Bears love to hibernate in winter and so do we. But, it’s important to stay active and keep our circulatory system and blood flow in top shape even when we’d rather stay indoors and under the covers. In this article, we will discuss three circulation tips to help boost your energy levels
and prevent cold hands and feet throughout these cold winter months.
Staying Active in Winter is Good For Your Health
Maintaining healthy circulation is key to good health in colder conditions. Exercising in fresh cold air is shown to increase metabolism, burn more calories, boost immunity and increase blood circulation. But, extreme cold also poses some risks for hypothermia, frostbite, and rigid joints which make our bones susceptible to sprains and breaks.
Winter sport athletes and Polar Bear plungers
may love the exhilaration of bracing the cold because they are more acclimated to frigid temperatures, but most of us need to take precautions and take less radical measures to keep our circulation strong.
You don’t have to be as bold as those bears, but with these circulation tips and exercises you can stay warm, healthy and active this winter:
1. Stay Hydrated
Did you know cold weather can be very drying to the skin and slow down circulation? Drink plenty of liquids, especially warm water to keep your body moist and your joints lubricated. Stay away from ice water as it slows down the digestive process and can make you colder. The body has a core temperature of 98.6°F and drinking cold water expends additional energy needed to stay warm to restore this body temperature. Additionally, as tempting as a warm cup of coffee may be, stay away from it and opt for hot tea instead since coffee is a diuretic that causes fluid loss.
2. Tap Your Whole Body
One of the easiest ways to get your blood flowing and your body tingling is with whole body tapping
. This exercise consists of tapping the body to bring blood to the surface of the skin to keep you warm. Beneath the surface, tapping is also helpful for increasing circulation and opening blocked or stagnant lymphs, blood and chi energy. Tapping can strengthen muscles, increase bone density, and open acupressure and meridian points
All age groups can perform this exercise. If you feel discomfort in any area of the body when tapping, tap more lightly and avoid tender areas. Instead, gently rub your hands together to warm them, then lightly massage any sore or tender spots.
How to Do Body Tapping
- Begin with your left arm extended out in front of you, palm facing down. Tap the back of the left hand, then move up the back of the wrist and the outside of the arm, along the elbow, and back up to the left shoulder. Repeat for the right arm.
- Continue tapping with both hands at the middle of your chest, moving down to your solar plexus. Move your hands to your stomach and liver. Tap your abdomen on the left side while concentrating on the stomach.
- Now, bend slightly at the waist as you continue tapping. Move your hands over your lower back and kidneys. Tap all the way down the back of your legs down to your ankles. Then move up the front of your body, starting from your ankles. Tap along your inner calves, thighs, until you come back to your abdomen.
- Tap your abdomen 100 times in a clockwise motion.
- After you’ve tapped your whole body, cross your arms with your hands on your shoulders. Sweep your hands down the front of your body as you uncross your arms. ‘Sweep out’ the rest of your body as well.
And, of course, if you have an area of your body you’d like to tap for a longer time, go for it!
3. Accumulate Energy in Your Core
Weak core muscles can leave you susceptible to poor posture, lower back pain, and poor circulation. And, core strengthening isn’t just about building muscles in your abdomen. A strong core that’s full of energy is key to providing heat that warms up your entire body. Do you often get cold hands and feet? That’s a direct result of low energy levels in your abdomen!
There are specific core strengthening positions that can help you channel energy into your core to increase circulation throughout your entire body. The key is focusing your breath and attention to your belly button area as you hold these postures.
How to Do “Sleeping Tiger” Energy Accumulation Posture
- Lie down on your back and raise your legs and arms up into the air while bending your knees at a 90 degree angle. Your legs should be a fist-width apart and your wrists should be bet at a 90 degree angle.
- Keep your neck and lower back on the floor and breathe comfortably into your lower belly. You may experience a vibration in your legs and/or sweating, which are direct results of blocked energy circuits opening in your body. During this position, you want to focus on accumulating energy into your lower abdomen through four external meridian points (two on the balls of your feet and two on the palm of your hands).
- Relax and breathe in deeply through your nose and out through your mouth. Hold for 2–3 minutes.
We hope these tips help you stay warm over this winter season. Post a comment if you tried any of the exercises, we want to hear from you!