Chronic inflammation is a major contributor to many autoimmune diseases, as well as other conditions like heart disease, arthritis, and cancer. When done right, exercise is one of the best ways to reduce chronic inflammation. It helps by reducing the production of pro-inflammatory hormones, improving insulin sensitivity, and increasing the production of anti-inflammatory hormones.
If you're living with an autoimmune disease, maximizing the benefits of your workout routine is essential for your health and wellbeing. Small tweaks can give you noticeable changes in your stamina, strength, energy, and overall fitness. This is a super important part of your overall health & wellness because it plays into the health of your immune system, your sleep quality, heart health and so much more.
Here are five ways to unlock your inner athlete and make the most of your workouts...no matter what your current activity level is:
5 ways to unlock your inner athlete
1: Define your priorities
When it comes to working out and eating healthy, it's important to set priorities and have clearly defined goals that light a fire inside you.
Whether you're trying to walk a few miles without stopping or adding distance to your golf drive, focusing on specific goals will help you stay motivated and make the most of every workout. And keep you motivated through a hiccup in a routine if you experience an autoimmune disease symptom flare.
It's not enough to say "lose 10 pounds" or "relieve symptoms," what does doing these things help you achieve? If relieving symptoms helps you carry a 40-pound cat litter bag from the car to the house, then focus on that, not symptom relief.
Pro tip: Write it down and post it in a spot you look at daily.
2: Have a plan
Now that you know what you want, a specific plan is key to hitting that goal. Make sure you include an anti-inflammatory exercise program that will help you reach your goals without over-taxing your immune system and creating an exercise-induced autoimmune disease flare. Working with an online coach will also help prevent boredom and keep you progressing.
Focus on exercise that helps you manage common symptoms including muscle weakness, joint pain, muscle aches, and prevent unhealthy weight gain.
3: Periodize for progress
Just as important as having a plan, make sure that your routine progresses over time so you don't hit a plateau, stop making progress or worse go backward. This may mean adding more difficult exercises or increasing the number of repetitions over time.
Autoimmune disease bodies can progress through various intensities and even lift heavy weights without causing exercise-induced autoimmune disease flares.
If you're unsure of what types of exercise work for autoimmune disease, working with a Certified Medical Exercise Specialist like me with 20 years of experience can really help you determine the right activities for your body's exercise tolerance.
4: Eat anti-inflammatory foods
Along with keeping up a consistent anti-inflammatory workout routine, eating anti-inflammatory foods is crucial for reducing chronic inflammation associated with autoimmune disease and other chronic health conditions.
Some great anti-inflammatory foods include salmon, chia seeds, hemp seeds, dark leafy greens, blueberries, beets, and tomatoes. Adding these foods to your diet will help reduce chronic inflammation and improve your overall health.
5: Reset, recover, and rest
After a workout it's important to give your body time to recuperate - this means taking 24-48 hours between workouts to let your muscles repair themselves and restore your inflammation levels. In addition, get 7-9 hours of sleep every night so your body can restore your immune function, balance your hormones, and remove waste.
By following these five tips you can make the most out of your workout routine and reach your fitness goals. For more information on how to create a workout routine that's right for you, contact me today!