The 6 Best Types of Exercise to Reduce Inflammation

Do you know lack of physical activity is the leading cause of chronic diseases, and inflammation is one of them? This is why exercise is one of the most effective ways to reduce inflammation.  

However, with chronic inflammation, you already have a hard time dealing with body pain. So how can anti-inflammatory exercises help you with this condition without aggravating your joint pain

Do not worry; we have an easy solution.

We have selected the six best types of exercise to reduce inflammation that you can try at any age and place. 

The best part is that you would not need a heavy workout or set up a timeline for this. As per a study, only twenty minutes of physical activity reduces inflammation in chronic diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, Alzheimer’s, etc.

What are the 6 Best Types of Exercise to Reduce Inflammation

1. Yoga

One of the most underrated anti-inflammatory exercises is yoga. According to a recent study conducted on thirty-eight individuals, researchers found that a three-month yoga plan helped reduce overall inflammation and stress.

So how did yoga help in doing that? After the yoga retreat, researchers found increased levels of protective anti-inflammatory markers and reduced levels of harmful ones. BDNF, whose deficiency causes inflammation in Alzheimer’s, also increased after the yoga retreat.

Thus while trying different yoga poses like the Forward-Fold, your body detoxifies harmful inflammatory markers and shows improved circulation.

2. Swimming

Aquatic aerobics or swimming is the best way to reduce inflammation with fun. When you swim using strokes like backstroke, front crawl, or breaststroke, you are using every muscle of your body. Amazing right?

An animal study revealed that extended swimming diminishes inflammatory pain. Swimming will never over-stress your joints and tissues, which is great for inflammatory diseases like arthritis.

3. Bodyweight Exercises

To perform bodyweight exercises, set the timer for 30 seconds if you are a beginner or 45 seconds if you are a pro.

  • Start by warming yourself up (jumping, walking, running, etc.)
  • Bodyweight Jump squats to work on your lower body (include a wall squat)
  • Pushups to work out your upper body (you can use a bench or a wall for that) 
  • Bridges strengthen your core and lower body muscles by squeezing your glutes before your hips elevate from the ground (Use a foam roller or yoga block under your hip to take the weight off your lower limbs) 

4. Aerobic Dance

Apart from uplifting your mood, Aerobic dances like Zumba help bring down stress levels. This property alleviates your body’s inflammation and boosts up your serotonin to make you happier.

Moderate-intensity dancers have reduced inflammatory markers than those who do not dance. So, if aerobic dance counts as an exercise too, what excuse do you have for not doing it? Why not just grab your speakers, and get down to it!

5. Ride a Bike

Do not underestimate the power of your favorite childhood sport. Cycling not only builds your muscles and joints but also improves circulation and removes toxins. Cycling helps diminish inflammation.

You do not need to push yourself too hard. Cycling for ten miles per hour or riding your stationary bike is quite non-strenuous yet a very healthy activity.

6. Walking

It may surprise you, but daily walking is a top-notch exercise for reducing inflammation. A study done on 47 people revealed that walking just for twenty minutes decreased inflammation drastically. Nearly 5% of them had reduced TNF in blood, the leading marker for inflammatory responses.

If you feel daunted about trying our list of the best types of exercise to reduce inflammation, walking should be a fine choice. It’s easy and simple, and the best part is you can do it any time anywhere. You can even get a treadmill to do it at home.

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How Anti-inflammatory Exercises Help Reduce Inflammation?

To clarify: inflammation is not your enemy. It is a crucial part of your body’s natural defense mechanism. But once it goes out of control, it might turn into a big problem.

Whenever you are injured or ill, your body’s immune system gets activated and prepares itself to fight against invaders like bacteria, viruses, toxins, etc. In response to that, white blood cells release certain chemicals that cause inflammation.

Five events make up inflammation:

  • Swelling
  • Heat
  • Pain
  • Redness
  • Loss of function of inflammation area (breathing, smell, movement problems, etc.)

So when these events run for a short time till their purpose is achieved, it’s called acute inflammation. There is nothing to worry about that.

You only need to worry when such events occur for months or years without a break. That is when you have chronic inflammation, where your body produces unnecessary inflammatory responses.

According to Harvard Health Publishing: smoking, poor diet, stress, and lack of sleep and activity are all responsible.

The good news is that when you exercise, your body produces two hormones; adrenaline and noradrenaline. Both of them reduce immune system activity that reduces inflammation.

Exercise also helps in reducing oxidative stress hormones like cortisol and inflammatory markers like TNF. Moreover, it elevates BDNF levels which are found low in chronic inflammation.

All these facts indicate how exercises can become a game-changer for inflammation.

Tips for Anti Inflammatory Exercises

Drink Lots of Water

Remember, dehydration leads to loss of muscle coordination and causes more fatigue. Even an hour of workout can make you lose more than a quarter of total body water.

Without water, your body feels less energetic. So drink enough water before, during, after exercise.

Do Not Overdo It

Inflammation and exercise have a friendly relationship but only to a limit. Overdoing or over-stressing yourself with workouts can worsen inflammation.

Thus it is better to start steadily and follow a proper daily routine. You should enjoy what you are doing and make sure not to overburden yourself.

Look for Signs

Right after an exercise, if your body experiences severe pain on longer terms, you might have post-exercise inflammation. In that case, try reducing your workout hours or take a day off to balance yourself. 

If your pain does not go away after four days, it means you did a heavy exercise. Take a painkiller or consult your doctor immediately.

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Diet and Exercise Go Hand in Hand

Foods like green vegetables, fish, citrus fruits, nuts, and turmeric also serve as a natural way to reduce inflammation.

They will not only manage inflammation but may even increase your stamina required for performing anti-inflammatory exercises.  

Consult Your Chiropractic

If you take regular chiropractic sessions, consult your doctor before doing the exercises. Even though they are harmless, your chiropractor knows more about your body and can warn you of a possible reaction.

Do Not Leave Your Medicines

If your doctor has recommended any medicine for inflammation, do not stop taking it. Anti-inflammatory exercises will only improve your chronic condition, whereas medications will treat it. 

Do Not Try All at Once

Trying all these exercises at once is not a wise option. You can divide your days for each or pick and choose if you can not do them all. It is better to start with small intervals and increase your duration after each day.

Final Words

We hope you enjoyed learning about the six best types of exercise to reduce inflammation and the logic behind it. These exercises will not only help you fight back chronic inflammation but will also help you lose weight.

But as mentioned before, do not overburden yourself and follow our discussed recommendations.

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