Modern Heart and Vascular

Six Months Special Financing

Improving Circulation in The Legs Naturally

Improving Circulation in The Legs Naturally

Improving Circulation in The Legs Naturally

Blood vessels and muscles that help control blood flow throughout your body make up your circulatory system. This process is circulation. The circulatory system plays an essential role in overall health by transporting oxygen and nutrients to cells and helping to remove waste and carbon dioxide.

We depend on our blood to keep us healthy and our bodies functioning. Therefore, less blood flow in the lower parts of the body leads to poor circulation. For example, a blockage of the arteries in the legs may lead to poor blood circulation in the extremities. If our blood circulation is poor, we will likely experience adverse symptoms.

Next, we will show you the signs of poor circulation and how you can improve it.


Some signs and symptoms of poor circulation are easy to spot as long as you know what to look for. Common signs and symptoms of poor circulation include the following:

  • Red, blue, purple, or white toes
  • Unexplained hair loss on feet and legs
  • Feet and hands frequently excessively cold
  • Feet may get numbed easily
  • Fatigue
  • Varicose veins
  • Swelling in your legs
  • Muscle cramps
  • Feet and legs ulcers
  • Tingling sensation
  • Digestive problems
  • Dizziness

If any of these signs and symptoms sound familiar, keep reading to understand natural ways to improve blood circulation in the legs.

As always, you must consult your physician or healthcare provider if you experience any signs or symptoms of poor circulation or are concerned about them.


There are ways to enhance blood circulation in your legs regardless of your activity level, even lying in bed. We analyze specific moves that may be beneficial and also include non-exercise tips to improve leg circulation. In this case, the movements incorporate what you may do with your legs and passive range-of-motion actions that may help.

Next, we will show you several quick tips for improving blood circulation in your feet and legs:


Walking is one of the best, low-impact, simplest, and most effective exercises to get your circulation moving healthily. Walking is something that almost everyone can participate in, and it is one of the most significant ways to enhance blood circulation in the legs naturally.

Any amount of walking is the number one recommendation for improving circulation. You can start small, taking short walks, even as little as five minutes daily. Studies indicate that even small increases in the amount of time you walk daily can have benefits. If you can do more, add time or speed gradually.

Walk at a comfortable pace every day. Walking increases the contraction of your leg muscles and improves blood flow in your limbs and throughout your body.

There are other ways to get your heart pumping and circulation working, but running may be hard on your body, especially if you have other health problems


Some exercises may be beneficial if you are on bed rest for any time, such as after surgery or when it is crucial to maintain blood circulation in your legs to prevent blood clots from forming.

These exercises while you are lying down include the following:


  1. While lying on your back with the legs straight out in front of you, bend one knee while keeping your foot flat.
  2. Keeping the other leg straight and “locked,” raise it until your knees are level.
  3. Lower the leg slowly, in a controlled motion.
  4. Repeat ten times.
  5. Repeat with the other leg.
  6. Build up more repetitions as you can.


  1. While lying on your back with your feet straight, flex your foot to wiggle your toes upward ten times.
  2. You can do this movement one foot at a time or with both feet together.
  3. Repeat the ankle pump, preferably every hour at least.


  1. While lying on your back with your feet straight, move one knee toward your chest and lower.
  2. Repeat ten times.
  3. Repeat with the other leg.
  4. Repeat knee bends, preferably every hour at least.

Start easy with ankle pumps and knee bends. Then, add other strengthening exercises as you can.

Your physician or healthcare provider may help you establish a proper routine for your condition.


You may do these exercises whenever you sit down, whether in an airplane, desk, or car.


  1. Sitting with your feet on the floor before you elevate your heels and hold the position for three seconds.
  2. Repeat ten or more times.
  3. Repeat the elevations, but this time lift the toes of your feet.

You may vary this exercise by alternating a heel and toe lift in a steady rocking motion. Or elevate the heel of one foot and the toes of the other foot simultaneously.


  1. Sitting down with feet on the floor, stretch one leg out before you.
  2. Raise your toes toward you and bend your ankle.
  3. Maintain the stretch for three seconds and lower the foot to the floor.
  4. Repeat ten or more times.
  5. Repeat with the other leg.

You may also try alternating one leg after the other.


  1. Sitting down with feet on the floor, lift one foot slightly.
  2. Rotate the ankle clockwise ten times and then counterclockwise ten times.
  3. Repeat with the other foot.


