Proper blood circulation is vital for a person’s health. Circulation of blood delivers oxygen and nutrients to all the parts of the body and removes carbon dioxide and other toxins.
The circulatory system, also called the cardiovascular system, consists of the heart and blood vessels.
With the increase in physical activity, your muscles need more blood supply and oxygen. This increase in blood flow is essential to boost your workout and prevent muscle soreness. Better circulation can also strengthen the heart and cardiovascular system and prevent cardiovascular diseases.
Regular exercise and physical activity are needed to boost circulation, which is essential for health and physical fitness. Exercise strengthens the circulatory system and makes it more flexible and expansive.
Following a consistent training plan has several benefits concerning the circulatory system. It helps strengthen the heart and blood vessels, improves the efficiency of gas exchange, and boosts overall circulation.
Genes related to blood circulation are candidates for gene doping. They can increase the endurance and aerobic performance of athletes. Gene doping is banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). There are other natural ways to improve blood circulation.
Causes of Poor Blood Circulation
- Certain health conditions like diabetes, obesity, peripheral artery disease, and varicose veins affect blood circulation.
- People with low blood pressure may have poor circulation.
Signs and Symptoms of Poor Blood Circulation
The signs and symptoms of reduced blood flow include
- Throbbing or stinging pain
How Does Genetics Influence Blood Circulation?
Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGFA) is a glycoprotein that helps form new blood vessels. This gene is expressed in various cells and plays an important role in vascular development, lymph genesis, tumorigenesis, and development. The gene activates signaling pathways during lack of oxygen to cells or tissues and promotes angiogenesis to supply adequate amounts of oxygen to cells or tissue. An increase in oxygen supply plays a vital role in an athlete’s performance and increasing endurance.
The hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF) family of proteins regulates the activity of genes in low-oxygen environments. The HIF1A gene encodes proteins involved in the process of hypoxia, angiogenesis, and erythropoiesis(red blood cell formation) activation or regulation of glucose metabolism. This greatly helps in athlete’s endurance and aerobic dependence.
The rs11549465 C >T polymorphism is present in exon 12 of the HIF1A gene. The T allele is associated with increased transcriptional activity of the gene and hence increases the hypoxic resistance of cells (high glucose metabolism, high angiogenesis), offering better endurance to athletes.
Non-Genetic Factors That Influence Blood Circulation
- Certain health conditions like diabetes, obesity, and other diseases that affect the cardiovascular system may lead to poor blood circulation.
- A sedentary lifestyle also contributes to poor blood circulation.
- Smoking increases the risk of health conditions that can lead to poor circulation.
Recommendations to Improve Blood Circulation
Exercise is one of the best ways to improve blood circulation and strengthen the circulatory system. Walking, jogging, knee bends, yoga, stretching are very basic exercises that can boost circulation. Follow a training plan suited to your body and be consistent. Cardio or aerobic exercises can improve circulation and your breathing capacity.
- Include food sources that contain omega-3 fatty acids like salmon, mackerel, kale.
- Eat foods rich in iron. These include red meat or spinach. Iron is needed for hemoglobin, which is the oxygen carrier.
- Drink lots of water. This helps flush out toxins from the blood.
- Include a rich source of antioxidants like tea, onion, pomegranate.
- A rich source of vitamin E and B vitamins helps improve circulation.
Smoking is bad for your circulatory system. Nicotine is found to tighten blood vessels and restrict blood flow.
A good massage helps you relax and de-stress. It also improves blood circulation and promotes circulation in congested areas.
Maintain a healthy weight to reduce your risk of health conditions and promote proper circulation.
- Proper blood circulation is vital for a person’s health. Circulation of blood delivers oxygen and nutrients to all the parts of the body and removes carbon dioxide and other toxins.
- With an increase in physical activity, your muscles need more oxygen. The blood supply to the muscles increases. Regular exercise improves blood circulation and keeps your circulatory system healthy.
- Poor circulation can be due to a number of conditions. Symptoms include throbbing or stinging pain, tingling, numbness, cramping.
- Gene doping can increase the endurance and aerobic performance of athletes. This is banned by the WADA. There are other natural ways to boost circulation.
- The C allele of SNP rs2010963 found in the VEGFA gene leads to increased growth of capillaries and more circulation in response to aerobic physical exercise. The T allele of SNP rs11549465 is associated with increased aerobic capacity and endurance.
- A good massage, a balanced diet, consistent physical training, and avoiding smoking can help improve blood circulation.