Do you ever feel a bit sluggish and puffy? An easy way to feel better quickly is by walking more. It’s true! This post will show you how walking can be your best exercise to reduce inflammation.
I LOVE walking! Which is a good thing because it’s a big part of my day. With my work, I’m often on my feet. And after that, the kids keep me going from activity to activity. Also, Dustin and I make an effort to walk together most weekdays in the early afternoon. We talk business but also make a little bit of time for each other. It’s pretty important, right?
It’s also essential to take time for yourself—and walking is a great way to do that. Walking serves so many purposes and also gives you the chance to enjoy the great outdoors, something that is always good for our mental health. Did you know that walking is the best exercise to reduce inflammation? Read on, and I’ll give you the scoop!
Does Walking Help Inflammation?
Walking most definitely helps with inflammation. There are tons of studies that prove just that. People who fit walking into their lifestyle (instead of always being sedentary) have lower levels of inflammatory markers in the body.
Unfortunately, millions of Americans have health issues like autoimmune diseases, depression, obesity and heart disease. But new therapies are thankfully being developed for all illnesses, which means improvements in how people feel are on the horizon. And walking is proven to help too.
This is great news for people of all ages and backs up what we already know—that moving more means a healthy life. Even a short walk each day can decrease your body’s inflammatory response. Just get started and you’ll see improvement day by day. This post will show you how.
How Quickly Does Exercise Reduce Inflammation?
Studies show that as little as a 20-minute session of moderate exercise can aid in the release of norepinephrine and epinephrine, hormones that stimulate immune cells in a good way. Walking, like other types of exercise that can be done in 20-minute spurts, has benefits. These are some of the anti-inflammatory effects of exercise.
- Strengthens the heart and cardiovascular system
- Protects against diabetes
- Helps control your weight
- Builds lean muscle
- Stimulates the immune system by producing an anti-inflammatory cellular response
- Reduces the risk of disease
And, walking is one of the best exercises to reduce inflammation. A study documented that 20 minutes of walking works to stimulate cells that regulate inflammation which is pretty cool since walking is easy to do and requires no equipment other than good shoes. In the study, it’s been noted that tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-a) was reduced significantly after 4 weeks of moderate exercise in test subjects. All the more reason to get out there and move, right?
What Is The Fastest Way To Reduce Inflammation In The Body?
The fastest way to reduce inflammation in the body is to change your eating habits to include anti-inflammatory foods. There are a ton of delicious foods to choose from–>look here and I’ve got a 5-Day Anti-inflammatory Diet Meal Plan you can follow, too. It’ll give you the boost you need to get started and the recipes are easy peasy!
Other ways to reduce chronic inflammation fast are based on lifestyle changes:
- Get lots of sleep or you may bring on even more inflammation
- Take in the fresh air daily (read about workouts here)
- Limit refined flours and sugars
- Up your antioxidant intake with leafy greens
- Add spices to your food (turmeric is great for inflammation!)
- Moderate your alcohol intake
- Avoid toxins
- Drink green tea
- Watch your stress and eat foods to combat it because stress leads to inflammation
- Eat probiotic foods
Can Intermittent Fasting Help With Inflammation?
I’ve also got to put in a good word for Intermittent Fasting. I’m telling you, this lifestyle change will kick inflammation to the curb. It sure did for me! Intermittent fasting decreases inflammation, lowers your blood pressure, and increases your metabolism among many other things. Take a look here and here!
When you follow Intermittent Fasting, you’ll also benefit from reduced cravings. That’s a big bonus when it comes to inflammation because you won’t crave the wrong types of foods, like sugar and processed stuff. I’ve written a post on cravings if you need help with that. Read more by clicking on this link.
How Long Does It Take To Reduce Inflammation In The Body?
How long it will take to reduce inflammation in the body depends on how long you’ve had it and how much inflammation has taken over. But still, every step you take toward reducing inflammation is a step closer to being a better you. So, it may take 2 weeks or it may take 2 months to really remove all inflammation.
