08 July, 2011
Exercises for Poor Circulation in the Arms & Hands
Poor circulation can be caused by a number of factors ranging from medications or injury to improper positioning. Exercises for poor circulation in arms and hands can range from cardiovascular workouts that improve overall blood flow to specific exercises that concentrate on only your arms and hands. Because not all exercises work for everyone, check with your doctor before starting any new exercise to be safe.
Proper posture plays a key role in allowing your blood to circulate freely between your collarbone and first ribs. This area contains the key blood vessels that travel to and from your hands and arms, according to the Dr. Ben Kim website. Maintaining proper posture and becoming aware of how you carry yourself need to be included in your exercises that work on improving poor circulation in arms and hands. Pretend there is a straight line running through your spinal column to the top of your head to maintain proper alignment. Hold your shoulder blades together and keep your neck aligned with your spinal column to avoid sticking your chin out or slouching your upper body forward.
Gently stretching out your upper body encourages good posture and circulation while also lowering your chances of slouching your back, shoulders and chest area throughout the day. Include some gentle pillow stretches to counteract the poor circulation in your arms and hands. Lie on your back either on a sofa or while in bed for this exercise. Gently lift your upper body and place two pillows on the bed underneath your upper and middle spine area, according to Dr. Ben Kim. Lie back and let the pillow and positioning gently stretch your spinal column. Breathe regularly and stretch for five minutes. Gradually increase the duration of the stretch as your comfort level improves. For variety, try doing this exercise using an exercise ball.
Acupressure can be an effective exercise used to increase circulation in your arms and legs. Acupressure involves applying gentle pressure to specific points on your upper extremities that tie in with the largest and most accessible arteries that supply blood to the region, according to Dr. Ben Kim. Start by locating your brachial artery, just inside your biceps tendon. Find the spot by slightly bending your elbow and feel your biceps tendon pop up. Place your index finger one finger-width above your elbow crease. It will be easy to feel your pulse at this spot. Gently apply pressure for 30 seconds. Release pressure and relax. Do this exercise five times daily.
Walking provides an all-body aerobic exercise that can improve circulation throughout the body. Walking is the exercise of choice, according to the American Heart Association, due to its low dropout rate, ease and low cost. The only cost involved will be a good pair of well-fitted walking shoes. As an aerobic exercise, walking causes your heart to pump faster and work harder for prolonged periods of time. The more your heart works, the more efficient your body distributes blood and nutrients. Start walking for five minutes daily at a comfortable pace, if new to exercising. Gradually increase your time in five-minute increments and increase your speed until you walk at a moderately-brisk level. Shoot for a goal of walking 30 minutes on five or more days weekly. If 30 minutes is too daunting, divide your workouts into 10-minute increments three times daily.
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