The evening walk around the neighborhood, the impromptu dance party in a friend’s living room, lying on the floor, feet stretched toward the sky—movement is good for us, and we can feel it.
It’s no secret that the endorphins generated through movement make us happy. What you might not know is that movement can have a positive impact on chronic inflammation and heal our bodies from the inside out. All you need is 20 minutes to make an impact.
At the highest level, inflammation is our body's response to infection. Acute inflammation occurs when you bump your knee or scrape your elbow—your immune system sends a signal to add some padding around the injury while it heals. This “padding” usually clears up quickly and doesn’t linger in the body.
Chronic inflammation , however, happens when acute inflammation settles in for a long-term stay. It can be triggered by a variety of issues, like:
It’s difficult to pinpoint when your body is experiencing chronic inflammation, rather than acute inflammation, because it can take months—if not years—to heal certain injuries or illnesses. A targeted blood test can usually tell you if you’re experiencing chronic inflammation and what the cause might be, but there are ways to begin addressing it before you see a healthcare professional.
An anti-inflammatory diet is one common way to begin self-healing, but research shows that gentle, focused exercise can also make a big impact on reducing chronic inflammation.
Exercise helps the body on so many levels. During a workout, your brain and sympathetic nervous system are activated, contributing to a healthy heart rate and blood pressure level. Hormones like epinephrine and norepinephrine are also generated during exercise and released into the blood to create a positive impact on your immune system health by triggering adrenergic receptors, which can be found in immune cells. This process contributes to a boosted immune response which turns around and begins to target chronic inflammation.
So not only does movement improve your mental wellbeing , but it also stimulates immune system health, potentially healing some chronic inflammation. We know that finding the time (and sometimes the motivation) to exercise can feel like a chore, but prioritizing movement has health benefits that trigger other benefits.
Just minutes is all you need to trigger the healing cellular-level response that targets chronic inflammation. Studies have shown that the intensity of your workout does not matter nearly as much as the duration. A moderately-paced walk for 20 minutes was enough to see an increase in stimulation among immune cells, according to a study done by the University of California San Diego School of Medicine.
Here are some other ideas for intentional, focused, and healing movement.
Chronic inflammation is complicated, but not impossible to address. As a Parsley member, you’ll have access to medical team with experience treating chronic inflammation, including autoimmune symptoms it can be associated with, like Hashimoto’s, rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease (or Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis ), lupus, and more.
Between our in-depth approach to understanding your whole-body health and advanced tests others don’t offer, Parsley will find the root cause of your inflammation and work with you to address it. With 88% of our members with chronic inflammation and autoimmune conditions reducing their symptoms in their first year of membership, we have the expertise to help you find relief and start feeling better.
At Parsley Health, our leading medical providers and health coaches heal the root cause of health concerns with a personalized care plan and year-round support. Our root-cause resolution medicine has helped thousands feel better, with 85% of members reducing symptoms in their first year.