The anti-inflammatory effects of exercise

We’ve all heard that we need to exercise regularly and lead physically active lifestyles. And we also probably know that both are key parts of our overall quality of life. 

The benefits filter down into many aspects of our lives affecting our eating habits, sleep patterns, mental capacity and mood, to name a few. To add to this long list, exercise has long been shown to reduce the risk of chronic diseases including type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and hypertension

How exactly does it achieve all this, you may be wondering? One of the answers lies in reducing inflammation. So what is inflammation of the body? And how does exercise affect it? Let’s take a closer look…

The anti-inflammatory effects of exercise

What is inflammation?

 Inflammation itself is our body’s natural protective response – it’s how our bodies heal themselves. More specifically, there are 2 types of inflammation: acute and chronic. 

Acute inflammation is something we’ve all experienced – it occurs in response to infection, like the flu or a simple paper cut. Chronic inflammation on the other hand, occurs when our bodies perceive substances already within our body as foreign, and potentially harmful.

One of the most common triggers is the accumulation of fat tissue within our abdominal area, known as visceral fat. Essentially, it increases the number of specialised proteins in our bloodstream that are an indication of inflammation.

So you can imagine how these inflammatory markers coursing through your veins over a long period of time can have harmful effects on your body. It can also help us understand why chronic inflammation is what leads to the development of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. 

Something as simple as stress can be the cause of an inflammatory response – that’s why we often feel both the psychological and physiological effects of stress.

Luckily for us though, science has repeatedly shown how exercise directly counteracts this! 

Exercise

Exercise

Before we dive into the intricacies of the anti-inflammatory effects of exercise, let’s understand why moving our bodies is so important. As we all know, exercising regularly comes with a long list of benefits. This comes with being more physically active too, but what’s the difference between the 2 terms? 

Exercising is intentionally moving your body, in an aim to improve or maintain physical fitness. Being physically active, on the other hand, means sitting down less and moving your body more. It’s no surprise that physical activity lowers the risk of all-cause mortality.

So how much should we be moving exactly? To meet the recommended ACSM Guidelines of exercise per week, we should complete 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic exercise per week, and complete muscle strengthening activities twice per week. 

This may sound daunting at first, but it’s easier than you think to integrate those important minutes into your week, trust us. With a few simple habit enhancers, you’ll be feeling its benefits in no time!

Anti-inflammatory properties of exercise

When we move, we contract our muscles. When doing so, our muscles fibers release different types of proteins, known as cytokines, that have been shown to suppress inflammation. The anti-inflammatory effects of these proteins last a short period, which is why it’s important to exercise regularly as part of your routine. 

Additionally, exercise helps to limit weight gain by increasing our energy consumption and metabolism. Exercise has even been shown to help boost immunity by strengthening resistance against infections too. 

What type of exercise is anti-inflammatory?

It takes as little as 20-minutes of moderate intensity exercise to reduce inflammation! Scientific studies seem to indicate that aerobic exercise is more effective in fighting inflammation than resistance exercise. We recommend doing both, as they are both crucial for our physical health.

Making physical activity and regular exercise a daily habit can be difficult at first. But thankfully, there are many different ways of creating healthy new habits that stick. 

Here are a few tips to help launch you into a more physically active lifestyle:

  • Walking. This is one of the easiest ways of moving – and you can choose how intensive you make it. Maybe combining walking with social interaction will help motivate you, and the same can be said for exercise training!
  • Revolutionise your commute. Be it cycling to your workplace or getting off one stop early to walk a little longer, there are many ways to do this. 
  • Virtual workouts. Fitness classes are a daunting thing for many, so why not begin in the comfort of your own home? 
  • Try that sport you’ve always wanted to try. We’re here to encourage you – maybe it’s pole dancing or Thai kickboxing? There’s an endless array of sports to try! Exercise really can become the highlight of your day.   

 Exercise is medicine

We can now better understand how inflammation can be both good and bad for you. Chronic inflammation is what can have potentially harmful effects on your body, and exercise is a potent way to fight it. 

So we don’t need to be performing excessive, high intensity workouts to benefit from the anti-inflammatory effects of exercise – great news! Leading a physically active lifestyle with regular exercise is one way to revolutionise your lifestyle, and not the only way to reduce inflammation in the body. 

One thing is for sure, and that is that exercise is medicine. Who knew it could be so powerful?

