Being active on a daily basis is one of the best things for your health. We move and use our bodies as to complete everyday tasks, but if you are even more intentional about moving your body, you can reap amazing benefits — an improved mood, a healthier lymphatic system and healthier bones. Our bodies are not made to be sedentary; even just small amounts of exercise can provide numerous benefits.
When you exercise, your body produces chemicals such as dopamine, epinephrine, norepinephrine and serotonin, all of which are natural mood boosters. Physical activity doesn’t just produce these happiness hormones; it also helps to reduce the levels of cortisol and adrenaline in the body — both of which can cause stress.
Boost Lymphatic System
Your lymphatic system is a central part of your immune system. The lymphatic system is made up of tiny tubes called lymphatic vessels that collect lymph fluid. These vessels route the fluid through the lymph nodes, which house immune cells that kill off abnormal cells and other harmful substances. Because the lymphatic system does not have an organ, like the heart, to pump fluid throughout the body, lymph fluid relies on movement and the contraction of muscles to make it flow. Exercises under or in water, such as swimming or water aerobics, are especially helpful because of the pressure from the water.
Improves Blood Circulation
Blood circulation is vital for the health of your entire body because it delivers oxygen and nutrients to your cells and helps get rid of excess waste products in your system. When you have poor circulation, it means that your blood isn’t flowing through your body as efficiently as it should be. Poor blood circulation can cause joint and muscle cramping, dry out your skin, cause varicose veins and lead to numbness and tingling in the hands and feet. Exercising is a great way to combat poor blood circulation!
Helps Your Heart
People who are sedentary or get little to no exercise have the highest rate of heart attacks. Just as exercise strengthens other muscles in your body, it also helps the heart muscle become more efficient and better able to pump blood through the body. This means that your heart pushes out more blood with each beat, allowing it to beat slower and better maintain a healthy blood pressure.
Evidence also shows that physical activity helps your body make more branches and connections between the small blood vessels surrounding your heart, creating more routes for your blood to travel if the usual path is blocked by narrow arteries or fatty deposits.
Doing a little exercise is better than none, whether it’s going for a short walk or taking a workout class. Your heart health improves with just 30 minutes of exercise a day. And if necessary, you can divide it into two 15-minute segments of exercise or three 10-minute segments as long as you’re getting your heart rate up. As always, be sure to work with your doctor to create the perfect exercise regimen for your body.
Am I a Candidate?
Determine if you are at risk for developing or already have symptoms for venous disease.