Mild exercise found to trigger anti-inflammatory cellular response

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exercise-walking(NaturalHealth365) Most people are already aware of the many benefits of exercise. It’s essential for bone, muscle and heart health. It helps with weight control, boosts mood and contributes to immune system functioning and longevity. But, is ‘mild exercise’ good enough?

New research is showing that mild (easy-to-do) exercise benefits also include positive anti-inflammatory effects. These findings have exciting implications for persons suffering with chronic diseases such as arthritis and fibromyalgia, as well as diabetes or obesity.

Just 20 minutes of activity brings anti-inflammatory exercise benefits

A University of California San Diego School of Medicine study found that doing even just one moderate exercise session has a noteworthy anti-inflammatory effect. The results of the research were published in the online publication Brain, Behavior and Immunity.

For the study, 47 participants walked on a treadmill at a moderate intensity that was determined based upon their current personal fitness level. The duration of the walking period was just 20 minutes. The participants gave blood samples both before and after the test.

It was found that just 20 minutes of moderate exercise caused a 5 percent decrease in the production of tumor necrosis factor (TNF), a marker that indicates inflammation in the body. This small amount of exercise stimulated the immune system to create an anti-inflammatory response in the cells.

New insights into the inflammatory and immune response

In addition to the muscles and circulatory system, exercise stimulates the brain and sympathetic nervous system. The mechanisms that raise blood pressure and accelerate heart rate help the body to release and circulate hormones like, norepinephrine and epinephrine.

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These hormones in turn trigger adrenergic receptors of immune system cells. Other immunological responses produced during exercise include key proteins (cytokines) like TNF, an inflammation regulator that also boosts immune system response.

Nearly 25 million Americans suffer from autoimmune conditions and diseases. A deeper awareness of how the regulatory mechanisms of inflammatory proteins are set into motion can help contribute to the development of new therapies for these inflammatory conditions.

The list of exercise benefits keeps growing and growing

Inflammation is a key component of the immune response. It is the body’s way to start the healing process following an injury or in response to a chronic condition. Inflammation helps to repair damaged tissue and is also part of the body’s defense against foreign invaders like bacteria and viruses and bacteria. However, chronic inflammation can lead to diabetes, obesity, celiac disease and other serious health issues.

The list of exercise benefits is already long, but now positive anti-inflammatory effects can be added to the list. What’s particularly exciting is that you don’t have to be an Olympian to receive these exercise benefits; just 20 minutes of moderate activity three or more times per week can bring a host of health benefits.

Obviously, if you suffer with any chronic inflammatory issues, you should consult with a trusted, healthcare provider before starting any exercise routine.

Sources for this article include:

UCSD.edu
EurekAlert.org