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A HEALTHY BODY AND MIND: Lymph

It is now winter and we need our immune systems to be strong to keep us healthy.

It is now winter and we need our immune systems to be strong to keep us healthy.

The lymphatic system is made up of a network of vessels that carry a clear fluid called lymph throughout the body.

Lymph fluid serves the important purpose of carrying nutrients to the cells that bathe in the fluid. The lymph fluid then delivers cellular waste to the bloodstream, which carries it to the kidneys, colon and lungs for elimination. If your lymphatic system is blocked or clogged, you may experience a number of symptoms, including back pain, constipation, fatigue, depression and weight gain.

Certain exercises can help release blockages and promote healthy movement of nutrients and waste throughout the body.

Pelvic tilt:

Lie on your back with your hands clasped behind your head or stretched out alongside you. Bend your knees and place your feet flat on the floor hip-distance apart. Begin to tuck your tailbone under, pressing the small of your back into the floor, and release. That is one pelvic tilt. Repeat 10 times.

Neck rotation:

Perform this exercise seated or standing. As you inhale, slowly turn your head to the right to a count of five. Pause for one second and then exhale, bringing your head back to centre for a count of five. Repeat on the left side. Do five repetitions on each side.

Shoulder shrug:

Stand or sit in a comfortable position. As you inhale, draw both shoulders up toward your ears and then exhale, releasing your shoulders to a neutral position. Repeat five times.

Leg slides:

Lie on your back with your arms next to your body and your legs stretched out straight. Inhale, sliding your right leg along the floor and out to the side. Exhale, sliding the leg back into centre position. Repeat on the other side. Perform five repetitions on each side.

Ankle pumps:

Lying on the floor on your back with your legs and arms flat on the floor, inhale and flex the ankle and exhale and extend the ankle six times, flexing and pointing the toe like a ballerina. Repeat on each side.

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