The motion of jogging, jump-roping or even bouncing on a trampoline can improve your immune system in a way that other exercises can not. It’s the lymphatic system that is stimulated by these movements and it can help rid your body of waste, bacteria, viruses,  oxidants–even cancer.  It’s not only the cardiovascular and muscular improvement that comes with exercise that benefits your overall health; it’s the lymph system activation.  

Your lymph system consists of the tonsils, spleen, adenoids and thymus as well as hundreds of lymph nodes throughout your body.  These systems are connected by thousands of vessels that deliver nutrients to the cells and carry out the waste.  The lymphatic fluid that travels through these vessels contains white blood cells specifically designed to fight infection.  Simply put, it’s like the garbage removal system of the body.  It rids you of toxins such as dead and cancerous cells, nitrogenous wastes, infectious viruses, heavy metals, and other assorted junk cast off by the cells. 

These vessels, however, are not regulated by a pump like the vessels of the cardiovascular system.  The heart pumps beat by beat to control the blood flow to organs and extremities and then back to the heart again.  The lymph system is a one-way valve system—without a pump. It’s circulation through a web of vessels is based on muscular contraction and gravitational pull.  

The forward motion and excretion of the poison-filled fluid in these vessels is dependent on you.  

The fact is: When the body is idle so is the lymph system.  So , guess what?  The garbage doesn’t get removed causing an imbalance in your cells and if left for long enough-disease occurs which leads to pathophysiology—in other words sickness.  Not circulating your lymph system leads to illness.  Not moving your body leads to illness. 

So, the question here is—what can you do to help your body stay healthy?  As well as feeding it nutrient filled food and getting daily exercise in you can add in movements that assist the body in the flow of lymphatic fluid.  These specific movements are jogging, jumping and bouncing. It’s the up-down motion that creates the impact the lymph system needs for that extra boost.

Just when you thought exercise was only about heart rate elevation, sweating out waste, moving stagnant energy, stimulating productive neurotransmitters in the brain and gut, increasing muscle mass to protect joints—there’s MORE benefit!!  Jogging, jumping, and bouncing will kick your lymph system into action which will help rid you of current disease and prevent future disease.  It’s HUGE!!  

A lymph system that is left to sit on its own is prone to arthritis, cancer and other degenerative diseases.  The main lymph vessels run up the legs, up the arms and up the torso. This is why the vertical up-and-down movement of jogging, bouncing or bouncing (on a small trampoline) is so effective to pump the lymph.  Some of the lymph nodes are deep in the abdomen; they also surround major joints (hips and shoulders) and around the neck. 

If these type of rebound exercises are not accessible for you at this time another great alternative is yoga and stretching.  While it does not have as much of the gravitational velocity as bouncing, certain poses and flows are made to stimulate lymphatic pathways. 

A few specific poses that help massage some of the larger lymph nodes:

1.  Legs up the wall:  Lying on your back, extend your legs up toward the ceiling, and rest the back of your heels and legs on the wall or supported bridge with a block or pillow under your low back with your feet up over your hips

2.  Apanasana (wind relieving pose):  While laying on your back, hug both your knees (or one at a time) into your chest while squeezing your inner thighs together together and contracting the low abdomen towards the back of the body.  If possible try drawing the forehead towards your knees.

3.  Supine twist:  While laying on your back, bend your knees and let them fall gently to one side, spread your arms wide on the floor for support, if no discomfort look in the opposite direction of your knees for a full spine twist, repeat on the other side.

Some helpful tips: 

  1. Look at your step count for the day. Get a minimum of 5000 steps but a goal of 10,000 steps/day
  2. Track how much you move around between the hours of your daily 1 hour workout.  There are 23 other hours.
  3. If you can tolerate it add a 1 minute jog every 3 minutes of your walk-jumpstart that lymphatic system
  4. Look into the purchasing of a home rebounder-they come with a handle and are gentle on joints
  5. Add some jump-roping drills into your workout once a week—get your kids involved-have some fun. 
  6. After your walk or workout try on the 3 simple yoga poses listed above

Your body is a very well designed adaptive creation. The lymphatic system is one the built-in keep-you-healthy programs.  It’s main goal is to rid you of the potential poisons that we inevitably come in contact with in our environment, but it can’t function if it’s sitting in one place too much.  You must care for this vessel you’ve been given to navigate this life with.  The future you that will still be moving with ease and grace and is free of any illness will thank you for this decision to add in these movements today.