Having good circulation is essential for our well-being. A healthy cardiovascular system efficiently transports oxygen-rich and nutrient-rich blood to all organs, tissues and cells. The benefits of physical activity on the heart are innumerable, yet, according to Istat data, in Italy as many as 38% of people aged 3 and over do not practice sports or other forms of physical activity in their daily life. The Ministry of Health believes that possible reasons are the development of automation, the social depreciation of manual work, the prevalence of motorized transport, the disincentive for pedestrians and cyclists, the reduction of free play areas for children, the change in parenting patterns and the lower emphasis placed on physical activity in schools.
All of this has implications for health and general well-being: let's see why and how to improve blood circulation.
The health benefits of sport
Maintaining a good level of activity, moderate and constant, is the greatest vector of physical well-being: it allows you to release nervous tension, fights insomnia, maintains an ideal weight, develops muscle mass, removes or reduces structural disharmonies and removes some diseases that affect weaker bodies more easily, such as respiratory tract disorders in the cold season. But above all, it exerts a strengthening and protective action on blood circulation and the heart. More in detail:
- Improves glucose tolerance and reduces the risk of getting type 2 diabetes;
- Reduces blood pressure and cholesterol levels;
- Decreases the risk of heart attack, heart disease, and colon and breast cancer;
- Prevents and reduces osteoporosis and the risk of bone fractures;
- Prevents musculoskeletal disorders such as back pain;
- Relieves symptoms of anxiety, stress and depression;
- It reduces risky behaviors such as the use of tobacco, alcohol, unhealthy diets and violent attitudes in young people, while promoting the development of self-esteem and autonomy;
- It decreases the risk of obesity and the complications allowed.
The benefits of physical activity on the cardiovascular system
Sport is good for health. Training in a constant and organized way has direct effects on the heart and the cardiovascular system. The heart becomes able to work harder and better, decreases its resting heart rate efficiently, grows in size and overall contractile capacity (particularly in the left ventricle). The coronaries, i.e. the arterial vessels that carry blood into the heart, improve in quality and quantity.
All this means that, with the same physical problems, those who practice physical activity regularly have a 40-50% reduction in the risk of having heart problems compared to sedentary people. Furthermore, among the effects of movement on the cardiovascular system, there is the reduction of directly related problems: it reduces the risk of developing diabetes mellitus and arterial hypertension and lowers cholesterol values in subjects prone to high values.
How blood circulation works
The center of the cardiovascular system is the heart, which works like a pump and which, through the blood vessels, supplies all the cells with oxygenated blood, allowing them to fulfill their metabolic functions. The difference between arteries and veins is related to the type of circulation: the vessels that carry blood from the heart to the periphery are called arteries, while those that work in the opposite direction are the veins. The capillaries act as a bridge between the two types of vessels and exchange substances between the blood and the perfused tissues.
The heart is an indefatigable machine, whose eventual arrest, even for a few seconds, causes irreversible damage to the most sensitive cells that need more oxygen, such as those of the nervous system. All bodily functions depend on its correct functioning, which in turn is directly influenced by physical activity: this is why sport is important. The heart adapts to the amount and frequency of training with functional modifications: increase in heart rate and stroke volume, increase in the length of cardiac fibers. In order for these adaptations to occur without damage, it is essential to approach the sport lightly, and then gradually increase the intensity.
How to stimulate blood circulation with sport
Aerobic activity is the most recommended to improve blood circulation and heart function. It is a low-intensity, long-lasting activity. Anaerobic activity, on the other hand, takes place in the absence of oxygen and causes an increase in the mass of the peripheral muscles and in blood pressure which is reflected in the heart. However, combining the two allows you to exploit the benefits of both and promote overall well-being. Which aerobic sports are good for the heart?
- I swim. The water, producing a small pressure on the venous system, massages the lower limbs, decreases physical stress and benefits blood circulation in the legs;
- Race. It helps to elasticize the blood vessel walls, reducing resistance to the blood that circulates and decreasing blood pressure;
- Bikes. Pedaling makes you lose weight, tones your muscles, improves venous and lymphatic circulation, counteracts swelling and prevents venous thrombotic diseases;
- Walk. Walking is good for circulation: it contributes to the elasticity of blood vessel walls, allowing blood to flow more fluidly;
- Cross country skiing. Involving rhythmic movements, without stressing the joints too much, it is useful for blood circulation and against cellulite;
- Dance. Tones the muscles, makes you lose weight, helps oxygenate the body, makes the heart work at greater intensity and makes blood circulation more fluid;
- Boating. It requires a lot of physical effort, but it is very useful for peripheral circulation, which improves thanks to the increase in capillaries.
FLOKY: starting from the feet to improve circulation
It may seem counterintuitive, but a focal point for circulation is the foot. In addition to supporting body weight and keeping us in a vertical position, in fact, it is from its vascularisation and relative innervation that its physiological role in venous return draws its strength. Acting on the foot means acting on the health of the body and on the right posture, guaranteeing the correct work of every part of the body.
The FLOKY biomechanical stockings are equipped with a band located on the sole of the foot, which acts with localized compression on the Lejars insole, promoting venous return, increasing muscle power and reducing fatigue. Furthermore, the calf muscle compression given by the Tape System increases squeezing, promoting oxygenation of the internal tissues and speeding up recovery.