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How to Reduce Inflammation with Strength Training

corporate wellness longevity prevention Jun 13, 2023
How to Reduce Inflammation with Strength Training

Ever wake up in the morning feeling like you got hit by a truck?

I'm talking joint pain, stiffness, the whole nine yards.

It's not just old age catching up with you, it's inflammation.

Inflammation is like your body's internal fire alarm going off, saying:

"Hey, something's not right in here. Put down that cheeseburger and get moving!"

Truth is, inflammation is a natural immune response that helps your body fight off infections and heal injuries.

However, chronic inflammation can lead to a wide range of health issues, including heart disease, diabetes, and autoimmune disorders.

Fortunately, research has shown that resistance training, commonly known as weightlifting or strength training, offers more benefits than just building muscle and boosting strength.

It turns out that incorporating resistance training into your fitness routine can also effectively reduce inflammation.

In this lesson, you'll learn more about the connection between resistance training and inflammation reduction, and how it can contribute to your overall health and wellness.

Signs and Symptoms of Inflammation

Inflammation is your body's protective response to injury, infection, or harmful stimuli.

When your immune system detects an invader or damage to tissues, it releases various chemicals, including protein messengers called cytokines, to promote healing.

While acute inflammation is essential for healing, chronic inflammation occurs when your immune system remains active for prolonged periods, leading to tissue damage and systemic health problems.

While swelling, redness, heat, and pain are commonly associated with inflammation, there are other subtle signs that indicate its presence.

By understanding these signs, you can recognize inflammatory responses and take appropriate action.

Here are some unexpected manifestations of inflammation to be aware of:

  • Joint pain: A prevalent symptom is joint soreness, especially in your knees, shoulders, and elbows. Another symptom is walking like a penguin. If you have been diagnosed with conditions ending in "itis," such as bursitis, arthritis, or tendinitis, it is likely an indication of inflammatory processes.
  • Headaches: Chronic headaches or migraines may be a result of underlying inflammation within the body.
  • Digestive problems: Gastrointestinal complications and chronic digestive issues often point to an inflamed gut. 
  • Weight gain: When you try to squeeze into your favorite pair of jeans, and it feels like you're trying to stuff a marshmallow into a piggy bank, inflammation could be the culprit. Unexplained weight gain, bloating, or puffiness might be responses to inflammatory foods.
  • Skin issues: Inflammation can manifest as facial acne, itchiness, eczema, or rashes.
  • Allergy-like symptoms: Runny nose, itchy eyes, coughing, and sneezing can occur due to inflammation, even if not caused by allergies.
  • Depression: Chronic inflammation has been linked to anxiety, mood disorders, and depression.
  • Fatigue: Experiencing persistent fatigue, lethargy, insomnia, or difficulty sleeping may indicate underlying inflammation.
  • Frequent infections: Recurring infections could be a result of prolonged inflammation in the body.

Understanding Acute vs. Chronic Inflammation

Inflammation can be classified as acute or chronic, with distinct implications.

Acute inflammation is a temporary response, commonly observed in situations like sore throats, cuts, or gum irritation.

It typically resolves within days or weeks.

Chronic inflammation, on the other hand, is more concerning.

You wake up one day, your knees are swollen, your elbows hurt, and you're like, "What did I do to deserve this?

When acute inflammation persists due to autoimmune conditions or other chronic irritants, it's considered chronic.

This type of inflammation is associated with conditions like heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

Both acute and chronic inflammation can be localized within specific areas, but when it affects the entire body, it is known as systemic inflammation.

Measuring Inflammation

The levels of cytokines involved in the immune response, are used to measure inflammation in the body.

By familiarizing yourself with the signs and symptoms of inflammation, you can be proactive in addressing its underlying causes.

If you suspect inflammation, intermittent fasting may help reduce inflammation markers in your body.

Consult with a healthcare professional for guidance on appropriate treatments and lifestyle modifications.

How to Reduce Inflammation with Strength Training

Resistance training involves performing exercises that use resistance or weight to challenge the muscles, such as lifting weights, using resistance bands, or using body weight for resistance.

While the primary goal of resistance training is typically to build strength and muscle mass, as well as slow the loss of muscle, emerging research has highlighted its significant role in reducing inflammation.

Increased Anti-Inflammatory Markers: Resistance training has been found to enhance the production and release of anti-inflammatory markers in the body.

These markers, such as cytokines interleukin-6 (IL-6) and interleukin-10 (IL-10), help regulate the immune response and reduce chronic inflammation.

Studies have demonstrated that individuals who regularly engage in resistance training have higher levels of these anti-inflammatory markers, leading to a reduction in overall inflammation.

Regulating Adipose Tissue: Adipose tissue, or body fat, plays a crucial role in inflammation regulation.

Excessive body fat releases pro-inflammatory chemicals called adipokines, which contribute to chronic inflammation.

Resistance training helps to reduce body fat levels and increase lean muscle mass, thereby reducing the secretion of these pro-inflammatory adipokines.

By promoting a healthier body composition, resistance training contributes to inflammation reduction.

Improving Insulin Sensitivity: Insulin resistance, often associated with obesity and sedentary lifestyles, is closely linked to chronic inflammation.

Resistance training has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity, allowing your body to better regulate blood sugar levels.

By enhancing insulin sensitivity, resistance training reduces systemic inflammation and lowers the risk of developing chronic conditions like type 2 diabetes.

Incorporating strength training into your exercise routine offers far-reaching benefits beyond just "sculpting" a strong and healthy physique.

It has been increasingly recognized as a powerful tool for reducing chronic inflammation, which is a common underlying factor in many health issues.

By increasing the production of anti-inflammatory markers, regulating adipose tissue, and improving insulin sensitivity, resistance training helps to restore balance within the body and promote optimal health.

Remember, when embarking on a strength training program, it's crucial to start gradually and seek guidance from a qualified fitness professional to ensure proper form and reduce your chance of getting hurt.

By embracing resistance training, you can harness its incredible potential to reduce inflammation, improve overall health, and lead a more vibrant, active life.

Summary:

Beyond its muscle-building benefits, strength training can effectively reduce chronic inflammation. By increasing anti-inflammatory markers, regulating adipose tissue, and improving insulin sensitivity, resistance training offers a holistic approach to promoting optimal health and well-being.

To your success,

Coach Joe

 


 

Joseph Arangio helps 40+ men and women get leaner, stronger, and happier. He's delivered over 100,000 transformation programs to satisfied clients around the globe. If you want to lose weight from home, with the best online personal trainer, or you want to visit the best personal trainer in the Lehigh Valley, you can take a free 14-day trial.

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