Keyword: Exercise, physical activity, anti-inflammatory, fitness, healthy lifestyle

  • Benefits of Physical Activity. (2020). Retrieved 11 February 2021, from https://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/basics/pa-health/index.htm  
  • Reid, K., Baron, K., Lu, B., Naylor, E., Wolfe, L., & Zee, P. (2010). Aerobic exercise improves self-reported sleep and quality of life in quality of life in older adults with insomnia. Sleep Medicine, 11(9), 934-940. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sleep.2010.04.014  
  • Tuomilehto, J., Lindström, J., Eriksson, J. G., Valle, T. T., Hämäläinen, H., Ilanne-Parikka, P., Keinänen-Kiukaanniemi, S., Laakso, M., Louheranta, A., Rastas, M., Salminen, V., Uusitupa, M., & Finnish Diabetes Prevention Study Group (2001). Prevention of type 2 diabetes mellitus by changes in lifestyle among subjects with impaired glucose tolerance. The New England Journal of Medicine, 344(18), 1343–1350. https://doi.org/10.1056/NEJM200105033441801 
  • Nocon, M., Hiemann, T., Müller-Riemenschneider, F., Thalau, F., Roll, S., & Willich, S. N. (2008). Association of physical activity with all-cause and cardiovascular mortality: a systematic review and meta-analysis. European Journal of Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation, 15(3), 239–246. https://doi.org/10.1097/HJR.0b013e3282f55e09 
  • Vaziri, N., & Rodríguez-Iturbe, B. (2006). Mechanisms of Disease: oxidative stress and inflammation in the pathogenesis of hypertension. Nature Clinical Practice Nephrology, 2(10), 582-593. https://doi.org/10.1038/ncpneph0283 
  • Suzuki, K. (2019). Chronic Inflammation as an Immunological Abnormality and Effectiveness of Exercise. Biomolecules, 9(6), 223. https://doi.org/10.3390/biom9060223 
  • Bhatt, D. (2017). What is inflammation?. Retrieved 1 March 2021, from https://www.health.harvard.edu/heart-disease-overview/ask-the-doctor-what-is-inflammation 
  • Gleeson, M., Bishop, N., Stensel, D., Lindley, M., Mastana, S., & Nimmo, M. (2011). The anti-inflammatory effects of exercise: mechanisms and implications for the prevention and treatment of disease. Nature Reviews Immunology, 11(9), 607-615. https://doi.org/10.1038/nri3041 
  • Festa, A., D’Agostino Jr, R., Williams, K., Karter, A., Mayer-Davis, E., Tracy, R., & Haffner, S. (2001). The relation of body fat mass and distribution to markers of chronic inflammation. International Journal Of Obesity, 25(10), 1407-1415. https://doi.org/10.1038/sj.ijo.0801792  
  • Wirtz, P., & Von Känel, R. (2017). Psychological Stress, Inflammation, and Coronary Heart Disease. Current Cardiology Reports, 19(11), 111. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11886-017-0919-x 
  • Nocon, M., Hiemann, T., Müller-Riemenschneider, F., Thalau, F., Roll, S., & Willich, S. (2008). Association of physical activity with all-cause and cardiovascular mortality: a systematic review and meta-analysis. European Journal Of Cardiovascular Prevention & Rehabilitation, 15(3), 239-246. https://doi.org/10.1097/hjr.0b013e3282f55e09 
  • Physical Activity Guidelines Resources. (2018). Retrieved 11 February 2021, from https://www.acsm.org/read-research/trending-topics-resource-pages/physical-activity-guidelines 
  •  Pedersen, B. (2006). The anti-inflammatory effect of exercise: its role in diabetes and cardiovascular disease control. Essays In Biochemistry, 42, 105-117. https://doi.org/10.1042/bse0420105 
  • Pedersen, B. (2017). Anti-inflammatory effects of exercise: role in diabetes and cardiovascular disease. European Journal Of Clinical Investigation, 47(8), 600-611. https://doi.org/10.1111/eci.12781 
  • Dimitrov, S., Hulteng, E., & Hong, S. (2017). Inflammation and exercise: Inhibition of monocytic intracellular TNF production by acute exercise via β 2 -adrenergic activation. Brain, Behavior, And Immunity, 61, 60-68. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bbi.2016.12.017 

 

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The anti-inflammatory effects of exercise

We’ve all heard that we need to exercise regularly and lead physically active lifestyles. And we also probably know that both are key parts of our overall quality of life. 

