The importance of Capillary Circulation
Everyone knows that exercise is vital to good health. Exercise positively affects a majority of ailments, like diabetes, heart disease, etc. But it’s not often understood what inner workings of the body are helped by exercise, counteracting disease and thus lead to better health. And the key to all of this is capillary circulation. The body’s plasma circulation system can be viewed like a country’s road system. If circulation is sluggish or there are blockages or deceased circulation, because of narrowing arteries for example, the delivery of vital elements and removal of trash is made more difficult, which results in disease. This article will explain how the correct exercise (because some types of exercise aren’t good for circulation) is the key to healthy capillary circulation.
What is Capillary circulation and what does it do?
Every cell in the body needs nutrients and oxygen to perform the specific functions it is designed for. Each cell also produces waste products. The nutrients and oxygen are delivered to the cells by the blood circulation into the capillaries and through the walls of the capillaries into the interstitial fluid. Most of the waste products go back through the walls of the capillaries into the blood circulation. The main health benefit from a good exercise routine is the vitally important increased capillary circulation through all of the cell tissues in the body.
When our cells are not able to properly maintain their process of assimilation and elimination, the cells become toxic therefore limiting their function and the production of energy necessary for a vital life. Cells that do not perform their functions are ill and the more such ill cells we have the less healthy we are. Most likely over 90% of all illness is as a result of insufficient capillary circulation. Sounds astounding but it really after you read the rest of this article you should fully understand why and it should no longer be a surprise.
The effect of exercise on capillary circulation
Exercise increases capillary circulation in the body. However, not all exercise is created equal. The wrong type of exercise increases capillary circulation in the muscles of our limbs while at the same time reducing capillary circulation in all the rest of the cell tissues in the body. The right exercise increases capillary circulation to all the cell tissue in the body rather than the wrong type of exercise that creates greater capillary blood flow through the muscles in our arms and legs at the expense of lesser capillary circulation to all remaining cell tissues that include of course the vital organs, brain and all the rest of the cell tissues.
Unfortunately, the majority of exercise that people do is the long duration low level exercise that they call cardio exercise or cardiovascular exercise. It is the wrong kind, the long duration low intensity type of exercise like, jogging, running, stair climbing, elliptical exercisers, cycling, etc. These types of exercise create greater blood flow though the muscles that are used during that type of exercise because the capillaries in the working muscles stretch to a larger diameter during the exercise and that stretch is maintained for a long duration in long duration exercises. The longer the duration of the exercise the longer the stretch is maintained and that causes long lasting increase in blood flow through those muscle tissues and therefore a decrease of blood flow through all other cell tissues in the body.
Here’s the long explanation, but bear with us: When highly trained muscles at rest have more blood flow, it results in a decrease of blood flow through all the rest of the cell tissues in the body. This can be best explained with how sprinklers work that water a lawn. If you have 10 sprinklers watering your lawn and the spray pattern is evenly the same for each of the 10 sprinkler heads, but then one of the sprinkler heads breaks off, you will see a large increase of water flow with maybe a 20 foot high fountain coming out of that broken sprinkler and the other 9 sprinklers get a dramatic decrease in flow with only a trickle of water coming out of each. That is the same with dramatic increase of blood flow through highly trained muscles with an equivalent decrease of blood flow through all the rest of the cell tissues in the body including the brain and vital organs.
Although there are many other benefits from exercise, increased capillary circulation is the most important, but regrettably, not yet widely appreciated and the least understood and most neglected benefit. People tend to concentrate on the less important benefits from exercise such as weight loss, muscle strength, flexibility, endurance, athletic performance and cosmetic good looks. These are all very nice benefits but regrettably some of these are surprisingly counter productive to health. That may sound strange to you right now, but it does explain the often severe health problems encountered by highly trained athletes and their often shorter life spans. All of it explained here, so stay tuned.
Both of these athletes exercise a lot. But the sprinter on the right looks a lot healthier than the long distance runner on the left.