You may also stretch your calf by manually pulling your leg with an exercise strap, towel, or belt.

  1. Sit on the floor or bed with your legs stretched out.
  2. Pass a strap or belt around the middle of one foot and hold the ends.
  3. Keeping your leg straight, pull on the strap or belt until you feel a stretch in your calf.
  4. Hold it for about thirty seconds.
  5. Repeat three times, relaxing the foot between times.


Individuals’ movements with a foam roller to reduce muscle tension and stretch muscles may also help blood circulation.

  1. While sitting on the floor, place a soft foam roller under the ankles and roll it under the calves.
  2. While sitting on the floor, place a soft roller under the thighs and move it under the hamstrings.

Alternatively, you can move a massage roller with your hands over the same areas of your legs while sitting on the floor or in a chair. Avoid rolling over your joints or bony areas.


Next, we mention basic movements you may do while standing or as a warm-up before other exercises. They are also good ways to increase circulation when you take a break from sitting.


  1. Grab onto a chair for balance.
  2. Lift your heels slowly, so you are on your tiptoes.
  3. Lower heels slowly in a controlled motion.
  4. Repeat ten times and build up to more repetitions.


  1. Grab onto a chair for balance.
  2. Lift one foot so that your weight rests on one leg.
  3. Maintain the position for ten seconds.
  4. Repeat, standing on the other leg.
  5. Gradually build up to maintaining the position for thirty seconds and then sixty seconds.
  6. If you can, increase the difficulty by grabbing onto the chair with one hand, then with one finger, and finally without holding on. You may also try leg stands with your eyes closed.


  1. Stand with feet hip-width apart.
  2. Lower your body as low as comfortable, maintaining your core contracted.
  3. Shift your weight to your heels, back flat, and butt extended.
  4. Start with a shallow squat and increase the distance as you get stronger.

Your knees should not move past your toes.

  1. Repeat several times (increase the number of repetitions as you can)


  1. Standing near a wall, place the ball between the middle of your back and the wall (the ball protects your back).
  2. Slide down into a squat; keep your back straight as you push against the ball.
  3. Push back up to your starting position.
  4. Repeat ten times.

You may also do this movement sitting with your back directly against the wall.


Yoga improves blood circulation. Other therapeutic effects of yoga include helping to reduce blood pressure and improve flexibility.


Compression stockings can help improve blood circulation and reduce swelling and pain.

Your physician may recommend wearing compression stockings after surgery to prevent blood clots. They may also recommend them to help with varicose veins or venous insufficiency.


  • A bed wedge or pillow for elevating your legs while you sleep may help circulation and prevent swelling.
  • A foot stool or cushion to elevate your legs may help circulation.
  • An under-desk cycling device for pedaling while sitting increases circulation in the legs, exercises muscles, and burns calories.
  • Horse chestnut intake helps blood circulation.
  • Cayenne pepper increases blood circulation.


Lifestyle changes may help increase blood circulation in the legs, including the following:

  • Quitting smoking
  • Staying hydrated
  • Drinking tea (antioxidants in tea improve circulation)
  • Balanced diet
  • Massage
  • Taking warm baths
  • Sauna baths (talk to your physician before trying a sauna)

Increasing your movement is a crucial step for improving circulation.

We are Modern Heart and Vascular Institute, a diagnostic and preventative medicine cardiology practice. For more information, contact us.

Modern Heart and Vascular logo


Modern Heart and Vascular, a preventive cardiology medical practice, has several offices around Houston. We have locations in Humble, Cleveland, The Woodlands, Katy, and Livingston.

We are Modern Heart and Vascular Institute, a diagnostic and preventative medicine cardiology practice.

Every heart has a story… What’s yours?

Book an Appointment Today

At the Modern Heart and Vascular Institute, we offer state-of-the-art cardiovascular care with innovative diagnostic tools and compassionate patient care. Our priority at Modern Heart and Vascular Institute is prevention. We help patients lead healthier lives by avoiding unnecessary procedures and surgeries.

Contact us online to learn more and book an appointment. If you’d like to learn more about our practice, read our providers’ bios.

This article does not provide medical advice. It is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you need cardiovascular care, please call us at 832-644-8930.

Request an

Every heart has a story…What’s yours?
Choose your appointment at one of our 7 locations