Brrrrr….It’s cold out there! With the coldness and darkness of the winter settling in, we tend to turn inward and allow our bodies to rest and restore in this slower pace of life. In the summer, our days are chock full of backyard gatherings, days at the beach, evening festivals, and lots of activities and movement. We tend to be constantly moving and grooving, enjoying the long, sunshiny days. In contrast, we like to spend our time in the winter reading by a cozy fire, making homecooked meals, sleeping longer, doing indoor craft projects, playing board games, and watching movies. All of these winter activities are a part of our bodies naturally slowing down to adapt to the changing in seasons. Not only that, but this slowing down supports our body in using its energy towards restoring and healing itself.
With this slower pace of life, we want to make sure that our circulatory system isn’t slowing down as well. Not only does our circulatory system keep our body warm, but it carries with it oxygen and nutrients that need to travel to every single part of our bodies to keep us healthy. There are many fundamental ways we can support the optimal functioning of our circulatory system:
- Move your body every single day. This could be anything from yoga to stretching to snowshoeing to skiing to indoor rock climbing to dancing in your living room.
- Drink clean water. As a rule of thumb, you should drink half your body weight in ounces of water every day. Our bodies absorb water best when it is plentiful with minerals. If you have a purification system in your home, try adding a sprinkle of salt in each glass of water you drink to help your body absorb the water you drink.
- Take deep, invigorating breaths every morning upon rising or when you are feeling cold to increase your circulation bringing warmth into your body.
- Add cinnamon, garlic, ginger, nutmeg, black pepper, rosemary, onion, and cayenne into your everyday cooking as these are all herbs that stimulate the movement of your circulatory system. You could also add these herbs into hot water to make a tea! Have you ever heard of fire cider? It is apple cider vinegar infused with circulatory stimulating herbs that you would take a spoonful of once per day. Try looking for recipes online to create your own! If you like the convenience of just picking up a bottle of apple cider vinegar versus making your own, one of my favorite local businesses, Soul Shine Healing, sells an invigorating fire cider!
- Sit in a sauna for at least 20 minutes everyday. The heat of a sauna will increase your circulation and help in the detoxification of your body. This one may be hard because a lot of individuals don’t have access to a sauna. Some places to find a sauna in your community may be your local gym, YMCA, spas, or use a friend’s. Or if you can’t take a sauna, enjoy a warm bath before bed to increase your circulation and help you sleep.
- Sleep at least 8 hours per night. Sleep has a significant impact on our cardiovascular health. It is crucial to get a good night’s sleep every single night!
- Dry skin brush your body before showering to stimulate the movement of your circulatory system and lymphatic system. Always brush the skin on your legs towards your groin and the skin on your arms towards your armpits as this is where most of your lymph nodes are located.
- Spend time in gratitude thanking your circulatory system for pumping blood, oxygen, nutrients, and life throughout your entire body.
I hope you stay warm, safe, healthy, happy, and gratitude-filled this winter season!