Wellness Month: Taking Aim at Inflammation
Want to improve your wellness? Take aim at inflammation with these tips from fitness professional Alex K.
You normally sense inflammation when you feel swelling, redness, heat, loss of movement in a joint or pain. For example, if you have arthritis you will often feel swelling in your joints. If you cut yourself you will notice that your skin becomes red. The area will also become puffy and may experience limited range of motion for a while until the cut heals. Inflammation is your body’s attempt to remove the injurious stimuli and to help start the healing process.
What Causes Inflammation
Inflammation can often occur in response to a pathogen or disease that had been introduced to the body. Your body is trying to eliminate any infection or substance that is attacking it. This is fine for the short term; however, long term inflammation can lead to a variety of diseases including arthritis, allergies, cancer and many more diseases. While short term (acute) inflammation can be beneficial, long term (chronic) inflammation can lead to a destruction of healthy tissue and promote the growth of the disease.
Inflammation is caused by a variety of factors. What you eat can cause a great deal of inflammation. Foods such as sugar, high fructose corn syrup and white flour all tend to cause inflammation. If you have ever eaten a candy bar and felt swelling in your gums or puffiness in your body shortly after, it is the sugar in the candy bar that is causing inflammation. Excess salt consumption will also cause the same feeling. Try eating a bag of chips and you may end up feeling a few pounds heavier. For some people gluten and dairy cause an inflammatory response as well. Find more information on diet and healthy eating at www.familiesfirstbc.ca/find-services-for-families/health-safety/diet-nutrition-advice or healthlinkbc.ca/healthyeating/emaildietitian.html. These local Vancouver resources can help you pinpoint what is best for you in terms of your dietary needs and reducing inflammation through your diet.
Read the Signs Your Body is Giving You
Other factors that can contribute to inflammation include injuries, chemicals that your body is exposed to, infections, long term disease, stress and alcohol. In the short term these won’t cause significant issues for you; however, in the long term they cause chronic inflammation and increase your risk of disease.
Chronic inflammation is widely known as being harmful to your body. You need to learn to read the signs your body is giving you such as swelling or stiffness in your joints. If you are feeling these on a regular basis then you may be experiencing inflammation, which could be damaging to you. Limiting the foods that cause inflammation is key. Check out the two resource links provided earlier or check with your family doctor for more information. Also limiting your exposure to the other factors noted above is important as well. Finally, exercise is something that is great for battling long term inflammation. It reduces stress, boosts your immune system and helps you get rid of the effects from those inflammatory foods that we all love to eat. Take inflammation seriously as it is a major indicator of your overall health.
Alex K is an online Fitness Professional providing health and wellness to the world through his online workout program Cardio Blast. Members of www.Cardioblast.com receive new cardio workouts every week, strength training programs, 50 page meal plan, fitness tracking and personal training included with their membership.
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