But I can tell you this—every day that you walk and eat a healthy diet you will see improvement in how you feel. Guaranteed! Remember, regular physical activity means reduced risk of diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and cardiovascular disease. And in the short term, walking gives you both a mental and energy boost.
What Is The Best Exercise To Reduce Inflammation?
Absolutely every type of exercise reduces inflammation and lowers the chance of getting chronic inflammatory diseases. Let’s look at the top 4.
Walking: Think about it. Walking is free and doesn’t require any special equipment purchases. You can do it in all weather once you get used to it, and the impact on your mental health is just awesome. And if you do want to add to your fitness equipment, buy a treadmill, so you can walk no matter the weather. 20 minutes of moderate treadmill exercise is a great place to start indoors.
Cycling: Yes, this exercise takes a bike, but you can ride either inside on a stationary bike or outside around the neighborhood as a daily workout session. Either way, it’s a low-impact form of exercise to reduce inflammation and your body’s anti-inflammatory responses.
Yoga: Not only do deep breathing, meditation-like poses, and stretching make you feel amazing, but you’ll get lots of benefits from yoga. Think lowered blood pressure and less anxiety to start. Prevention of illness and improvement in range of motion are benefits you’ll see when triggers of stress are calmed by yoga. Regular yoga sessions can also decrease inflammatory markers like c-reactive protein.
Resistance training: I really enjoy strength and resistance training. See my workout here. You’ll see it’s easy to exercise at home, and simple moves like squats and pushups can help inflammation. Don’t feel that if you’re not at your peak exertion level you aren’t going to see results. A low impact workout like resistance training is wonderful for everyone, including people with arthritis or mobility issues.
I think the best exercise to reduce inflammation is walking simply because it’s easy to incorporate into your day. Walk to the mailbox, park far from the store in the parking lot and take the dog for an extra turn around the block every day. It’s doable and quickly becomes part of your regular behavior.
What To Look For As Signs Of Inflammation
Here are the signs that you may be suffering from chronic inflammatory conditions or systemic inflammation that an overwhelming number of individuals are (without even knowing it):
- Bloating and gas
- Memory loss
- Joint pain
- Weight gain or inability to lose weight
Best Foods For Reducing Inflammation
Along with walking as the best exercise to reduce inflammation, you’ll want to think about foods that work to eliminate inflammation, too.
I’m going to put smoothies at the top of my list. Why? Because you can add a lot of anti-inflammatory foods to your smoothie and grab one to drink on your walk. Popular smoothie foods like kale, kiwi, and flaxseed are all superfoods!
I also recommend adding collagen to your smoothies for an extra inflammation reducing boost. Dustin and I created cleanish Brand Collagen Peptides, easily added to water, milk, coffee, and yes, smoothies and shakes!
You can watch my video on anti-inflammatory foods and take a look at the list here, too:
- Green tea
- Dark chocolate
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Leafy greens
- Fatty fish
- Berries like strawberries
I’ve got tons of recipes with all of these ingredients. Take a look around the site, and don’t miss yummy items like avocado toast, cherry cheesecake, and black bean enchiladas. Remember to drink plenty of water. And try apple cider vinegar in your water; it has lots of benefits! On the flip side, steer clear of food like packaged stuff (processed granola bars, for example), chips, fried foods, and excess caffeine.
Remember Inflammation Is Sometimes Essential
This is an important closing point. Inflammation is a natural process and a necessary one. Inflammation is part of the body’s immune response—if we have an injury or get sick, the immune system is there to pick us back up and heal us. It’s when inflammation gets out of hand and starts to drag us down that things go the wrong way.
So start walking if you haven’t already and don’t get stuck on the idea that long duration or fast walking are the only ways to get immunity boosts and inflammation reduction. Just set a goal and do your best to reach that daily (you’ll see every day that you’ll want to walk further). And read my post on the good thing about having a step goal. You’ll see positive results before you know it!
This post contains affiliate links for products I use regularly and highly recommend.