No matter what the cause of poor circulation is, here are a few things you can do to stay on the slopes rather then sitting in the lodge with your boots off.
Cayenne Pepper: The heat produced from this Central American berry is attributed to it’s content of capsaicin. A study published in a February 2010 issue of the Journal of the Medical Association of Thailand suggests that capsaicin improves circulation by promoting healthy function of the inner lining of arteries. Take a 500 mg cap with breakfast and lunch or sprinkle a ½ tsp. on your eggs in the morning for some kick.
Garlic: The active constituent in garlic is a chemical called allicin. It can improve poor circulation by keeping the veins and arteries free of buildup that impairs blood flow. Garlic has been proven to prevent the accumulation of plaque in the arteries and make platelets less likely to clump together, making it not only ideal for circulation, but also for heart disease. Garlic can be taken in a supplement form (try Kylolic’s Aged garlic extract) or consumed in whole cloves— if you don’t mind the smell.
Dr. Stacy Mulkey, a Naturopathic Physician in Durango, Colorado, recommends both constitutional hydrotherapy (alternating hot and cold compresses to the torso) and “The Wet Sock Treatment” for improving circulation to feet. “It sounds weird and it feels weird but with the wet sock treatment you’ll sleep really well and dramatically increase white blood count so you’ll not only increase lymphatic and blood circulation to the feet, but also improve immune system function so you can avoid getting sick while skiing,” she says.
Mulkey recommends constitutional hydrotherapy in a clinical setting, but the wet sock treatment can easily be performed at home. Here’s how to do it.
1 pair of very thin socks or polypropylene socks (Burton’s Line of merino socks are good)
1 pair of thick wool socks or thick polypropylene socks (L.L. Bean, of course)
1 bowl of ice water
1. Soak the pair of thin socks in the bowl of ice water. Then wring the socks out thoroughly so they do not drip.
2. Make sure your feet are warm – you can soak them in a bath.
3. Dry off feet with a dry towel.
4. Place ice-cold wet socks on feet. Then cover with thick wool socks.
5. Wear the socks overnight. During the night, you may wake up with your whole body wet from sweat. You will find that the wet cotton socks will be dry in the morning.