Have you ever woken up just feeling stiff or puffy? Maybe you’ve noticed that you’re not recovering as well from your workouts and feeling sore or run down for days?
Underlying inflammation in the body can be the culprit causing aches, pains and discomfort. These signs should not be ignored as they are signs something internally is going wrong. Signs of inflammation are like a car's dashboard engine light. It tells you that something is wrong, but your response is not to take out the bulb, because that's not the problem. Instead, you look at what caused the light to turn on.
In this article we are going to talk about 5 lifestyle habits that you can improve to relieve your inflammation.
First, what is inflammation?
Inflammation is the body's response to injury and illness. It is a protective mechanism and process by which the body’s white blood cells and substances they produce protect us from infection with foreign organisms such as bacteria and viruses.
SOME inflammation can be good as it is our body's way of protecting us when we get injured, which is known as acute inflammation. Acute inflammation is a short-term response with localized effects.
However, many people do not realize that the other type of inflammation known as chronic inflammation can wreak havoc on your body and immune system if left untreated. Most people may not even realize they have low levels of inflammation until they begin to experience one or more of the symptoms that chronic inflammation can bring.
Research has shown that chronic inflammation is associated with heart disease, diabetes, cancer, arthritis, and bowel diseases like Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. So how do we prevent this ‘chronic’ inflammation?? Well, a lot of it stems from our lifestyle choices!
Sleep is vital to life and required for every function in the body and mind to work properly. Sleep is the body’s way to recover from all of the physical and emotional stress and rejuvenate internal systems. Sleep and eating are really the only two ways the body can rejuvenate and recover itself.
Inadequate sleep does not just result in feeling sluggish or tired, needing multiple cups of coffee each day. It also has other side effects such as slowing down metabolism, dysregulated hormones, lowering the immune system, impairs memory and can worsen conditions like autoimmune, thyroid disease, depression, anxiety and cardiovascular disease all of which are linked to chronic inflammation.
Having trouble falling asleep and/or staying asleep? We recommend focusing on your sleep routine and setting your sleep environment up for optimal sleep.
Many people associate exercise for weight loss rather than for health. Daily movement is so important for many more reasons than just losing weight. There have been many research studies that support exercise as a proven long term treatment for reducing chronic inflammation. A research study by Beavers, K. M., Brinkley, T. E., & Nicklas, B. J. (2010), found “lower inflammatory biomarker concentrations are observed in individuals who report performing more frequent and more intense physical activity, including leisure and non-leisure time physical activity.”
Aim to exercise 30-45 minutes a day and include resistance training into your weekly routine 2-3x a week. We also strongly recommend shooting for 10k steps a day every day to ensure you are getting in general daily movement and not becoming too sedentary. A 45 minute workout won’t benefit us much if we are sitting on our butts all day otherwise.
3. Manage Stress
Taking time to manage stress is essential to maintaining a calm mental and emotional state. So often we are consumed with the inputs of life that we don’t take the time to slow down and manage our stress.
While we may not realize the benefits of taking time to destress, it is crucial to reducing inflammation as chronic stress contributes to inflammation.
We recommend doing 2-3 de-stressing activities per day and building them into your routine. This can be anything that brings joy and a sense of calm. Ideas to destress would be walking in nature without input, yoga, meditation/breathing exercises or guided meditation with an app like headspace, or other calming activities like a hot bath, coloring, reading or journaling.
4. Eat A Well-Balanced Diet
There is a lot of research that supports eating a well balanced diet can help reduce chronic inflammation in the body and will help reduce the symptoms of autoimmune conditions and chronic joint pain.
Therefore, we highly recommend eating more omega-3 rich foods such as wild caught salmon and tuna, and tofu, walnuts, flax seeds and soybeans and supplementing with a high quality Omega-3 supplement to improve the ratio of omegas you are consuming in your diet.
There are other foods and supplements that can also help with reducing inflammation and reversing the effects of oxidative stress so we suggest considering add these to your daily intake:
As mentioned before, diet can either cause inflammation or reduce inflammation. It is important to remove foods that are wreaking havoc on your system.
The most common culprits are dairy, refined sugar, nightshade vegetables, fried foods, processed foods, and gluten which can cause inflammation in the digestive tract if you are unable to digest it properly.
Take note of how you feel after certain foods and if you’re able to correlate indigestion, bloating, gas, fatigue/feeling sleepy after your meals. Most people tolerate many of these foods just fine, but if you’ve never tried removing and reintroducing them, you may never know how good you can truly feel!
If you are suffering from chronic aches and pain, and find yourself taking over the counter NSAIDs, give Relief a try as it is 14x more effective than Ibuprofen and of course, is all natural!
The powerful antioxidant blend also supports your immune system, which is important for optimal health!
A few changes in your day to day routine, and nutritional intake with proper supplementation, may help you alleviate symptoms, relieve chronic pain and improve your overall health and inflammation load.
1Beavers, K. M., Brinkley, T. E., & Nicklas, B. J. (2010). Effect of exercise training on chronic inflammation.Clinica chimica acta; international journal of clinical chemistry,411(11-12), 785–793.https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cca.2010.02.069
2The Center for Genetics, Nutrition and Health, 2001 S Street, N.W., Suite 530, Washington, DC 20009, USAhttps://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12442909
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