Does exercise affect the lymphatic system? Exercise is very beneficial and even crucial to your body’s self-cleaning waste-removing system. Read on to find out how exercise helps your lymphatic system to function and the critical benefits it brings.
The Lymphatic System
The lymphatic system is made up of tissues and organs that help to detox the body of waste and toxins. Tonsils, Adenoids, the Spleen, and the thymus are all part of the lymphatic system, including lymphatic vessels, which are similar to veins and arteries.
Lymphatic vessels help collect and filter lymph, (the excess fluid that drains from cells and tissues,) and transport it throughout your body. The lymphatic system also helps you produce white blood cells, fight off infection or disease, trap and fights pathogens, and promote health.
The lymphatic system is like your body’s inner self-cleaning system. Its job is to take out the trash, to get rid of the bad stuff. The lymphatic system is vitally important to living healthy and getting rid of pathogens and other harmful toxins your body may have.
How does exercise affect the lymphatic system?
Unlike the circulatory system, which uses the heart to pump and push blood throughout the body, the lymphatic system has no such pump. The lymphatic system relies wholly on the movement of your body, especially your muscles, and breathing to filter and move lymph through the lymphatic vessels.
Your lymphatic system needs movement to carry the fluids throughout your body, and exercise promotes a healthy lymphatic system. Daily physical activity and movement are vital for the lymphatic system. The contraction of your muscles, and getting your heart rate up is what stimulates the lymphatic system and starts the waste detoxing process.
If you have experienced stiffness or soreness in your muscles, fatigue, bloating, inability to concentrate, sinus infections, sluggishness, headaches, itchy skin, or brain fog, chances are you could have a congested lymphatic system.
(Those symptoms could be the cause of something else as well, but chances are your lymphatic system is congested and unable to remove toxins as it should. Exercise is a great way to open up the lymphatic vessels and allow lymph to flow freely.
Benefits of exercise for the lymphatic system
The benefits that come from exercise are endless. We would be here all day if we were to list them. But, just to add even more to that list, a lot of the benefits of exercise effect and help the lymphatic system. These include:
- Stimulates and starts the lymphatic process.
The primary benefit of exercise is to create that movement that will assist the lymphatic vessels to start the process of collecting and filtering lymph, draining, detoxifying, and removing waste. That process needs the movement that comes from exercise.
- Reduces swelling
Often swelling happens because the lymphatic system didn’t drain or detoxify all the way. Regular exercise, as well as a healthy diet and plenty of water, will promote a healthy lymphatic system, get rid of blockages, and keep swelling down.
Keeping the lymphatic vessels open and flowing will help our bodies detoxify waste, overcome sicknesses, and fight off pathogens.
- Reduces stress
Stress can limit or suppress immune functions, and damper the lymphatic system. An alkaline environment is the most optimal environment for lymphatic drainage, but when stress and cortisol levels are high, the environment turns acidic and that can cause lymphatic tissue breakdown, weakened immunity, and fat gain.
Exercise can help reduce stress, which in turn will promote a more alkaline environment and keep the lymphatic drainage system running smoothly.
- Promote a healthy lifestyle
Obesity and other health concerns can cause lymphatic abnormalities and may make it harder to sustain healthy lymphatic vessels. Exercise can help promote a healthy lifestyle which, in turn, will promote a healthy lymphatic system.
More tools for a healthy lymphatic system
The lymphatic system is in charge of one of your body’s most important needs. And that is why exercise is vitally important for it. There are some lymphatic system cancers that can arise due to complications with drainage or swelling. It is crucial to maintain a healthy lymphatic system.
Some other things you can do to promote a healthy lymphatic system and immunity are:
- Eating a healthy diet full of fruits and vegetables (especially detoxifying food.)
- Drinking lots of water. The lymphatic system is 90% water, and water is one of the best detoxifying agents. Make sure to get at least 2 liters of water in every day. (adding in a pinch of sea salt can help your body absorb the water better.)
- Deep breathing exercises. Breathing helps move fluid through the lymphatic system as well as giving your lungs oxygen. Focusing on deep breathing throughout the day is another great way to increase lymphatic drainage.
- Getting a lymphatic massage. Lymphatic massages are often offered at most places you get a massage, or you can give yourself a massage with your hands or a massage gun. (If you know what to do.)
- Take some herbal supplements. Many herbs, such as ginger, dandelion, echinacea, calendula, and more can help clean and promote a healthy lymphatic system.
3 exercises to start now
Here are three exercises to start today that can help with the lymphatic system.
- Yoga. Yoga is amazing for the lymphatic system because not only does it help with exercise and movement, but it also focuses on deep breathing. Each pose in yoga helps open your lymphatic vessels and allows lymph to flow through freely.
- Walking/running. Walking or running are other ways to get the lymphatic system moving and open up the lymphatic vessels.
- Swimming. Swimming is great to open up the lymphatic vessels and drain the fluids. The pressure underwater will also help the lymphatic system.
Stretches and movement, getting your heart rate up and promoting the process of removing toxins.