Inflammation can be a powerfully positive force in your body, helping it heal from injuries and fight infection. However, if you develop chronic inflammation throughout your body, this positive process can turn against you, causing all sorts of symptoms, from fatigue to chronic pain. If you feel like inflammation may be holding you back from living your best life, the following five steps offer a safe and easy approach to calming your inflamed system.
1. Eliminate potential dietary triggers
Everyone’s inflammation triggers will be different, so this step is easier said than done. However, there are a few general steps that can help everyone. First, consider swapping Teflon-coated pans for a healthy cookware set made from ceramic or another non-toxic material.
From here, it’s helpful to create a food journal so you can track what you’re eating and how you’re feeling each day. Over time, you should be able to establish patterns and eliminate foods that cause you issues.
2. Incorporate exercise safely
To keep inflammation in check, it’s a good idea to aim for around four to five exercise sessions a week. Mix this up between heart-pumping aerobic exercise and strength-boosting resistance training. Keep your sessions between 10 and 45 minutes, as longer sessions can exacerbate inflammation.
It’s also important to resist the urge to dive straight into heavy exercise. Work your way up, and incorporate as much variety as you can. Biking and swimming are great options as they don’t involve impact. Yoga and Tai Chi can help you fight stress and keep your body limber, while weight training is ideal for building strength.
3. Keep your blood sugar in check
If you feel that inflammation is causing you issues, now may be a good time to get your blood sugar checked. Even if you’re within the healthy range, it’s a good idea to limit sugary and starchy foods. Track any changes you make in your food diary, and see if you feel better when you cut out things like processed sugar and starchy white bread.
4. Clean up your sleep routine
Sleep is one of the most important factors in fighting inflammation. This is, after all, the time during which your body does most of its restorative and reparative work. So, clean up your sleep routine by doing the following:
- Get some sunshine early in the morning;
- Ban electronic devices from your bedroom;
- Start winding down a couple of hours before bedtime by dimming your lights and avoiding screens;
- Use a booklight with an amber bulb if you like to read in bed;
- Use an essential oil diffuser to fill your bedroom with calming scents like lavender or frankincense.
5. Take a break from alcohol and caffeine
Both of these substances are known to exacerbate inflammation. They also inhibit your ability to get deep restful sleep, meaning they pack an extra hard inflammatory punch. If you aren’t ready to quit caffeine cold turkey, consider tapering down until you’re able to stop completely. If it’s your alcohol consumption that’s more of an issue, seek professional advice before attempting to quit as it’s crucial to have the proper support.
While the tips above will certainly help you live a healthier life, they are general in nature and not meant to be taken as a replacement for medical advice. If you feel that your body is not functioning as well as it could be, please do seek out professional assistance from your preferred registered provider.