The benefits filter down into many aspects of our lives affecting our eating habits, sleep patterns, mental capacity and mood, to name a few. To add to this long list, exercise has long been shown to reduce the risk of chronic diseases including type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and hypertension

How exactly does it achieve all this, you may be wondering? One of the answers lies in reducing inflammation. So what is inflammation of the body? And how does exercise affect it? Let’s take a closer look…

The anti-inflammatory effects of exercise

What is inflammation?

 Inflammation itself is our body’s natural protective response – it’s how our bodies heal themselves. More specifically, there are 2 types of inflammation: acute and chronic. 

Acute inflammation is something we’ve all experienced – it occurs in response to infection, like the flu or a simple paper cut. Chronic inflammation on the other hand, occurs when our bodies perceive substances already within our body as foreign, and potentially harmful.

One of the most common triggers is the accumulation of fat tissue within our abdominal area, known as visceral fat. Essentially, it increases the number of specialised proteins in our bloodstream that are an indication of inflammation.

So you can imagine how these inflammatory markers coursing through your veins over a long period of time can have harmful effects on your body. It can also help us understand why chronic inflammation is what leads to the development of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. 

Something as simple as stress can be the cause of an inflammatory response – that’s why we often feel both the psychological and physiological effects of stress.

Luckily for us though, science has repeatedly shown how exercise directly counteracts this! 

Exercise

Exercise

Before we dive into the intricacies of the anti-inflammatory effects of exercise, let’s understand why moving our bodies is so important. As we all know, exercising regularly comes with a long list of benefits. This comes with being more physically active too, but what’s the difference between the 2 terms? 

Exercising is intentionally moving your body, in an aim to improve or maintain physical fitness. Being physically active, on the other hand, means sitting down less and moving your body more. It’s no surprise that physical activity lowers the risk of all-cause mortality.

So how much should we be moving exactly? To meet the recommended ACSM Guidelines of exercise per week, we should complete 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic exercise per week, and complete muscle strengthening activities twice per week. 

This may sound daunting at first, but it’s easier than you think to integrate those important minutes into your week, trust us. With a few simple habit enhancers, you’ll be feeling its benefits in no time!

Anti-inflammatory properties of exercise

When we move, we contract our muscles. When doing so, our muscles fibers release different types of proteins, known as cytokines, that have been shown to suppress inflammation. The anti-inflammatory effects of these proteins last a short period, which is why it’s important to exercise regularly as part of your routine. 

Additionally, exercise helps to limit weight gain by increasing our energy consumption and metabolism. Exercise has even been shown to help boost immunity by strengthening resistance against infections too. 

What type of exercise is anti-inflammatory?

It takes as little as 20-minutes of moderate intensity exercise to reduce inflammation! Scientific studies seem to indicate that aerobic exercise is more effective in fighting inflammation than resistance exercise. We recommend doing both, as they are both crucial for our physical health.

Making physical activity and regular exercise a daily habit can be difficult at first. But thankfully, there are many different ways of creating healthy new habits that stick. 

Here are a few tips to help launch you into a more physically active lifestyle:

  • Walking. This is one of the easiest ways of moving – and you can choose how intensive you make it. Maybe combining walking with social interaction will help motivate you, and the same can be said for exercise training!
  • Revolutionise your commute. Be it cycling to your workplace or getting off one stop early to walk a little longer, there are many ways to do this. 
  • Virtual workouts. Fitness classes are a daunting thing for many, so why not begin in the comfort of your own home? 
  • Try that sport you’ve always wanted to try. We’re here to encourage you – maybe it’s pole dancing or Thai kickboxing? There’s an endless array of sports to try! Exercise really can become the highlight of your day.   

 Exercise is medicine

We can now better understand how inflammation can be both good and bad for you. Chronic inflammation is what can have potentially harmful effects on your body, and exercise is a potent way to fight it. 

So we don’t need to be performing excessive, high intensity workouts to benefit from the anti-inflammatory effects of exercise – great news! Leading a physically active lifestyle with regular exercise is one way to revolutionise your lifestyle, and not the only way to reduce inflammation in the body. 

One thing is for sure, and that is that exercise is medicine. Who knew it could be so powerful?

