The circulation system is a complex system serving the entire body. In looking at senior health tips for leg circulation, you need to take into account that condition of the senior circulation system.
The volume of blood becomes less as you age. Physically the veins and arteries can change, becoming narrower and harder.
It also makes a difference to circulation if you exercised historically or smoked. Exercise over the years, would contribute to better circulation and smoking would do the opposite.
Another factor would be the existence of other physical conditions at the same time. Obviously, heart related conditions such as CVD (Cardio-Vascular Disease), PAD (Peripheral Artery Disease) or AAA (Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm) could affect circulation. Diabetes is not directly related to the heart but could cause poor circulation.
Let’s look at ways to improve the circulation.
Tips for Better Circulation in the Legs
Lifestyle improvements include incorporating exercise in to the daily schedule.
Each person can choose the type of exercise they like best, such as in a group with an instructor, with a walking partner or water aerobics. Exercise classes are available for people with all levels of mobility.
There are options for dietary improvements as well. Including spices in food or as supplements, such as turmeric, ginger and cinnamon, cayenne peppers and garlic, can be helpful. There is empirical evidence supporting the use of foods to help with circulation.
Correct Room and Body Temperature
Try to maintain a steady temperature that is neither too hot nor too cold. If it is too cold the blood vessels will constrict, thereby affecting the circulation. If it is too warm a person could be come dehydrated and feel dizzy.
A senior may have difficulty in regulating their body temperature. You should regulate the temperature around yourself using air-conditioning and heating. If it is too cold, in addition to air conditioning for heating, you can add a layer of clothing or a blanket.
Using hot and cold water the muscles and veins expand slightly and contract, respectively. This encourages circulation. For exercising in a pain free environment and improving circulation thereby, hydrotherapy in a proper pool could be helpful. A ‘home-made’ version can be tried at almost no expense, by alternating hot and cold packs on the legs. Max at 20 minutes of cold pack use at a time, with 1 hour of no cold pack use, in between cycles.
Whenever you are sitting or lying down, raise the legs using a pillow or rolled up blanket. Many people find that the elevation position is quite comfortable and they can get a better, sometimes pain-free rest. When lying down, when the legs are raised above the level of the heart, it is most effective. The weight that collected in the legs goes back up to the abdomen and a person feels comfortable, with less pressure in the legs.
Relaxation and Self Care
Use relaxation techniques to reduce stress that is stored in your body. Body stress raises a person’s blood pressure and can change the heart rate. This can, in turn cause circulation problems. Relaxation can be achieved through focused breathing and other methods, such as yoga and tai chi. Looking after yourself, or rather being kind to yourself, is another way to reduce body stress.
Use of Compression Stockings
If you want to use compression stockings look for:
- A person or company that is an expert in getting the correct fit, otherwise it could be a wasted effort
- That they give you good tips in putting on and taking off this tight garment, and show you how to do it at least once
- Devices or gadgets to help you put the compression stockings on or off
Speak to your doctor before beginning to use these. They are safe to wear for people with almost all medical conditions.
Sit like a lady or gentleman. Don’t cross over the legs, or sit on top of your leg or a foot, since that can inhibit circulation. The weight of your body should be balanced, going though the core of your body, from your shoulders, down your spine. Supporting the back is important. If you don’t reach the back of the chair or sofa comfortably, use support pillows. The feet should be flat on the floor, or place a box or block to support the feet. Keeping the body supported as you sit, encourages good circulation.
These senior health tips for leg circulation can help with your circulation issues. It is, however, always important to be in contact with your healthcare provider for anything related to the circulation system. Sometimes, medication may be required. In that case, use of these tips will help as part of a two-pronged approach to improving your circulation.