “Moving” day!
A healthy circulatory system is crucial to good health. To be at its best, your body needs to be able to keep blood pumping from the heart and lungs through the arteries to your organs and extremities, and then keep pumping it back to the lungs for re-oxygenation. Anything that interferes with the proper circulation of blood puts your body’s health at risk for lots of reasons.
“Poor circulation” can mean many things. Common symptoms include having consistently cold fingers and toes, experiencing tingling in your feet and hands, feelings of numbness, tiredness and a general lack of energy, and chronically dry skin. More serious symptoms of poor circulation can include headaches, hair loss, dizzy spells, varicose veins, muscle cramps, feeling short of breath, memory lapses (due to impaired blood flow to the brain), bluish-tinted skin, and slow healing times for wounds.
What causes poor circulation?
One of the most common causes is inactivity and lack of exercise. To keep the blood moving, you need to keep your body in motion. And do it often. Poor diet and carrying excess weight can lead to poor circulation, as can diabetes and many other chronic diseases. Medically, if you have been diagnosed as hypertensive (having high blood pressure), this is almost always an indicator of poor circulation. The “high pressure” is caused by your heart having to pump harder to cause the blood to keep flowing, often because of blood vessels that have become constricted because of stress, disease, or the buildup of plaque.
How can poor circulation be treated?
Serious circulatory problems can be treated with medication. But for most people anxious to improve their circulation and thus their overall health, a few lifestyle changes can do wonders:
- Get more exercise. Walk rather than ride. Take the stairs rather than the elevator. Go for walks after lunch and go to the gym after work. Your body functions best with a minimum of 30 minutes exercise per day.
- Stretch more. Not just before exercising, but at your desk at work. Stretching helps to relieve stress, and stress is one of the things that can constrict your blood vessels.
- Get massages. Massage improves circulation by stimulating the soft tissues of your body and encouraging blood flow.
- Put your feet up. After you exercise, elevating your legs can really help you not only to relax, but increase your circulation. It also reduces your risk of developing varicose veins.
- Eat healthier foods. Try to eat more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats (from fish, olive oil, and nuts), and lean meats. Try to avoid processed foods.
- Drink more water, and less caffeine. When you’re thirsty, drink water instead of coffee or black tea or soft drinks. Try to cut down on or avoid alcohol, because it definitely impedes circulation.
- Don’t smoke, or quit smoking if you do. Nicotine and the pulmonary perils of smoking are among the most common causes of poor circulation.
- De–stress, however you can. Stress has an extremely negative effect on your circulation. So try to find healthy outlets for the stresses you encounter at work and in other areas of your life, to release the stress rather than have it build up and become toxic.
- Consider herbs and supplements that can help. Ginger, hawthorn berry, cayenne, motherwort, garlic, ginkgo biloba and vitamins C and E all can help to improve your circulation.
If any of the symptoms become chronic, see your doctor or chiropractor. Don’t try to “tough it out” and live with the discomfort of consistent symptoms of poor circulation. Some of the causes can be very serious indeed, so see an expert to make sure.
With summer here, many fitness enthusiasts are taking to a cooler place to get their workout: the pool. According to Women’s Health magazine, “No other workout burns calories, boosts metabolism, and firms every muscle in your body (without putting stress on your joints) better than a swimming workout.” If you’re sick of jogging in the hot sun, if you’re looking for a cool and low-impact way to get your exercise, or if you’ve got a bad back and you’re searching for the right exercises, look to the water—pool exercises may be right up your alley. Here are a few of the best in-pool exercises to get started with:
- Water walking. For this exercise, you’ll need a piece of fitness equipment called “hand webs,” which are sort of like fins for your hands. As the Mayo Clinic suggests, “In water that’s about waist-high, walk across the pool swinging your arms like you do when walking on land. Avoid walking on your tiptoes, and keep your back straight. Tighten your abdominal muscles to avoid leaning too far forward or to the side. To increase resistance as your hands and arms move through the water, wear hand webs or other resistance devices. Water shoes can help you maintain traction on the bottom of the pool.” For more intensity, try deep-water walking next.
- Arm exercises. These can also be done with hand webs to increase resistance for better muscle toning and more calories burned. In waist-high water, put your arms down at your sides, then slowly raise them, extended, to the surface of the water. The hand webs will create a drag that will force your arm and abdominal muscles to work harder. Then simply lower your extended arms back down to your sides and repeats.
- Resistance exercise. For this, you’ll need a kickboard. This exercise provides another type of resistance. From the Mayo Clinic, “Standing up straight with your legs comfortably apart, tighten your abdominal muscles. Extend your right arm and hold the kickboard on each end. Keeping your left elbow close to your body, move the kickboard toward the center of your body. Return to the starting position and repeat 12 to 15 times or until you’re fatigued. Then extend your left arm and repeat the exercise on the other side. Standing up straight with your legs comfortably apart, tighten your abdominal muscles. Extend your right arm and hold the kickboard on each end. Keeping your left elbow close to your body, move the kickboard toward the center of your body. Return to the starting position and repeat 12 to 15 times or until you’re fatigued. Then extend your left arm and repeat the exercise on the other side.”
- Leg exercises. These require a pool noodle, which are very inexpensive and quite easy to come by. To work out your leg muscles, tie the pool noodle around your leg or water shoe, if you use one. In waist-high water, stand with your back against the edge of the pool. For stability, grab hold of the pool’s edge with your hands, then straighten your right leg in front of you until it is at a 90 degree angle. Then return your leg to the first position and begin again, doing 12 to 15 reps for each leg.