First some more about the need of and benefit from capillary circulation
As mentioned above, all the cells in your body, all trillions of them (estimates run from 50 to 100 trillion cells in the human body) have a limited life span at the end of which they will die and will be replaced by new cells. Every day you replace billions of cells (estimates run from 20 to 300 billion per day). All these replacement cells need to be built from building materials (nutrients) that are transported via the capillary circulation to all the cell tissues where the new replacement cells are created by the process of cell division.
Transportation of Nutrients to the cells
Reduced capillary circulation results in reduced delivery of nutrients by the plasma through the interstitial space, which thus results in incorrectly built cells.
Just like with automobile manufacturing there will be some “lemons” coming off the assembly lines when some faulty parts were used to build those “lemon” cars. These are then defective cells or cancer cells that, when not destroyed by our immune system, will themselves multiply and form defective cell tissues or tumors.
Circulation is vital to the immune system
In addition to carrying nutrients, plasma also transports also white blood cells through the capillary walls into the interstitial space. White blood cells are the most important component of our immune system because they destroy malignant cells and defend against viruses, bacteria, fungi and multi cellular parasites. When there is insufficient capillary circulation there will be fewer white blood cells transported into the interstitial space. Then the defective cells are not killed and are allowed to multiply to form cancerous tumors. Many of these defective cells are fairly harmless but some are aggressive malignant cancer type cells that can develop into life threatening cancer tumors.
White blood cells patrol all parts of our body and when they encounter bad cells they destroy all the mismanufactured cells and thus eliminate all the defective and possibly cancerous cells that otherwise would multiply and then become a more serious threat to our health.
White blood cells also attack, destroy and clean up all other sorts of threats to our health such as viruses, fungi, parasites and debris in our blood and cell tissues.
Capillary circulation is vital to organ function
If we do not create sufficient capillary circulation we are at greater risk of allowing illness to develop and entire cell tissues and whole organs will not perform their natural functions properly. For example, the pancreas will not perform its functions properly resulting in diabetes. The liver will not perform its hundreds of functions properly which leads to many illnesses. The kidneys will not perform properly leading to kidney dysfunction and possible total failure. The intestines will not process food properly and cancer cells will not be destroyed by white blood cells and that in turn will lead to cancer tumors in the cell tissues that are lacking in capillary circulation.
In summary, capillary circulation allows plasma to flow through the small openings between the cells that form the walls of capillaries. The plasma joins the interstitial fluid that surrounds capillaries on the outside of the capillary walls. The plasma that flows into the interstitial space is now named interstitial fluid. It is the same fluid as the plasma but it is just named differently because it is now in the interstitial space.
So the plasma carries all the nutrients, enzymes and oxygen and very importantly, it transports the white blood cells into the interstitial space as well, where they can perform their immune system function of killing cancer cells and other threats to the cell tissues. All the cells in the body need nutrients and oxygen to perform their functions in the body and they draw those nutrients and oxygen out of the interstitial fluid and they dump their metabolic waste products into that same interstitial fluid. It seems a very disturbing scenario that the cells eat out of the same fluid that they dump all their waste into. It is like combining the kitchen and the toilet and eating out of the toilet bowl. Not a pleasant thought, but that is the way the body does it.
The body also replaces billions of cells per day (estimates run from 20 to 300 billion tissue cells dying per day in addition to another 10 billion white- and 200 billion red blood cells). Every cell tissue in the body winds up with millions of dying and dead cell tissue cells per day and that makes for extra waste products floating in the interstitial fluid. The building of the replacement cells requires new building materials, which need to be brought by the plasma into the interstitial space.
So the capillary circulation supplies all the cells in the body with supplies and it picks up all the waste products that the cells create and transports that waste to the parts of the body that eliminate those waste products from the body. Without sufficient capillary circulation the cells would be starved of all the nutrients they need to function properly and their waste products would pile up around them. That creates a very unhealthy environment for all the cells of a cell tissue deprived of proper capillary circulation and that makes for poorly functioning cell tissues that do not properly perform the functions in the body that they are expected to perform. Not properly functioning cell tissues will mean illness for the cell tissues that are deprived of proper capillary circulation.
