When thinking of ways to reduce the inflammation in your body, you may not think of exercise at first. However, it is a key part of reducing the inflammation in your body. If you are experiencing pain in your joints, it could be a symptom of inflammation. Exercise geared towards reducing inflammation could be a helpful way of reducing pain in your joints!
How Does Exercise Reduce Inflammation?
You may think exercises would cause inflammation, and you would not be totally wrong. Certain exercises are difficult on the body and may cause inflammation like heavy weight training, CrossFit, etc., if not performed properly. However, exercises like yoga, swimming, and resistance training can be great resources to reduce inflammation in the body. Recent studies from Brain, Behavior, and Immunity have found that just one 20-minute exercise session helps boost the immune system, having an anti-inflammatory response on cells. The exercises studied showed moderate exercises (like the exercises mentioned above) are the ones that reduced inflammation. The less inflammation you have in the body, the less pain you are likely to feel.
Who Can Benefit from Anti-Inflammatory Exercises
Patients with chronic conditions like arthritis, diabetes, and even Alzheimer's can benefit from performing exercises that reduce inflammation. All of the mentioned chronic conditions above have a root symptom of inflammation. By having a healthy diet and performing moderate activity daily, you can lessen the symptoms of these chronic conditions.
What Exercises Reduce Inflammation?
Reducing the amount of stress in the body is one of the best ways to decrease inflammation and pain in the joints. Yoga’s focus on breath control and slow, controlled movements has been shown to destress the body more than any other form of exercise. Yoga also works on flexibility, strength, and balance, which are all things people with joint pain need to work on. Many of our doctors at Elite recommend incorporating yoga into your workout routine for your joint health.
Walking with joint pain may seem like a bad idea, but staying too still can also stiffen the joints. There are many benefits to going on walks! If walking outside, getting vitamin D and moving your body not only decreases inflammation in the body but balances hormones and increases endorphins. Find what time length works for your body without straining yourself, but a 10-minute walk a couple of times a day can really make all the difference in the stiffness of your joints.
Cycling is often an exercise post-surgery patients take up. This low-impact exercise is great at loosening up the joints while giving you a great cardiovascular workout. If outdoor cycling is too dangerous for you, taking a spin class is a fun way to try something new while also decreasing the inflammation in your joints!
Similar to cycling, swimming is a low-impact workout that doubles as a cardiovascular workout. Swimming also helps work on your range of motion. Range of motion is a phrase you will hear over and over from your physical therapist. It is important to have a good range of motion for injury prevention and quality of life.
One of the most used forms of exercise in physical therapy is resistance training. It is one of the best exercises for working on strength and range of motion. It checks off all the boxes for a workout- strength, range of motion, cardiovascular, etc. This joint-friendly exercise will help decrease inflammation while still giving that post-workout endorphin kick!
The key to decreasing inflammation is finding a balance of rest and movement to prevent stiffness. As always, talk to an orthopedic surgeon before starting a new workout routine. Never be afraid to try something new, it could make all the difference in your longevity and quality of life.