Does Exercise Reduce Inflammation?

Posted by Nicole on October 14

If you want to curb inflammation in your body, you might wonder whether exercise can help you do it. In fact, research suggests that it is possible to reduce inflammation by working out. Let’s check out the details.

Exercise Can Decrease Inflammation

In this post, you can read about a research study conducted by the University of California San Diego School of Medicine. The article explains, “The study, recently published online in Brain, Behavior and Immunity , found one 20-minute session of moderate exercise can stimulate the immune system, producing an anti-inflammatory cellular response.”

Senior author Suzi Hong, PhD, said, “Our study shows a workout session doesn’t actually have to be intense to have anti-inflammatory effects. Twenty minutes to half-an-hour of moderate exercise, including fast walking, appears to be sufficient.”

That is great news, because if you are looking to bring down inflammation, the thought of long or intense workouts might seem like more than you can handle. But going on a 20-minute walk may be something you feel you can do.

If you are curious about some of the mechanisms through which working out might reduce inflammation, you can take a look at this research.

Are There Situations Where Exercise Can Increase Inflammation?

You probably are wondering whether exercising always decreases inflammation, or if there are situations where it could make inflammation worse.

It does seem that it is possible to push yourself too far. This study reports, “Intense long exercise can lead, in general, to higher levels of inflammatory mediators, and thus might increase the risk of injury and chronic inflammation. In contrast, moderate exercise or vigorous exercise with appropriate resting periods can achieve maximum benefit.”

So, it is very important to make sure that you are giving yourself the rest you need after you work out.

And speaking of injury, if you move incorrectly when you are working out, there is a good chance that you will injure yourself. If you do, that is naturally going to produce inflammation. So, you will want to make sure that you are always warming up properly and moving carefully so as not to hurt yourself.

Short, Low-Impact Exercise Sessions Are All You Need to Decrease Inflammation

Now you know more about how exercising can reduce inflammation, so long as you are not pushing yourself too hard, moving in ways that might injure you, or forgetting to give yourself adequate rest.

Twenty minutes out of your day to go on a quick walk around the block is not a huge commitment, and it can make a surprising difference. So, give it a try. If you make it a regular part of your routine, it may help you to promote good inflammatory health over the short and long term.