Erin Stokes, Naturopathic Doctor, MegaFood Medical Director | Dec. 2020
I love to exercise. I love to run, hike, bike, and I even love a simple walk around the block. Why? Being a thinker by nature, I crave the feeling of getting out of my head and using my body. I relish being outdoors, and I truly enjoy being in motion. Also, interestingly, some of my best creative ideas come to me when I’m exercising.
So yes, I do love to exercise daily, and then there’s also this thing - that as we age, exercising can come with increasing aches and pains. And this is where inflammation comes into the picture.
Let’s start by demystifying inflammation. I like Harvard Medical School’s definition: “ Think of inflammation as the body's natural response to protect itself against harm.” Inflammation is a natural, protective response that we’ve all experienced. Think of a time when you bumped your knee or hit your shin on something. Your body responded by sending immune cells to the site, and you probably had some redness and swelling. This kind of inflammation can also occur if you “over exercise” and then feel really sore the next day. Been there!
The bottom line is that our inflammatory response is helpful and necessary. Hence, the challenge (and opportunity!) is to support healthy inflammation.
Here are several ways to support a healthy inflammation response:
- Start a daily meditation practice. A systematic review found that mindfulness meditation “appears to be associated with reductions in proinflammatory processes”.
- Reduce stress with regular exercise. Consider yoga for its focus on breathwork and for calming the nervous system.
- Eat more plants. Focus on a wide variety of vegetables and fruits from across the color spectrum.
- Reduce processed foods in the diet.
- Try Turmeric. Turmeric is an ancient root from India that holds an important role in modern times in supporting a healthy inflammation response.* This bright orange root has been respected and ingested by people from all over the world for thousands of years. Fortunately today, it’s available in a supplement form. Look for a supplement such as Turmeric Curcumin Extra Strength† - Whole Body, that delivers a meaningful potency of curcumin, and contains BioPerine®, a patented black pepper extract that helps support the absorption of curcumin.
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