The by-product of exercise, sweating, enables toxins and waste products to leave the body through the sweat glands. In addition, exercise helps to move and clear the lymphatic system. Unlike the circulation system which has its own pump called the heart, the lymphatic system has no pump. The body must move to stimulate the circulation of lymph fluid.
Stimulating Lymph Circulation
Muscular contraction/release, even that of the heart and breathing, pumps lymph fluid. Deep breathing, lymph massage, manual lymph pumping techniques, certain herbs and formulas, and dry brushing followed by a hot shower in which the last two minutes is in cold water are other common ways of stimulating lymphatic system circulation.
The Best Exercise
One of the best exercises to stimulate lymph fluid circulation involves an up and down motion, like that obtained while riding a horse, jumping on a mini- trampoline, or bouncing while sitting on a fitness ball.
The Health Benefits of Exercise
As you probably know, exercise supports good health in many ways. Aerobic, range-of-motion, and/or strengthening exercise can: improve digestion and elimination; increase endurance and energy levels; deliver oxygen to the blood and tissues; promote lean body mass while burning fat; improve cholesterol levels; reduce blood pressure, stress and anxiety; increase perspiration; promote restful sleep; and elevate mood and the sense of well-being!
Regular and moderate exercise can be very healthful for women, decreasing estrogen production and enhancing estrogen metabolism.
How Much Exercise is Enough?
The American Cancer Society reports that as little as 1¼ to 2½ hours per week of brisk walking may reduce breast cancer risk by 18%. Walking 10 hours a week may reduce the risk a little more. Some studies indicate that by exercising at least 4 hours a week, young women may reduce their risk 37-60%. The highest reductions are found among pre-menopausal women rather than post-menopausal women.
Consider 30 minutes of exercise a day… that’s just 3.5 hours a week.
Exercise can include yoga, dance, weight lifting, walking, just to name a few. Please note: over-exercise can become a stress on the body with negative impacts like amenorrhea, the absence of menstrual bleeding.
Clearing Lymph and Body Systems
The lymphatic system filters wastes and toxins from the tissues and extracellular fluids. Resulting filtrates are carried through the bloodstream to the spleen and the liver, which processes them into fat soluble and water soluble components. These are components that dissolve in fat, and components that dissolve in water, respectively.
The water soluble components re-enter the bloodstream and are filtered by the kidneys for elimination from the body through the urine. The fat soluble components are passed from the liver to the colon through bile secretion.
Essentials for Evacuating Waste
When the colon has sufficient fiber, adequate levels of friendly bacteria and is not congested or dehydrated, then elimination of wastes and toxins is facilitated. But if insufficient fiber, inadequate or imbalanced bacteria levels, or dehydration exists in the colon, the components can be reabsorbed into the blood stream.
It is possible that the entire process can back up and lead to inflammation, toxicity, and auto-immune disorders. Do you have as many bowel movements in a day as you have meals in a day? If not, there may be an opportunity for clearing and improving bowel health.
Compromised Immune System
In addition to stress, factors like prolonged alcohol, drug and marijuana use, chemotherapy, toxic metals, negative emotions, an underactive thyroid, and inadequate nutrition can also effect the liver’s ability to metabolize estrogens, reduce the body’s ability to eliminate undesirable components, and compromise the immune system.
Signs of a compromised immune system include chronic or frequent infections or colds, asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, allergies, chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia. These signs can also suggest chronic levels of inflammation.
Chronic inflammation arises when the immune system is constantly “on”. That is, inflammation is a normal response to health issues like infections, but when the immune system doesn’t turn off, it can remain hyper-active and contribute to chronic levels of inflammation and increased risk for breast cancer.