Inflammation is a sign of damage to the body and can be caused by any number (read: too many) of things ranging from a poor diet to predisposed genetic conditions. And while you've most likely heard of supplements like turmeric and even expensive detox programs to help repair damaged cells, the answer to fighting inflammation may be a bit easier than you think. Simple exercise may be one of the best solutions to help reduce and even prevent it.
Just in time for the most indulgent season of the year, MindBodyGreen tapped experts to share specific exercises that help fight inflammation to keep you healthy for the coming year. And it doesn't take a grueling fitness regimen to get results. According to the article, one study proves the importance of introducing exercise as an anti-inflammatory, citing "that 4000 middle-aged people over a 10-year period found that those who exercise for two and a half hours per week lowered their inflammation by 12%." Introduce these easy inflammation-reducing solutions into your daily routine by checking out a few of the MindBodyGreen-approved moves below.
1. Foam rolling. Foam rolling helps rejuvenate the body by improving flexibility, strengthening the core, and promoting digestion and circulation. It can also be used to target inflammation specifically, as explained by Nicholas M. Licameli, physical therapist at Professional Physical Therapy. He directs his clients to "lie on a roller, and use gravity to apply pressure to a muscle. The roller is pressed into the muscle belly, and the user rolls up and down the length of the target muscle."
2. Deep breathing and yoga. While the two go hand-in-hand, yoga and breathing exercises are powerful inflammation-preventing practices, as Licameli provides the simple explanation that "deep, controlled breathing and meditation induce a state of physical and mental relaxation. This is incredibly helpful when you want to lower inflammation in the body."
3. Walking. About as low-intensity as it gets, walking is an amazing tactic for anyone who is unable to partake in an intense fitness routine as Michelle Cady, health coach and FitVista founder, explains that "walking is a great way to let your muscles recover—it brings down inflammation by sending fresh blood and oxygen throughout your body, pumping the lymphatic system for waste removal, and gently restoring your digestive system if it feels off."
Head to MindBodyGreen for more inflammation-busting tips, and sip on the six-ingredient anti-inflammatory smoothie Karlie Kloss swears by after your workout.