people on a treadmill

20 minutes of moderate exercise can suppress inflammation

Many of us exercise to keep fit, lose weight or to keep our weight under control. Exercise and regular physical activity has many health benefits enhancing the health of our heart and other organs, muscles and bones and protecting us from many diseases. Exercise also stimulates the immune system by producing a cellular response that suppresses inflammation.

This effect has been known to researchers previously but a new study finds out how this process happens and presents new implications for chronic diseases like arthritis, fibromyalgia and obesity.

This new study found that one-20 minute session of moderate exercise can produce an anti-inflammatory response at the cellular level while stimulating the immune system.

47 participants were asked to walk on a treadmill at a level of intensity which was adjusted according to their fitness level. Blood was collected before and immediately after the exercise.

During exercise the brain and sympathetic nervous system is activated which accelerates the heart rate and raises blood pressure to enable the body to carry out work.

The findings of this study have encouraging implications for patients suffering from chronic inflammatory conditions such as diabetes, fibromyalgia, obesity, arthritic and celiac disease.

Hormones like epinephrine and norepinephrine are released into the blood stream causing an adrenergic reaction by triggering receptors in immune cells.

During exercise the body also produces many cytokines or proteins. TNF is one such protein which regulates local systematic inflammation and immune cells thus boosting immune responses.

One study showed that 20 minutes of moderate treadmill exercise resulted in a five per cent decrease in the number of activated cells producing TNF.

Researchers say that the exercise session doesn’t have to be intense to have anti-inflammatory effects. Twenty to thirty minutes of moderate exercise, including fast walking seems to be enough to have anti-inflammatory benefits.

Inflammation is a complex biological immune response of the body to any harmful stimuli. It is the body’s attempt at healing and repairing itself and defending against viruses and bacteria. But chronic inflammation can lead to serious health issues in people suffering from celiac disease, diabetes, obesity and other such inflammatory conditions.

This is exciting news for patients who suffer from chronic inflammatory conditions knowing that exercise can suppress inflammation, though researchers warn that they should always consult their doctors before embarking on any treatment plan.

Source: Brain, Behavior and Immunity

Meena Azzollini

Meena Azzollini

Meena is passionate about holistic wellbeing, alternative healing, health and personal power and uses words to craft engaging feature articles to convey her knowledge and passion. She is a freelance writer and content creator from Adelaide, Australia, who draws inspiration from family, travel and her love for books and reading.

A yoga practitioner and a strong believer in positive thinking, Meena is also a mum to a very active young boy. In her spare time, she loves to read and whip up delicious meals. She also loves the smell of freshly made coffee and can’t ever resist a cheesecake. And she gets tickled pink by anything funny!

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