Keyword: Exercise, physical activity, anti-inflammatory, fitness, healthy lifestyle

  • Benefits of Physical Activity. (2020). Retrieved 11 February 2021, from https://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/basics/pa-health/index.htm  
  • Reid, K., Baron, K., Lu, B., Naylor, E., Wolfe, L., & Zee, P. (2010). Aerobic exercise improves self-reported sleep and quality of life in quality of life in older adults with insomnia. Sleep Medicine, 11(9), 934-940. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sleep.2010.04.014  
  • Tuomilehto, J., Lindström, J., Eriksson, J. G., Valle, T. T., Hämäläinen, H., Ilanne-Parikka, P., Keinänen-Kiukaanniemi, S., Laakso, M., Louheranta, A., Rastas, M., Salminen, V., Uusitupa, M., & Finnish Diabetes Prevention Study Group (2001). Prevention of type 2 diabetes mellitus by changes in lifestyle among subjects with impaired glucose tolerance. The New England Journal of Medicine, 344(18), 1343–1350. https://doi.org/10.1056/NEJM200105033441801 
  • Nocon, M., Hiemann, T., Müller-Riemenschneider, F., Thalau, F., Roll, S., & Willich, S. N. (2008). Association of physical activity with all-cause and cardiovascular mortality: a systematic review and meta-analysis. European Journal of Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation, 15(3), 239–246. https://doi.org/10.1097/HJR.0b013e3282f55e09 
  • Vaziri, N., & Rodríguez-Iturbe, B. (2006). Mechanisms of Disease: oxidative stress and inflammation in the pathogenesis of hypertension. Nature Clinical Practice Nephrology, 2(10), 582-593. https://doi.org/10.1038/ncpneph0283 
  • Suzuki, K. (2019). Chronic Inflammation as an Immunological Abnormality and Effectiveness of Exercise. Biomolecules, 9(6), 223. https://doi.org/10.3390/biom9060223 
  • Bhatt, D. (2017). What is inflammation?. Retrieved 1 March 2021, from https://www.health.harvard.edu/heart-disease-overview/ask-the-doctor-what-is-inflammation 
  • Gleeson, M., Bishop, N., Stensel, D., Lindley, M., Mastana, S., & Nimmo, M. (2011). The anti-inflammatory effects of exercise: mechanisms and implications for the prevention and treatment of disease. Nature Reviews Immunology, 11(9), 607-615. https://doi.org/10.1038/nri3041 
  • Festa, A., D’Agostino Jr, R., Williams, K., Karter, A., Mayer-Davis, E., Tracy, R., & Haffner, S. (2001). The relation of body fat mass and distribution to markers of chronic inflammation. International Journal Of Obesity, 25(10), 1407-1415. https://doi.org/10.1038/sj.ijo.0801792  
  • Wirtz, P., & Von Känel, R. (2017). Psychological Stress, Inflammation, and Coronary Heart Disease. Current Cardiology Reports, 19(11), 111. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11886-017-0919-x 
  • Nocon, M., Hiemann, T., Müller-Riemenschneider, F., Thalau, F., Roll, S., & Willich, S. (2008). Association of physical activity with all-cause and cardiovascular mortality: a systematic review and meta-analysis. European Journal Of Cardiovascular Prevention & Rehabilitation, 15(3), 239-246. https://doi.org/10.1097/hjr.0b013e3282f55e09 
  • Physical Activity Guidelines Resources. (2018). Retrieved 11 February 2021, from https://www.acsm.org/read-research/trending-topics-resource-pages/physical-activity-guidelines 
  •  Pedersen, B. (2006). The anti-inflammatory effect of exercise: its role in diabetes and cardiovascular disease control. Essays In Biochemistry, 42, 105-117. https://doi.org/10.1042/bse0420105 
  • Pedersen, B. (2017). Anti-inflammatory effects of exercise: role in diabetes and cardiovascular disease. European Journal Of Clinical Investigation, 47(8), 600-611. https://doi.org/10.1111/eci.12781 
  • Dimitrov, S., Hulteng, E., & Hong, S. (2017). Inflammation and exercise: Inhibition of monocytic intracellular TNF production by acute exercise via β 2 -adrenergic activation. Brain, Behavior, And Immunity, 61, 60-68. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bbi.2016.12.017 

 

More from wellyou

Importance of Resilience

We’ve all heard it said that life is sort of like a rollercoaster; it certainly has its ups and downs along the way.

  • Letting go

Simplifying your life with minimalism

We all own a lot of stuff. But what purpose do all of those things serve? More importantly, is it possible that some of that extra stuff is actually doing us more harm than good?

  • fear of missing out

How to cope with fear of missing out

We’ll take a closer look at what FOMO really is, and we’ll discuss some helpful practices to cope with feelings of FOMO in a healthy, mindful way, so that we can all keep our mental and social well-being in check.

Get to know us

Wanna chat? Contact us at

info@well-you.com

Get to know us

Wanna chat? Contact us at
info@well-you.com

Get to know us

Wanna chat? Contact us at
info@well-you.com