We're about to kick off part two in a series of posts on creating an exfoliation/circulation routine. Over the next 2 or 3 posts, I'll offer up a myriad of ideas on what we can do to create soft, smooth, glowy skin all over. I believe that improving your circulation should go hand in hand with exfoliation. Both work together to create beautiful, perfect skin while promoting improved health.
Before we get started, I want you to create a picture of a child in your mind. That child's skin is ultra soft and perfectly smooth. This could be attributed to the fact that, as children, their cell turnover rate can be up to 10X higher than in adults. And, as we continue to age, the blood flow to the skin can decline as much as 40% between the ages of 20-70. I've paid close attention to the difference in skin tone and appearance between children/teens and adults. From my perspective, adult skin can look lackluster and dull if not taken care of properly. Let's assume that the main cause of this "unhealthy" looking skin is related to reduced blood flow and lower turnover. If this is true, we must take an active role in helping to create greater circulation in our bodies and remove older skin cells as they die and clog up our skin's surface.
Promoting Proper Circulation //
We'll start this discussion by creating a focus on increased circulation. Proper blood circulation is the epitome of great health. Those who suffer from poor circulation can be plagued with a myriad health conditions. Our circulation begins to slow down on it's own as we begin to age to it's up to us to remain consistent with taking actions that promote greater blood flow.
One of the most effective ways to get our blood pumping is through exercise. On those days when I can't make it to the gym, even a few minutes of jump rope, or jumping jacks and I can literally feel the increased blood flow all over. It's pretty amazing. Those of us who go weeks and months without engaging in some sort of exercise activity, will eventually fall victim to declining circulation levels as each day passes. Even if you don't work out for the intention of creating a perfect body, do it so your body can receive the benefits of increased oxygen in the blood and brain. I love to think of it as the difference between the retention pond and the river. In the retention pond, there is no flow, no activity. It is stagnant. The river, on the other hand, is alive! There is a constant, healthy flow that brings with it so much life. We want our bodies to be like the river. Be the river, my friends.
The most wonderful side effect of physical exercise is the act of sweating. I admit, that sometimes my workouts aren't intense enough to create a great deal of sweating so I always seek the help of the sauna. Ladies, I kid you not, my skin never (ever) looks as good as it does immediately after a good sweat. That's because blood rushes to the skin's surface, causing us to sweat in an attempt to cool us down. That kind of blood flow creates that flushed look that makes us look healthy and vibrant. Speaking of sweating, I found this interesting article that seems to suggest that sweating levels may decline if our bodies are dehydrated.
Which brings me to our next tip on how to promote circulation. DRINKING WATER. Water drinking is no stranger around these parts. In fact many of you have joined the water challenge and committed to increasing your water intake as much as possible. I will never forget Gabrielle Union's words when she talked about her water drinking. She said that her hair and nails just seemed to "grow and grow" when she began drinking a gallon of water a day. Could this have anything to do with the fact that our blood plasma is 93% water? If we are dehydrated, our blood flow is impacted. Think of your blood like an 18-wheeler, delivering nutrients and oxygen to different parts of our bodies. Think of water as the fuel that allows the truck to get where it needs to go. Your truck needs fuel otherwise it'll have to skip a few stops. What good is it to take our hair vitamins if we aren't drinking enough water to deliver it to your hair and nails? Next time you're sitting in class or in a boring meeting, try this out. Take out your water bottle and drink down at least 8 ounces. You'll notice in immediate shift in your alertness and energy. This is because blood is suddenly rushing to your brain and other parts of your body.
Those are just a couple ways to increase circulation. There are many more including receiving massages, deep breathing meditation, etc. Another method I use to promote internal circulation is via a spice known as cayenne pepper. I like spicy food so I have no problem adding a pinch here and there in most of my meals. Heck, I even add it to my drinks from time to time. Currently, I've begun to include one cayenne pepper pill a few times a week into my supplement routine. Why? Because cayenne has this chemical compound called capsaicin which helps our bodies lower cholesterol and improve circulation. Years ago I read that cayenne had the ability to help stop a heart attack when given orally. That speaks to the amazing power of this herb to get our blood flowing. The supplement I take is highly potent so I make sure I have food in my stomach and drink plenty of water before and after taking.
My hope is that after reading this post you are inspired to start focusing on your body's internal circulation as a means of creating optimal health and radiant beauty. Stagnancy is never good. I want you to feel uncomfortable being sedentary for too long. I want you to crave the life giving water that fuels your body. I want you to be committed to improving your circulation by any means necessary. I want you to come back and check out part 3 in this series.
See you soon.
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