All cells in your body will die at the end of their lifespan and are replaced (renewed) by new cell formation at the cell tissue level. A few cancer cells (lemons) are produced every minute and if they are immediately attacked and destroyed by white blood cells that are delivered to the many cell tissues by the capillary circulation then cancer is prevented from developing.
How is the capillary circulation promoted?
The right type of exercise will pump more blood through capillaries of all the cell tissues in the body. The wrong type of exercise will increase capillary circulation to skeletal muscles in our limbs at the expense of less capillary circulation through all other cell tissues in the body.
What is the right and the wrong type of exercise?
Long duration low level exercise is the wrong type of exercise because it increases capillary circulation through the skeletal muscles of our arms and legs at the expense of decreasing capillary circulation to all the other cell tissues in the body. The right type of exercise is called HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) that brings more capillary circulation to all cell tissues in the body, preventing cancer and malfunctioning of the cell tissues in the body.
Many mysteries solved
Why do numerous very fit athletes get ill and are plagued with serious health problems and why do some other people that do not really exercise a lot have no serious health problems and live to a very respectable age without serious illness issues?
Most people incorrectly believe that fitness equals health and that is a total misconception. Fitness is the ability to perform work with trained muscles and health is the absence of illness. In fact, in many cases too much fitness leads to illness. Wow, that is big news and begs for explanations.
Overtraining athletes train for their chosen sports. And often they persuade themselves that more is better, that training more and harder would result in higher performance. That is only true up to a certain point. For everything in life there is a “too little” a “too much” and a “just right.” And “just right” is generally also referred to as moderation. The athletes that train too much may suddenly find that their health is deteriorating and that brings down their performance as well. This is then called overtraining, doing too much training.
Undertraining and incorrect exercise
The vast majority of the population does not suffer from overtraining. Most people suffer from undertraining, because they do not enough of the right type of exercise. Not doing enough of the correct type of exercise means not getting enough capillary circulation to the vital organs, brain and other critical cell tissues in the body. There are actually incorrect exercises that increase capillary circulation to muscles and thereby decrease capillary circulation to all other cell tissues in the body. Those exercises increase fitness (ability to perform work) and decrease health (or increase illness).
Preventing and curing illness
It is obvious now that much illness can be prevented and can even be cured by increasing plasma circulation through all cell tissues in the body if the right type of exercise is done. High intensity resistance exercise is the right type of exercise that does not increase capillary circulation through muscles at rest.
Weight training and dumbbell exercises are very effective if they are done in a regimen of exercise that also raises the heart rate significantly. Weight training exercise regiments, which are highly beneficial to health, can be done in 20 to 45 minutes per day. You need to know what you are doing and have a good program designed by a physical trainer or a doctor learned in the arts.
Time is an important factor in adherence to an exercise program
The reality is that the shorter the exercise programs are the greater the likelihood that people can discipline themselves to do the exercise. With a linear increase in length of time required there will be an exponential decrease in adherence to a daily exercise program. Only 8% of home exercise equipment is used on a regular exercise program (much of it is the wrong type of exercise that increases fitness at the expense of health).
The only exercises that that are useful are of course the ones that are being adhered to and done on a regular basis. And then they are only good for health if they are the right type of exercises. The most effective types of exercises for health improvement are those that increase capillary circulation through all cell tissues and do that in the shortest number of minutes per day. Why the shortest amount of minutes? Because those are the exercises that people can discipline themselves to do for the rest of their life.
The trick is to do the kind of exercise that develops a very high degree of oxygen consumption by using as much muscle tissue as possible all simultaneously. There are several methods and types of exercise equipment that will do a fairly good job at being short in duration and effective for capillary circulation improvement. All of these methods of exercise will develop an higher oxygen consumption during the exercise by involving more muscles over as large as possible range of motion and at high work output.