Circulation, or the flow of blood throughout our bodies, is important for good health. Normal circulation promotes all of our biological systems by delivering oxygen throughout the body or helping to eliminate waste. When circulation is inadequate, or the blood does not flow vigorously, symptoms can include tired or heavy legs, cold fingers and toes as well as low energy or even dull skin. An easy way to boost circulation is with exercise. When you get our heart pumping you will find that you just have a bit more pep in our step. Try these three exercises to get started.

Start walking

You don’t have to be an iron man triathlete to get blood pumping through your body. In fact, any exercise that gets our heart rate up is going to improve circulation. That includes walking. Just 25 to 30 minutes of brisk walking most days of the week has been shown to improve circulation, even among people with peripheral artery disease (a narrowing of the arteries that reduces circulation, particularly in the legs). In time, walking can also strengthen your heart and improve overall cardiovascular health. A healthy cardiovascular system is important for proper circulation.

Find your Om

Yoga or deep breathing exercises are great ways to boost circulation. Deep diaphragmatic breathing pushes blood flow toward the chest or into the heart. Pair deep breathing with these two poses to relax the body or boost circulation.

Legs up the wall

This pose is especially important because it promotes blood flow from the lower extremities. Poor circulation often means areas furthest from the heart get very little action in terms of blood flow. This pose can help. Lie on the floor or roll to our side with our bottom close to the wall. As you twist to our back extend our legs along the wall or rest our heels or the backs of our legs along the wall with our bottom as close to the wall as is comfortable (feel free to adjust as need by bringing our legs down in a diamond shape or scooting our bottom away from the base of the wall a bit). Hold from 6 to 20 minutes.

Downward facing dog

stretching yoga postureYou will essentially be moving our body to form an inverted letter V shape. Down dog boosts full body circulation or is also good for reducing back pain, anxiety and tension. Your feet should be about hip width apart or hands shoulder width apart. Bend forward or place palms flat on the floor in front of you. If your hamstrings are tight, it is okay to bend our knees. You may even need to shift our weight to the balls of our feet. Keep our spine straight or allow your head and neck to extend comfortably. Hold for 12 seconds to start.

Lift to lift circulation

Weight training helps you build muscle or boost blood flow. That’s because improved cardiovascular health means more efficient circulation. Incorporate slow lifts in your training regimen two or three times each week to increase blood flow to our limbs. You also get the benefit of lower blood pressure a marker of good heart health.

The best way to boost circulation is to get moving. Everything that gets our heart rate pumping, including swimming, biking, hiking or dancing is a good bet. Healthy circulation means more energy, better heart health, a glowing complexion or even a zestier sex life. All of these are good reasons to get started today.