Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Another reason for exercise

Do you want to know one of the biggest reasons every person should get some kind of movement/exercise every day ? The reason is not weight loss, cardiovascular health, muscle toning or anything like that ( though movement does indeed improve these things), but rather an ingenious device in our bodies called the lymphatic system. It operates in our bodies, running parallel to our circulatory system, preforming its function ( the immune system) silently and with little attention. This system is one of our bodies workhouses in the business of defense against invaders, and most people only hear about it when discussing cancer and someone mentions that the disease spread to the lymph glands. The system delivers lymphatic fluids, with cells that attack invading substances and help to carry out wastes . This wonderful system has one catch - it has one way valves and it needs the actions of our muscles and circulatory system in order to pump.If we are immobile it works , but when we are up and active it works more efficiently. It is one factor in the spread of colds and flu - we get less of these in the summer because we are more active, get more exposure to Vitamin D and more fresh air. Consider exercise in this upcoming cold and flu season as important to your health as a potential flu shot- and better still if it is done out in the fresh air and sunshine.

Yesterdays breakfast - 1 cup rice chex, 1/2 cup cottage cheese, 3/4 cup berries and coffee- 280 calories. I grabbed a probiotic yogert (110 and not pictured) after a Will boxing workout with my son.

Lunch was a variation on an old classic- a B.A.L.T.- bacon, avacado, lettuce and tomato sandwich. 2 slices whole wheat bread, 3 strips of turkey bacon, 3 slices tomato and 4 lettuce leaves with 1 T mayo. Celery, carrot, broccoli and an apple joined in -450 calories

Afternoon snack - the usual at 290 calories

Dinner was the return of a family favorite- Crazy Pizza. Take ground turkey and brown it, add 2 c slices mushrooms and 1 green pepper, chopped, saute for a few minutes and add 2 cans of tomato sauce with 2 T italian seasoning and 1 pack stevia ( to cut the twang). Then take a tueb of refrigerator biscuits, cut each round into wedges and stir it in the mix. Pour into a greased casserole, top with 3 slices of cheese or 3/4 cup shredded mozzerella and bake at 350 of 45 minutes. Pizza fix at less calories- the recipe serves 6 but we divide it in 3 because we have a high calorie need. Serve with broccoli and a tossed salad made with lettuce, tomato and cucumbers- 420 calories for the meal

Evening snack was a little different for me- 2 wasa multi grain crisps, 2 wedges of laughing cow lite, grapes and a 100 calorie pack of almonds- 340 calories Day total was 1890

Today is menu planning day , and I am kind of reminding myself that it will get easier as I move along ! Between this and school, it is going to be an interesting day.


Diane, Fit to the Finish said...

Thanks for the great explanation of the lymphatic system. Isn't that why some people who end up housebound or bedbound get so swollen?

Just another reason to stay moving!

Exercise was a big surprise to me when I lost my weight. Before I actually tried it, I thought it would make me more tired. But of course I was very, very wrong!

Have a great day!

The Incredible Shrinking Family said...

One of the reasons we feel more energetic when we exercise is because it gets out blood circulating faster, which increases the level of oxygen in your blood . Oxygen makes you feel perky . Exercise also brings about a chemical mix of endorphins into our blood stream, which are a natural "feel good " substance, so between the two we feel more awake and a little more optomistic.

And you are correct about the bedridden and swelling. The reason is the lymphatic drainage system. It a person must be bedridden, a helpful thing to do would be minimal foot /ankle rolls and wrist rolls if possible to get the lymphatic system "working". Some advocate skin brushing for this reason , as it also helps to stimulate the lymphatic drainage.

Interesting thing with movement and the lymph system. Bouncing on a stability ball or re bounder may be more affective than actions like walking or running. Those have an added bonus of making me laugh when I do them - it just feels too fun/silly to be worth something.