The wondrous human body works non-stop to heal and thrive. The lymph system is important for fighting off diseases and infections. It transports white blood cells and is constantly at work, basically cleansing your body. As this helpful video illustrates, the lymphatic system works with valves and a little bit of smooth muscle to move its fluid. But it mostly relies on you moving your body to allow the system to pump and move lymph. I believe this is a big reason why exercise is healthy for us. And some exercises are more helpful in getting lymph moving. Particularly ones where you move your whole arms and legs. Here are my top four:
4 WALKING TO TRANSPORT LYMPH
Walking is the oldest exercise known to humans. It used to be our primary mode of transportation and we did a lot of it. We have evolved to walk, and this exercise is healthy for our cardiovascular, circulatory and digestive systems. But the action of moving your arms as well as legs in a constant pumping motion is an excellent exercise for the lymph system.
3 JOGGING GETS LYMPH MOVING
If you enjoy jogging, or even running, this is a great exercise for getting lymph flowing even more. An added benefit is stress relief and improved mental fitness. The main thing is to find an exercise you enjoy (or at least can put up with) and then do it regularly, at least several times every week.
2 LYMPH FLOW WITH TRAMPOLINES
The trampoline takes advantage of the power of gravity, along with your skeletal muscles, in order to move lymph through your body. You don’t have to do flips or even jump high to get this health benefit. All that’s needed is to stand with your arms relaxed and gently bounce on a trampoline of any size. Your lymphatic system will thank you for this easy, low impact exercise for health.
1 JUMPING JACKS
Jumping jacks are my number one favorite exercise for promoting the lymph system. We do them in practically every karate class at East Valley Martial Arts. This is usually the first thing we do to start our warm-up and it doesn’t get left out. It just so happens that our traditional martial arts warm-up uses jumping jacks. They pump the many lymph nodes in the armpits and inner thighs, and generally help all areas of this system to work. Jumping jacks incorporate the same benefits of other exercise, plus added coordination and using both sides of the brain simultaneously. You may see why I love jumping jacks.
The lymphatic system is an important part of the immune system, which constantly works to protect and heal each one of our bodies. All body motion helps the lymph system function. But certain motions and exercises tend to target the movement of this system. If you would like to learn more about this body system, here’s a link.