Have you ever noticed around this time of year that our bodies feel achy, our joints hurt, and our energy plummets?
I’ve been hearing this a lot lately! Well if you think about it, it totally makes sense.
During the holidays our sugar intake rises, and exercise and time for ourselves tends to take a back seat. We feel exhausted, our sleep suffers and our joints ache. A common thread in all of these symptoms is what we call inflammation.
Not the kind of inflammation you see when you scratch yourself or get a bee sting (redness and swelling), but inflammation within our bodies that shows up in different ways. Foggy brains, achy joints, poorer sleeps, bloated bellies, headaches, gas and asthma.
So what do difficulty thinking, headaches, bloating, gas, and asthma all have in common?
They are the symptoms with ties to inflammation. Different tissues respond differently to inflammation, and the substances that mediate the inflammation will affect different parts of the body differently, dependent on what’s causing the inflammation.
For example, stress and diet can both trigger inflammation that may show up in someone as eczema, or may show up in someone else in the form of a headache or achy joints. Stress related eczema is chronic skin inflammation and irritation that can be triggered by stress.
Chronic inflammation may be harder to spot, mainly because the inflammatory process takes place inside your body and is, therefore, less visible than acute inflammation, say, something like a splinter in your finger.
In its chronic form, inflammation often leads to the development of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, joint pain, and inflamed organs.
It is important to remember, though, that not all inflammation is bad. In fact, we couldn’t survive without it. Inflammation is the healthy and necessary response to damage to our bodies. It is part of the process by which the body heals itself.
Problems with inflammation occur and symptoms arise when the inflammatory response does not stop, but continues on in a chronic manner.
While you may have a genetic disposition for inflammation such as MS, there are certainly lifestyle choices you can make to ease the condition. Every day, with each thing we do, we make a decision to either put out the fire of inflammation or stoke it.
Here are 9 ways to ease inflammation:
1. Limit or cut out alcohol
2. Look for foods without Artificial Colors and flavors
3. Try eliminating dairy for 3 weeks (Milk is highly inflammatory for many people. It’s designed by nature to make calves gain weight quickly; our bodies don’t require it.)
4. Vary your exercise (Both too much and too little can be harmful.)
5. Fats (Certain dietary fats heal, while others cause harm.)
6. Reduce your sugar in take (Sugar triggers a spike in our insulin release, and too much insulin can damage your cells and promote fat storage.)
7. Always opt for fresh when you can and avoid unnecessary preservatives (Man-made preservatives are often damaging, whereas plant-derived preservatives like curry, which is used in India to preserve food, are beneficial in lower doses.)
8. Learn how to de-stress.
More From Rodale News: 10 Quick and Easy Ways to De-Stress
9. Opt for whole, organic foods as much as possible. (Here’s a handy tool to rate your food.)
For many of us it’s a matter of figuring out what’s causing the inflammation and eliminating it from our body and our life. Protection against long-term inflammation is dependent on eliminating what is causing the tissue damage.
Yes it takes some will power, time and work, and some chronic conditions can not be reversed. But by doing what we can, the symptoms of inflammation can be reduced so that we can live as pain free as possible.
If you are serious about improving your health, check out my 30 Day Slim & Sculpt Program. It’s adaptable for most all levels and can be followed from the convenience of your own home.
The program includes a monthly workout calendar with 14 different workout videos for you to follow along with. The 30 Day Slim & Sculpt Program also comes with a meal plan and recipes to help you build lean muscle, lose weight and restore those achy joints.
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