There was a time when I got hooked with exercising as I am targeting to lose 10 kilos in three months time. Every weekday I made sure that I walk at least five kilometers and 10 kilometers every weekend. When I got used to walking, I started running. I ran for at least 30 minutes every Saturday and Sunday. I even joined marathons in town.
Along with losing a lot of weight is the feeling of soreness every time I accomplished a stressful physical activity. I remember that there was a moment when I thought that I had an injury to the ankle and legs as the soreness didn’t go away for weeks. During these times, I also considered seeking help from a physical therapist so that the soreness I was feeling in my muscles will be dealt with.
Why Does Inflammation Occur?
Inflammation in the knees, ankles and other body parts is just normal after workouts or physical exercises. It is because inflammation is the reaction and a sign that our body is balancing out the workouts that we had through. According to American College of Sports Medicine fellow Shawn Talbott, we need inflammation to stimulate our body and make it stronger. However, what is essential is that the inflammation is not too much that it is hindering the recovery of our body from strenuous physical activities.
Inflammation happens when our immune system responds to any form of illness or injury in our body. It is a sort of a healing process for our immune system, but when it occurs on a regular basis, our joints, tissues and muscles can be damaged and can result to other serious health problems. For instance, asthma is a result of a severe lung inflammation, while chronic intestinal inflammation causes colitis.
To prevent further health troubles, it is just important to know the different important facts about inflammation and the various ways to manage inflammation after strenuous exercise.
What Triggers Inflammation?
It does not need for the muscles to be overused to experience inflammation. Most of the workouts and physical activities that we perform will trigger cytokine release which causes this physical condition. When this happens, inflammation prepares our body to be ready for a same strenuous workout that might be in your schedule in the next days.
Is Inflammation Good or Bad for Our Body?
The answer to this one is both. First, inflammation will do us good most of the time. Why? This is because it speeds up our muscle or tissue recovery process and at the same time alleviates the development of infections. When inflammation happens in small levels, then inflammation can be good to us as it prepares and strengthens our muscles and tissues, causing them to be more resilient the next time around. However, as mentioned when inflammation occurs in big doses, then serious health alarming results can happen. So the challenge to everyone who engages in workouts and physical activities is to know and stay within their limits.
Colorado Steadman Clinic orthopedic surgeon and physician Tom Hackett argued that having repeated swollen muscles, tissues, joints or tendons are symptoms that we need to take time and rest from regular exercising. To confirm that one is suffering from chronic inflammation, a good indication is the presence of eicosapentaenoic acid and arachhidonic acid in our blood as these acid mark the development of severe inflammation in the cells. When these acids become present then some signs will also occur such as infections in the upper respiratory tract mood swings, depression and severe fatigue.
How Do We Effectively Manage Inflammation After Strenuous Exercise?
Balance Recovery Time
To effectively recover and manage inflammation after strenuous exercise, there are some important things that we should know. The first thing to remember is to ensure that you balance your recovery time with the exercises that you do. The aim should be to exercise and be fit without compromising your body.
Change Routine Occasionally
Secondly, it is helpful to change the activities that you do from time to time to shift the strain and give breaks to your body parts and muscles. Thirdly, if you are involved and engaged in strength training, the best thing to do is to have a rest time of 48 hours. These hours will give the muscles and tissues enough time to recover.
Consider Exercise in the Morning
Another important tip is to do the strenuous activities in the morning as the inflammatory effect will be less than when the workouts are done in the afternoon or the evening. The reason behind this claim is that cortisol, testosterone and other hormones are at the peak in the morning which will help our body recover faster from inflammation.
Medical experts also mention that our daily diet contributes to how fast our body will recover from inflammation or any form of injury. For example, when you decide to have a moderate run, then it is essential to drink water and have a healthy meal after you hit the four mile mark. It is also recommended to have a meal of carbohydrates and protein after you had a strenuous workout for 20 minutes.
A lot of clinical studies also point to a straight eight hour sleep to help your body easily recover from stress and strain. To speed up the repair of any damages caused by workouts, it will also be helpful to soak the affected parts such as the hands or legs in ice baths. Getting into spa or having a massage will also help with the repair of damaged or stressed out tissues. Above all, when all of the above methods seem to be not working, we can always opt to intake effective medicines such as ibuprofen and the other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. However, it is also good to know that despite the effectiveness of these medicines, regular intake of these drugs can have harmful side effects on the liver, kidney and our stomach. So, it is still best to seek medical help or consult with a health professional before having the drugs as a way to manage inflammation after strenuous exercise.