Everybody knows that exercise is good for us. But the more research is done into the health benefits of regular exercise, the easier a sell it becomes. We already know that exercise reduces your risk of heart disease and a whole suite of other physical maladies, including diabetes and cancer.. And new findings show that a mere twenty minutes of exercise can significantly reduce the amount of inflammation in your body.
Scientists at the University of California at San Diego’s School of Medicine have confirmed their hypothesis that exercise improves the human body’s anti-inflammatory mechanisms by engaging the sympathetic nervous system.
The research team, led by Suzi Hong, has shown that after twenty minutes of exercise, the body releases epinephrine and norepinephrine. These activate immune cells’ adrenergic receptors. After twenty minutes, the body’s inflammation response is reduced.
Inflammation is an immune response that, in moderate doses, is healthy. But when inflammation runs awry, it can cause diseases like diabetes, obesity, fibromyalgia, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, arthritis and celiac disease.
The study’s subjects walked on a treadmill for twenty minutes and different speeds, depending on their level of fitness. The research team extracted blood samples both before and after the exercise.
The hypothesis was confirmed. Twenty minutes of moderate exercise produced an anti-inflammatory response at a cellular level. A compound called cytokine TNF was reduced in the participants’ blood streams after the exercise session.
Hong said of the experiment, “Our study found one session of about 20 minutes of moderate treadmill exercise resulted in a 5 percent decrease in the number of stimulated immune cells producing TNF.”
“Knowing what sets regulatory mechanisms of inflammatory proteins in motion may contribute to developing new therapies for the overwhelming number of individuals with chronic inflammatory conditions, including nearly 25 million Americans who suffer from autoimmune diseases.”
There’s a common misconception that exercise has to be extremely strenuous in order to have an effect on health. But as this study indicates, all you need is a little bit of moderate exercise on a regular basis to significantly improve your body’s functioning. The study gives encouragement to people who have mobility issues.
“Our study shows a workout session does not actually have to be intense to have anti-inflammatory effects. Twenty minutes to half an hour of moderate exercise, including fast walking, appears to be sufficient. Feeling like a workout needs to be at a peak exertion level for a long duration can intimidate those who suffer from chronic inflammatory diseases and could greatly benefit from physical activity.”