During a weight loss mission, it can be difficult to tell whether you see fat in the mirror, or if your body is simply inflamed. Everything from your stress levels to your diet can trigger inflammation, so it’s important to watch for the warning signs and learn how to avoid swelling in order to become the strongest, healthiest version of yourself.
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When your body detects a foreign substance, your immune system’s natural response is to attack it — whether it be a virus, irritant, or bacteria. Inflammation occurs as a result of this defense mechanism, and it plays a key role in your body’s healing process.
A little inflammation can be a good thing, but too much of it can damage your arteries, organs, and joints, and even shorten your lifespan. With the right lifestyle choices, you can help ensure your acute inflammation doesn’t develop into chronic inflammation over time.
Chronic inflammation is when your body continues to send attack responses even when there's no foreign substance present. This type of inflammation is more commonly seen among people who are overweight, as obesity has been proven to lead to higher inflammation levels. Asthma, diabetes, and arthritis are just a few of the many complications that could arise from long-term chronic inflammation, and a healthy BMI is your best defense against them.
Acute inflammation is your body’s response to sudden damage. You’ll commonly encounter acute inflammation during your fitness journey, and you’ve likely experienced it before. To prevent acute inflammation from interfering with your health goals, you need to learn how to identify and treat the symptoms.
The root of acute inflammation is mostly linked to your lifestyle. If you wake up feeling a few pounds heavier after a night of noshing on wings, drinking too much beer, and puffing a cigar, you haven’t visibly gained weight overnight — you’re just inflamed. Think of it as your body telling you, “You didn’t make healthy choices, so I’m going to fight off all these toxins for you. But, in exchange, you’ll have to look a bit puffy for a while.”
Here are some of the main causes of acute inflammation:
However, inflammation isn’t just linked to poor lifestyle choices. It can be triggered from seemingly “healthy” activities. For instance, excessive lifting, running or cycling can also send your body into fight or flight mode. When we work out, we put a strain on our muscles and body systems. Our bodies then repair that damage and make us even stronger by increasing blood flow to our muscles and clearing out waste.
Figuring out whether your inflammation is the result of an overindulgent weekend or a hard-core gym session should be simple. You know you best, so take a deeper look at your lifestyle.
Being bloated isn’t the only symptom of acute inflammation, so be sure to watch for these additional warning signs:
Want to take charge of your acute or chronic inflammation as you conquer your fitness goals? It’s easier than you think. Here are some simple tips to minimize the bloating and swelling.
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