Anti-Inflammatory Diet-Part 4: Exercise and Inflammation
Inflammation is a normal response for the human body to certain stressor and at times, it can be a good thing. But when acute inflammation becomes chronic, we begin to have problems.
Chronic inflammation can be low-grade, slowly damaging your tissues over time. Sometimes thus can go on for years and we may not even notice until a disease sets in.
Chronic inflammation can be the result of some underlying problem that your body is trying to fight off, or an over-reactive immune system. Many of these problems stem from an unhealthy or inflammatory diet and a lack of exercise.
It can become a cycle, because when people don’t feel well, we tend to avoid exertion and exercise, which worsens the condition.
While diet accounts from about 80% of the benefits from a healthy lifestyle, physical activity is a major component of that healthy lifestyle.
Exercise can trigger the release of special proteins from the muscles which are known to fight inflammation. A bad diet can sabotage this. You can’t out exercise a bad diet, and that’s the bottom line.
Because exercise in general can cause inflammation, it can seem confusing. How can it reduce inflammation while causing it?
While bouts of exercise can produce acute inflammation, when it’s done regularly and long term, it can reduce chronic inflammation. But acute inflammation can become chronic, so recovery is essential.
Mark Sisson does a great job of explaining this in an article.
“An effective training session is basically an acute stressor that initiates a transitory, temporary, but powerful inflammatory response. An effective training regimen is composed, then, of lots of those acutely stressful training sessions interspersed with plenty of recovery time against a backdrop of lots of slow moving and good nutrition.
Avoid inflammatory plateaus. Track your training. Plotted on a graph, the inflammatory responses to your training should resemble a series of peaks, dips, and valleys. If you don’t let your last exercise-induced inflammatory spike recede before exercising again, you’ll only heap more on the pile.
If you keep stringing together spikes in inflammation without recovering from the previous one, they start to overlap and that starts to look a lot like chronic inflammation. That gives you a plateau, a mesa of inflammation. Avoid the mesa.”