Benefits of exercise are many. It helps us start our day better making us feel refreshed. It keeps us stay fit. But did you know that just 20 minutes of exercise can help fight inflammation in the body that may have insinuations for diseases like arthritis and obesity. A new study has found the above observation.
According to researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine in the US, just a small session of moderate exercise can also act as an anti-inflammatory.
The findings have implications for chronic diseases such as arthritis, fibromyalgia and for general conditions like obesity, according to researchers.
The researchers have found that a 20-minute session of moderate exercise can activate the immune system, producing an anti-inflammatory cellular response.
“Each time we exercise, we are truly doing something good for our body on many levels, including at the immune cell level,” said Suzi Hong from UC San Deigo School of Medicine.
The brain and sympathetic nervous system are a pathway that help in accelerating the heart rate and raising the blood pressure, among other things. These two get activated at the time of exercise in order to enable the body to carry out work.
Hormones, such as epinephrine and norepinephrine, are released into the blood stream and trigger immune cells’ andrergenic receptors.
Immunological responses are produced by the activation process during exercise. The immunological responses include the production of many cytokines, or proteins, one of which is TNF. TNF plays a key role in regulating local and systematic inflammation that also helps power up immune responses.
“Our study found one session of about 20 minutes of moderate treadmill exercise resulted in a five per cent decrease in the number of stimulated immune cells producing TNF,” said Hong.
“Knowing what sets regulatory mechanisms of inflammatory proteins in motion may contribute to developing new therapies for the overwhelming number of individuals with chronic inflammatory conditions, including nearly 25 million Americans who suffer from autoimmune diseases,” Hong said.
47 study participants walked on a treadmill at an intensity level adjusted on basis of their fitness level. Blood was collected before and after 20-minute of exercise.
“Our study shows a workout session does not actually have to be intense to have anti-inflammatory effects. Twenty minutes to half-an-hour of moderate exercise, including fast walking, appears to be sufficient,” said Hong.
The study was published in the journal Brain, Behaviour and Immunity.