Are you paying attention to your feet? Whether you’ve noticed slow-healing wounds or cold feet, poor circulation can be a sign of another condition: heart disease. February is American Heart Month, and the doctors at West Hartford Podiatry Associates are raising awareness about how circulation issues in your feet can signal heart disease.

What is circulation?

National Heart Month Concept In Flat Style

The simple answer is how blood moves around the body. As blood moves, it carries oxygen and nutrients to the body’s cells. It also takes away waste products. Proper blood flow is critical to a person’s health. Here are three ways to improve your circulation and reduce your risk for Peripheral Arterial Disease, which occurs when arteries become narrowed by plaque.

  1. Stop smoking

Did you know that smoking can thicken your blood, making it harder for your blood to carry oxygen? This complication is just one way that chemicals in tobacco smoke affect how well blood moves around your body. Smoking also increases your risk for heart disease and raises your blood pressure and heart rate. Both conditions make your heart work harder. Over time, smoking can contribute to atherosclerosis, which is a build-up of plaque in arteries.

  1. Start moving

Do you have an exercise schedule? Adding this healthy habit to your lifestyle improves circulation. Yoga is an example of a low-impact exercise. Jogging is an example of cardiovascular exercise. Research has shown that physical activity can improve how well the body takes in and uses oxygen.

  1. Switch eating habits

Add a healthy diet to your new exercise plan. Both will help you to maintain a healthy weight, which is another way to improve your circulation. When choosing food options, avoid saturated fats and processed foods.

We care about your heart health, and we know how it can impact your foot health, too. We encourage you to stop smoking, start moving, and switch eating habits. At West Hartford Podiatry Associates, Harvey Lederman, DPM, Marc Lederman, DPM, and Kurt Rode, DPM treat a variety of foot and ankle conditions such as ankle sprains, athlete’s foot, bunions, diabetic wounds, fungal toenails, hammertoes, heel pain, neuromas, and warts.  We provide the best podiatric solutions to patients of all ages in Hartford County. Contact us for your foot and ankle needs. Our office is at 2531 Albany Ave, West Hartford, CT 06117.