Yes, it does! And this vital link between exercise and our very important first line of defense is seldom discussed, so let’s take a closer look.
Our skeleton friend shown above is modeling his lymphatic system for us, featured in a dramatic green tone so it will be easy for you to see. Since it could be easily confused with the circulatory system, he’s going to show you the difference below by revealing his arteries in red and his veins in blue…
(lymphatic and circulatory systems)
I agree, he really does look amazing! And he hasn’t even put on his nervous system yet.
An Incredible Filtering System
It’s easy to understand the function and value of a filter. They’re all around us; cleaning our drinking water, keeping the lint off the clothes in the dryer, extending the useful life of the oil in our car–they’re everywhere. And when we neglect to clean or replace these filters, things get disgusting, right? Fortunately for us, our lymphatic system just keeps doing what it’s supposed to do without us even thinking about it, just like all the other amazing things inside.
Just The Basics…
Let’s take a look at how the lymphatic system functions so that you appreciate the unique importance of movement to its proper functioning.
Essentially, the lymphatic system absorbs and transports cellular waste and toxins from the surrounding fluids. It accomplishes this without a pump and moves the fluid, against gravity, toward the neck. The filtering process takes place at hundreds of nodes throughout the system. The spleen, tonsils and adenoids are also important parts of the lymphatic system.
Two major transport forces are at work here: the lymphatic vessels themselves utilizing contraction; and the movements of the surrounding muscles effectively moving the fluid upward. This movement of the skeletal muscle system throughout the body is critical to the healthy functioning of the lymphatic system!
The fact that this entire lymphatic system–our ‘first line of defense’–is so closely linked to our bodies in motion should speak clearly and emphatically to us as to the nature of the healthy lifestyle; movement is life!
Are you listening?
The Senior Health and Fitness Blog by Steven Siemons is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0
My skeleton friend wanted you to see him with his nervous system showing (in yellow).