How to Increase Circulation in the Feet and Ankles


Poor circulation in your feet and ankles will cause them to often feel cold and tingle. Having poor circulation in your ankles and feet is a condition that often comes with age. If you would like to increase the circulation in your ankles and feet, following certain steps will help you over time.

Things You'll Need

  • Loose walking shoes
  • 2 large bowls
  • Take a 5 to 10 minute daily walk to increase blood flow to your feet and ankles. In addition to increasing circulation, walking is good for your health as a light form of exercise. When you walk, wear loose fitting shoes and socks so as not to constrict blood flow to your feet.

  • Massage your feet and ankles after your walk every day. Massaging the area will stimulate blood flow and increase circulation. Massage with both hands, working your thumbs in small circles over the tops and bottoms of your feet and all around your ankles. To make the massage more enjoyable, try applying lotion during the massage so your thumbs glide over your skin better.

  • Perform ankle circles for 3 to 5 minutes every day. Ankle circles exercise the muscles of the area, increasing circulation. Extend your legs out in front of you and roll your ankles in alternating directions.

  • Fill two large bowls with water. Fill the first large bowl with hot water and the second with cold. Step into the bowl with hot water and leave your feet and ankles submerged for 30 seconds. Remove your feet from the hot water and place them into the cold water for 30 seconds. Repeat this three times daily. When you place your feet into the hot water, blood will rush to the area. When you place them into the cold, blood will quickly rush out of the area to your heart to keep your body warm. According to Mary Atkinson, author of "Personal Trainer: Hand & Foot Massage," this exercises the veins and blood vessels in your feet, making them more powerful and increasing circulation.

Tips & Warnings

  • Consult with your physician to ensure an underlying health issue is not the cause of the poor circulation in your ankles and feet.


  • "Personal Trainer: Hand & Foot Massage: The At-Home Massage Class to Stimulate Circulation, Increase Mobility and Relieve Pain"; Mary Atkinson; 2010
  • "Natural Foot Care: Herbal Treatments, Massage, and Exercises for Healthy Feet"; Stephanie L. Tourles; 1998
  • "The Good Foot Book: A Guide for Men, Women, Children, Athletes, Seniors - Everyone"; Glenn Copeland D.P.M., Stan Solomon and Mark Myerson M.D.; 2005
  • Photo Credit feet image by Mat Hayward from
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