When most people think about aging, they think about aesthetic signs of aging like wrinkles and fine lines. They don’t think about the random pain you feel in your knee when you get out of bed in the morning on a rainy day. That pain, in many cases, is caused by inflammation in the body, and it can impact more than just your knee.
The truth is, inflammation can make everyday activities like walking and sitting incredibly painful. The good news is that there are actions you can take to stop inflammation in its tracks. Read on to learn some great ways to reduce inflammation in your body!
What Is Inflammation?
Inflammation is part of your body’s reaction to what it perceives as a threat. When your body sees something as a threat, it attempts to fight against the threat by releasing antibodies and proteins and increasing blood flow to the area of the threat, which in turn causes inflammation.
There are two main types of inflammation in the body: acute and chronic. People who have acute inflammation typically have suffered some kind of injury or trauma to their body that causes a singular inflammatory response. For example, an athlete who tears a ligament would have an acute case of inflammation.
Chronic inflammation occurs when there is something that your body persistently views a threat that causes inflammation in the body on a long-term basis. Sometimes the body is right about the threat, but there are other occasions where the body gets its signals wrong and attacks itself. The latter is common in autoimmune disorders like HIV/AIDS and inflammatory bowel disease.
What Causes Inflammation?
There are a number of things that can cause inflammation in the body. Anything from allergies to injuries to illness can be a contributing factor.
For acute inflammation, causes are generally injuries. Here, the immune system goes to work to heal itself at the site of the injury. In these cases, inflammation is a good thing that helps your body heal faster and can even save your life.
Chronic inflammation, on the other hand, is caused by persistent issues like heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and lupus. It can also be caused by diabetes, poor eating habits, and a sedentary lifestyle.
In these cases, your body is always on alert, thus inflammation does a great deal of harm to the body. Chronic inflammation causes the release of white blood cells and, absent the presence of an actual threat, the blood cells begin attacking organs and healthy tissues of the body.
Over time, chronic inflammation can lead to the buildup of plaques in the blood vessels of the body, which can trigger a heart attack or stroke by blocking arterial blood flow. Chronic inflammation can also deal out damage to your DNA, contributing to cancers. It can also make your life more painful than it needs to be and impede your ability to perform day-to-day activities.
Exercises for Inflammation
One of the best ways to conquer chronic inflammation is through regular exercise. Understandably, this may be difficult if your chronic inflammation causes pain when you move or walk.
Start by taking baby steps if your mobility is limited. Try walking around for five minutes at a time and rest when you need to, then progress to more strenuous activity when you’re able. You can also try yoga and strength training activities to increase your mobility and reduce your pain.
As with any fitness regimen, speak with your doctor to see what’s appropriate for you.
With acute inflammation, you really want to let the inflammation do its job so you can heal. If you’re dealing with acute inflammation from an injury, talk with your doctor about what exercises might be acceptable for you so as not to make your injury worse.
Ways to Reduce Inflammation with Supplements
Many people know to take anti-inflammatories like ibuprofen when they’re dealing with inflammation, but there are supplements that you can take on a daily basis that are helpful, too.
The first supplement you should try is omega-3 fish oil. Omega-3 fatty acids are critical to good overall health, but particularly to good cholesterol and heart health. Scientific studies have even linked omega-3 fatty acids to a reduction in post-exercise inflammation, allowing you to recover faster.
Another great supplement that has been linked to reduced inflammation in the body is curcumin, a chemical component of the spice turmeric. Studies have shown that it reduces inflammation in a number of ailments like heart disease and diabetes.
Look at sites like www.advancedliving.com for a great selection of high-quality supplements.
The Anti-Inflammatory Diet
Supplements and medication treat the symptoms, not the root cause. If you truly want to relieve chronic inflammation, then you need to take a holistic look at your health. The best place to start is with your diet.
Certain foods are major contributors to chronic inflammation. These include sugars, dairy, alcohol, and refined carbohydrates. Over time, they can do major damage to your body.
Thankfully, there are plenty of foods that can counter inflammation. These foods include tomatoes, peppers, broccoli, grapes, and cherries. Add a host of healthy fats to your body by eating plenty of avocadoes, olives, olive oil, and fatty fish.
If you’re reluctant to give up your daily drink, swap to 5-10 ounces of red wine at night. You can even enjoy a few squares of dark chocolate! Relax with a cup of green tea in the morning for a little pick-me-up.
Ready to Take Control of Your Chronic Inflammation?
Inflammation in the body can be extremely painful and sideline you from activities you love. Thankfully, there are a number of ways to reduce inflammation in your body and take control of your life. With a few lifestyle modifications, you’ll be well on your way to getting back to your old self!
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