How to survive the end of the winter….. boost your circulation

Katharine

Forecasts are predicting this warm weather is not set to last….

One irksome by-product of age, especially for women, is a greater propensity to feel the cold. For most, the problem is caused by reduced circulation, which manifests itself as a bluish tinge or whiteness and numbness at the tips of our finger and toes. Legs and neck feel the chill too, stiffening and becoming ever more tense, which serves only to make the circulation spiral further into shut down mode. Inactivity, stress, smoking and tiredness all inhibit circulation, so you could say feeling the cold is as much to do with lifestyle as age because so many of us spend our days seated, not to mention taking short cuts (such as taking the lift not the stairs) that save time but do little for our health and shape.

Therefore the advice would be to adapt your lifestyle to stimulate and maintain your system. The most obvious of these changes is exercise. Circulation operates on the principle of supply and demand: when you move, more blood is pumped into the arteries and veins, taking oxygen and nutrients to organs such as your brain and skin, which is why exercise makes you look and feel better.

The perfect exercise for improving one’s circulation is Nordic Walking. Swinging from the shoulder helps keep the circulation flowing effectively and keeps the shoulder joint mobile. The increased arm swing over normal walking (no other distractions, bags or phones….) and the action of squeezing and releasing the pole handle, means one no longer has numb fingers in winter and circulation is improved. The more advanced Nordic walking technique gently rotates the spine, boosting circulation the whole way down and increasing oxygen and nutrients to the discs and vertebrae. This is immensely important and the benefit cannot be underestimated. Walking boosts your circulation helping to move the fluids around your body, especially from the lower legs and can prevent varicose veins forming and improve the look of cellulite. This is also seen in the activation of rolling your foot from heel through to toe acting as a pump, aiding venous return.

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