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Got 20 Minutes? New Study Suggests Walking Reduces Inflammation In The Body

Update Date: Jan 18, 2017 07:00 AM EST

A new study suggests that just 20 minutes of walking could help reduce inflammation in the body. This condition is considered a contributing factor in arthritis, obesity and even cancer.

The study titled "Inflammation and Exercise: Inhibition of Monocytic Intracellular TNF Production by Acute Exercise via β2-adrenergic Activation" looked into 47 people who walked on the treadmill or did a brisk pace for 20 minutes. Blood samples were taken before and after the exercise.

Markers of inflammation such as TNF were decreased by five percent after the 20-minute exercise. Suzi Hong, a researcher of psychiatry and family medicine at University of California San Diego School of Medicine, said that when people exercise, they are truly doing something good for the body, even at the immune cell level.

She added that the anti-inflammatory benefits of exercise have been known to the public. However, finding out how the process takes place is another perspective.

Hormones like epinephrine and norepinephrine produced during 20 minutes of walking activate the beta-2 adrenergic receptors. This leads to changes in immune system response of the body, including TNF reduction, which is a regulator of systemic inflammation.

Hong added that nearly 25 million Americans suffering from autoimmune diseases may benefit from this walking exercise. The physical activity does not need to be strenuous as according to the study, 20 minutes to half an hour of moderate exercise, including fast walking, seems to be enough to get the benefit.

However, patients with chronic inflammatory disease should consult their doctors before going into any treatment plan.

The result of the study is a motivation for people who are frustrated by lack of noticeable results after a period of working out. Hong said that even before the weight comes off, there's evidence that the body is fighting inflammatory processes just by walking for at least 20 minutes.

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