Healthy blood flow and healthy weight management tend to go hand in hand. Not only can weight loss help boost overall heart health, but many of the steps you can take to improve circulation have the added bonus of helping you maintain a healthy weight as well. The following habits can help you kill two birds with one stone—they will get your blood pumping while also potentially contributing to your weight loss success.
1. GET UP AND GET MOVING
30 minutes of aerobic exercise each day is a great way to help support heart health and blood flow, and burn calories and fat. If your job requires you to be at a desk for most of the day, do whatever you can to spend less time in your chair. Take breaks to get up and walk around, and if your workplace offers standing desks, take advantage of them.
2. EAT FOR YOUR HEART
Dark beans, spinach, oatmeal, flaxseed, berries, dark chocolate and fish high in omega-3s are among the healthy, nutrient-rich food items that have been shown to positively affect heart health. If you aren’t great about regularly consuming fish, consider incorporating an omega-3 supplement into your daily routine.
3. QUENCH YOUR BODY’S THIRST
More than half of our blood volume consists of plasma, which is about 93 percent water. Staying hydrated makes it easier for your heart to pump blood to your muscles, and drinking plenty of water, especially before meals, can help you feel full and could also help with achieving a healthy weight. Be sure to drink at least eight glasses of water a day—more if you’re sweating significantly due to heat or exercise.
4. TAKE YOUR VITAMINS
Weight loss and exercise can help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol levels, and taking multivitamins is another effective way to support heart health. Multivitamins that include phytosterols may help support healthy cholesterol levels. In addition, taking diet supplements with L-Carnitine may also be beneficial, as there is evidence that it provides support to circulation and blood flow.
5. BE A QUITTER
Smoking has a number of negative effects on the circulatory system, all of which can lead to serious health problems like stroke and heart attack. If that’s not reason enough to quit, here’s one more: giving up the habit can help you kick-start a more effective exercise plan because non-smokers tend to have better endurance than smokers. In other words, ditching cigarettes could potentially help you ditch excess pounds by enabling you to work out harder and reap more benefits from exercise.