During the change of life, many physical changes take place, many of them with the help of the circulation system. Gentle exercise, heart-healthy foods and drinking plenty of fresh water, help to promote a healthy circulation system.

Exercise helps to increase the rate the oxygen being taken into the body and moves blood through the vessels faster, so oxygen gets to the cells faster as well as waste products from the cells being removed more quickly.

The Circulation system is basically the body’s main transportation system consisting of the heart, arteries, veins and smaller blood vessels called the capillaries.

The Function of the Circulation System

  • To carry oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body.
  • When blood has delivered oxygen to the cells, it carries the carbon dioxide from the cells back to the lungs.
  • To carry vital fluids and nutrients to all the cells in the body.
  • To aid in the disposal of all wastes from the body.
  • To distribute heat.
  • To fight diseases by using white blood cells to fight off infection.
  • Prevent over bleeding by forming blood clots.
  • The circulatory system helps to remove wastes and poisons.

The Heart

The heart is the vital organ in the body that keeps the blood pumping around the body. It is made up of special muscles called cardiac muscle which is continually contracting to send blood around the body.

It is possible to help maintain a healthy heart through eating heart-healthy foods. For example, fresh fruit and vegetables are mineral-rich and these minerals help to cleanse the blood which keeps the blood vessels smooth and functioning. A diet high in saturated fats (saturated fats are solid at room temperature) have the opposite effect in that they, over time, clog up the vessel walls and so the heart has to work harder to pump blood around the body.

Here is a list of some heart-healthy foods:

  • Fish including Salmon/Tuna
  • Whole grains including Oat Meal, Brown Rice & Kidney beans
  • Nuts & seeds including: Almonds/Walnuts/Flaxseed
  • Tofu/Soy milk
  • Oranges/Blueberries/Strawberries/Raspberries/Tomatoes/Camtaloupe melon/Papaya
  • Carrots/Spinach/Broccoli/Sweet potato/Red peppers/Asparagus/
  • Garlic has numerous beneficial properties and these include blood cleansing, maintaining healthy bacteria in the gut, acting as an antibiotic, it boosts the immune system, and could help to reduce blood pressure and helps maintain a healthy heart.

Arteries

There are 2 sets of blood vessels in the body: arteries carry blood with oxygen away from the heart and veins that carry waste products from the cells back to the heart.

The word ‘artery’ comes from a Greek word for ‘windpipe’ which is arteria.

Here's a simple guide to how the circulation system works:

Basically, the oxygen we inhale through the lungs, travels in the blood to the heart, where it pumped around the body via the arteries. Arteries carry oxygen-rich blood to the cells of the body.  By the time arteries reach the extremities they have broken down into smaller blood vessels called capillaries. 

Capillaries give oxygen to the cells and take away waste products which are then carried in the blood back to the heart and lungs via the veins. The waste products are then exhaled through the lungs.

Veins

The word vein comes from a Latin word vena meaning "a blood vessel.

Veins take the waste products from cells back to the heart.

Valves inside the veins help prevent the waste-rich blood from the cells to keep moving in the proper direction and not be allowed to flow backward. Valves that are located inside the veins accomplish this. The valves are like gates that only allow traffic to move in one direction.

Capillaries

Capillaries play a vital role in making sure oxygen reaches all cells in the body.

These are the smallest blood vessels; they can become very fine indeed. In fact the name capillary comes from the Latin word ‘capillus’ meaning "hair." Capillaries go right into the tissues. Here the blood in the capillaries gives oxygen to the cells and picks up the waste gas, carbon dioxide, from the cells.

The exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide takes place through the thin capillary wall. The red blood cells inside the capillary release their oxygen, which passes through the wall and into the surrounding tissue. The tissue releases its waste products, like carbon dioxide, which passes through the wall and into the red blood cells.

Looking after one’s health is important to maintaining a healthy circulation system.

Your Circulation

It is important to look after one’s circulation during the menopausal years as it is the body’s transport system, carrying oxygen, food, hormones and many more vital nutrients around the body. 

Here are some simple steps one can take to improve one’s circulation on an immediate basis. If you experience any of the following symptoms, the chances are that you have poor circulation here's more data on this problem.

Do you suffer from any of the following?

  • Cold feet
  • Cold hands
  • Hypertension
  • Varicose veins

Other symptoms can include muscle cramping, aching, swollen feet and infections that won’t heal.

Exercise

There are many actions you can take to improve your circulation and exercise is one of them.

Maintaining a schedule of regular, light exercise can really make a difference to your circulation.
Exercise and diet can make a huge impact on the way your body’s circulation performs.

Over time, a lack of exercise coupled with a poor diet, can easily lead to circulation problems such as a build up of fatty deposits on the artery walls, which when hardened can become plaque. Plaque can then block the passage of blood which puts more stress and strain on your heart as it has to pump harder to get the blood circulating properly.

Without going to extremes, it is possible to increase your physical activity. There are many ways to do this and here are some guidelines for you:

  • Brisk walking
  • Doing household chores such as vacuuming
  • Mowing the lawn
  • Cleaning the car
  • Gardening provides excellent exercise also


Here are some more examples of good everyday activities are:

  • Walking up stairs instead of using lifts
  • Walking up moving escalators
  • Walking instead of driving for short journeys
  • Getting off the bus earlier than usual and then walking home
  • Taking a short walk during lunchtime
  • Doing the housework at a quicker pace
  • Any DIY activities can help to provide exercise also

Diet

Women who are going through the change of life may well have to adapt their diet to new needs.Here is a link to more health tips on your menopause and diet including a list of recommended foods.

Calcium & Vitamin D are essential for helping to maintain strong and healthy bones. Eating a high fibre diet and drinking plenty of fresh water - at least a litre of water -  helps to prevent constipation.

Garlic is a winning herb, it helps to maintain well-balanced cholesterol levels, strengthen the immune system and cleanse the blood. It is best to avoid an excessive amount of meat and perhaps replace this with oily fish instead which will boost the healthy fatty acids in your system, such as salmon, mackerel, sardines etc…

Minimise your saturated fats, which include animal fat, cheese, hydrogenated vegetable oils and where possible, avoid sugar, junk foods and salt.

There are many ways you can improve your circulation during the change of life; exercise and diet are 2 such ways.