Are you living with painful inflammation? Medications can be helpful, but if you prefer to take the all-natural route, there are ways to reduce or eliminate inflammation without relying on drugs like NSAIDs and steroids.
What is inflammation?
In a nutshell, inflammation is the body’s built-in defense mechanism. It is how the immune system heals the body, reacting accordingly to an injury, irritant, or infection. Sometimes, this normal healing process does not resolve correctly, leading to inflammation that lingers, called chronic inflammation. While acute inflammation is more recognizable, like tenderness or swelling from an injury, chronic inflammation can affect the entire body, inside and out, often with long-term joint pain and stiffness.
You can naturally reduce your inflammation by making lifestyle changes. Always consult your healthcare provider before significantly changing your diet and exercise routine.
Below are six simple ways you can reduce inflammation without medication. See if you can incorporate any (or all) of these tips into your everyday lifestyle. Change will not happen overnight, but every step will get you closer to pain-free living and back to doing what you love.
Manage Your Stress
Stress can affect the body both mentally and physically. While we can’t control the world around us, we can regulate our reactions. Stress, to a certain degree, is expected (think the “fight-or-flight” response), but when it leads to long-term repercussions, like body aches and inflammation, it’s time to reevaluate how you manage your stress.
Find time to take care of yourself. Practice deep breathing, meditation, or yoga. Get a professional massage now and then if you can. Accept that life will have its ups and downs, and you cannot always do something about it. Learn to “let it go.” Talk with a trusted friend or family member, or therapist to decompress when your stress levels are high. Be patient with yourself, and slow down when you need a break. The tension in your body will reduce when you live more calmly and intentionally.
Little to no exercise can cause inflammation due to being sedentary and inactive. On the other end of the spectrum, overdoing it can cause inflammation from muscle and joint overuse. Find that happy medium (about five times per week) with regular workouts, including cardiovascular and strength training to keep your heart pumping and muscles strong. Exercising can help you maintain a healthy weight, helping reduce inflammation by putting less strain on the joints. The American College of Sports Medicine (ASCM) and the CDC recommend 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic (cardio) activity each week and muscle-strengthening workouts twice weekly, focusing on all the major muscle groups.
Before embarking on a new exercise plan, consult your doctor to maintain safety.
Change Your Eating Habits
Refined carbohydrates (like white bread and snack cakes), red meats, processed meats, and fried foods can raise inflammation in your body. Instead, choose inflammation-fighting fruits (try blueberries), vegetables (try dark, leafy greens), nuts (try almonds), lentils and beans, and fish (try salmon for omega-3 fatty acids). Eat whole foods rich in fiber, lean protein, and healthy fats.
Also, stay well-hydrated with plenty of water and unsweetened beverages throughout the day.
Try Turmeric and Green Tea
Turmeric contains curcumin, which is a natural anti-inflammatory compound. Green tea contains polyphenols that fight off free radicals, which can promote inflammation in your body. Incorporate these into your diet and feel the effects.
Get Enough Sleep Every Night
Your body needs a healthy amount of sleep to repair and reboot. Aim for seven to eight hours of sleep per night. Too little sleep can create a sensitivity to stress, leading to an increase in heart rate, which can cause inflammation.
Keep your sleep schedule balanced. No, you can’t “catch up” on sleep over the weekends.
Try these seven tips for a better night’s sleep:
- Keep the bedroom cool, quiet, and dark.
- Don’t go to bed directly after a large meal.
- Put away your tech devices one hour before bedtime.
- Limit (or avoid) alcohol consumption.
- Cut down on caffeine early in the day.
- Confront and resolve stressful situations before bedtime.
- See your doctor if you have insomnia, sleep apnea, or another medical condition preventing adequate sleep.
Use an All-Natural Topical Cream
As you make these lifestyle changes, you can boost your pain relief with an all-natural topical cream. Ultimate RepairX, is an organic, aloe-based cream formulated by doctors to absorb quickly and work fast. Made with NO harsh chemicals, URX is effective in treating joint and
muscle pain, injury, and inflammation. It does more than mask pain – URX helps restore and repair tissue.