How Exercise Can Help With the Lymphatic & Cardiovascular System

The human body has two circulatory systems, which are your body’s delivery systems. One is the cardiovascular system and the other is the lymphatic system.

Lymph and Immune System


The cardiovascular system is made up of the heart, blood and blood vessels. Blood moving from the heart delivers oxygen and nutrients to every part of the body. On the return trip, the blood picks up waste products so that your body can get rid of them. Increased blood circulation helps your body eliminate waste products and deliver oxygen-rich blood to oxygen-depleted muscles, helping them recover faster. The lymphatic system is also connected to every part of the body, but its function is completely different from that of the cardiovascular system. The lymphatic system is made up of the spleen, thymus, tonsils, adenoids, lymph nodes and lymph fluid. Lymph vessels branch through all parts of the body like blood vessels, except the lymphatic system carries a colorless liquid called lymph instead of blood. Lymph circulates through the lymph system, around body tissues to the lymph vessels. As blood circulates, fluid leaks out into the body tissues. The leaked fluid drains into the lymph vessels where it is filtered; the old worn out red blood cells are replaced with new ones and returned to the bloodstream. Increased lymph flow helps the body eliminate waste products and helps kill pathogens and some cancer cells more effectively. Being aware of the differences between these two systems makes it easier to understand the special difficulties encountered when any part of these systems are not functioning properly.


Comparison of the Cardiovascular and Lymphatic System

Cardiovascular System (Blood)             

Lymphatic System (Lymph)

Blood is responsible for collecting and distributing oxygen, nutrients and hormones to the tissues
of the entire body.

Lymph is responsible for collecting and removing waste products left behind in the tissues.

Blood flows in a closed continuous loop throughout the body via the arteries, capillaries, and veins.

Lymph flows in an open circuit from the tissues into lymphatic vessels. Once within these vessels, lymph flows in only one direction.

Blood is pumped. The heart pumps blood into the arteries that carry it to all of the body. Veins return blood from all parts of the body to the heart.

Lymph is not pumped. It passively flows from the tissues into the lymph capillaries. Flow within the lymphatic vessels is aided by other body movements such as deep breathing and the action of nearby muscles and blood vessels.

Blood consists of the liquid plasma that transports the red and white blood cells and platelets.

Lymph that has been filtered and is ready to return to the cardiovascular system is a clear or milky white fluid.

Blood is visible and damage to blood vessels causes obvious signs such as bleeding or bruising.

Lymph is invisible and damage to the lymphatic system is difficult to detect until swelling occurs.

Blood is filtered by the kidneys. All blood flows through the kidneys where waste products and excess fluids are removed. Necessary fluids are returned to the cardiovascular circulation.

Lymph is filtered by lymph nodes located throughout the body. These nodes remove some fluid and debris. They also kill pathogens and some cancer cells.


Normally the body maintains a balance of fluid in tissues by ensuring that the same amount of water entering the body also leaves it. The circulatory system transports fluid within the body via its network of blood vessels. The fluid, which contains oxygen and nutrients needed by the cells, moves from the walls of the blood vessels into the body’s tissues. After its nutrients are used up, fluid moves back into the blood vessels and returns to the heart. The lymphatic system also absorbs and transports this fluid. Using the Exerciser Elite® is one of the quickest ways we know to help the lymphatic system get rid of the excess liquid build up.