By: @coreflexpilates founder @chrisbardawil
Joint pain after exercise, headaches or brain fog after a bad night's sleep, or digestive distress after eating are all symptoms of systemic inflammation. While there are many articles and discussions about foods and diet to reduce inflammation, little attention is paid to reducing inflammation through exercise.
Inflammation in itself isnt a bad thing - it is our bodies response to trauma and helps us heal by promoting blood flow and circulation to an area. This is why rather than taking medicine to reduce inflammation its best to let the body do its thing while doing the best we can to help the process along.
And, while a healthy diet is important for keeping your body healthy and inflammation at bay, without the proper exercise, you will never achieve the right balance and keep inflammation at a level required for optimal overall health.
Here are a few ways of exercising that when done regularly, can stimulate the immune system and produce an anti-inflammatory response.
There is a reason why the exercise bike is a favourite for athletes after a long hard match, research has shown that just 30 minutes of cycling leads to a reduction of inflammatory response in the body. All you need is a 5 minute warmup, 20 minutes moderate intensity and a 5 minute cooldown.
A 20 minute light jog or brisk walk is all you need to help flush out the muscles, stimulate your immune response and lower inflammation in the body.
Long term resistance training has also been shown to reduce inflammation overall in the body but the key is to make sure you have sufficient recovery time between sessions.
Gentle movements like Pilates help to increase lymph movement and move wastes out of the body more efficiently which helps reduce inflammation and pain. Low impact exercise is the best way to get blood flowing and your immune system working again.
It all boils down to having a good variety of low impact exercise that incorporates both resistance and cardiovascular training to help your body keep inflammation at bay.