By Dr. Mercola
Most people want to live a long, healthy life. If that's something you aspire to, you'd be well advised to keep a careful eye on your insulin sensitivity. It is perhaps one of the best markers for limiting your risk for degenerative diseases that will take you out prematurely.
The reason for this is because insulin resistance lays the foundation for virtually all chronic disease, as it promotes chronic inflammation and speeds up your body's aging processes.
A recent study1,2 looking at extreme longevity confirms this view, concluding that having very low levels of inflammation in your body is the most potent predictor for living beyond 100 years of age.
Inflammation levels also corresponded to people's ability to live independently and maintain cognitive function throughout their life.
Chronic inflammation can be the result of a malfunctioning, over-reactive immune system, or it may be due to an underlying problem that your body is attempting to fight off.
But many of these "problems" are actually rooted in an unhealthy (inflammatory) diet and lack of exercise.
In contrast to acute inflammation, chronic inflammation typically will not produce symptoms until actual loss of function occurs somewhere. This is because chronic inflammation is low-grade and systemic, often silently damaging your tissues over an extended period of time.
This process can go on for years without you noticing, until a disease suddenly sets in. Since chronic inflammation tends to be "silent," how can you determine if inflammation is brewing in your body?
Clinical tests used in allopathic medicine include:
But you can also use your fasting blood insulin level to gauge inflammation. Although this test is typically used to screen for diabetes, it's also a marker for inflammation.
Typically the higher your fasting insulin levels are, the higher your levels of inflammation tend to be. Clinically, I have found this test far more useful than the other markers for inflammation.
Avoiding processed foods, which are high in inflammatory ingredients such as refined sugars and processed fats like trans fats and vegetable oils as the video above discusses, and getting regular movement and exercise are two of the most potent ways to help normalize your insulin levels and avoid insulin resistance.
Diet accounts for about 80 percent of the health benefits you reap from a healthy lifestyle, and keeping inflammation in check is a major part of these benefits. It's important to realize that dietary components can either trigger or prevent inflammation from taking root in your body.
If you have not already addressed your diet, this would be the best place to start, regardless of whether you're experiencing symptoms of chronic inflammation or not.
To help you get started, I suggest following my free Optimized Nutrition Plan, which starts at the beginner phase and systematically guides you step-by-step to the advanced level.
But diet is not the only component that will have a profound impact on your health and longevity. It's really about addressing your total lifestyle, and physical activity is a major component of that.
When you think of "physical activity" you may automatically think of a regimented fitness routine going to the gym several times a week, for example. But while that is certainly part of a healthy lifestyle, what you do outside the gym plays an equally important role.
The average American adult spends about 10 hours each day sitting, and research shows that this level of inactivity cannot even be counteracted with a 60-minute workout at the end of each day. My personal experience confirms this. It's really important to realize that you simply cannot offset 10 hours of stillness with one hour of exercise. You need near-continuous movement throughout the day. At the bare minimum, you need to get out of your chair every 50 minutes or so.
While a brief period of sitting here and there is natural, long periods of sitting day-in and day-out can seriously impact your health and shorten your life. For me, sitting and getting up every 10 minutes failed miserably. The only thing that worked was to restrict my sitting to under one hour a day.
In fact, the evidence suggests chronic sitting is an independent risk factor for insulin resistance and an early death even if you eat right, exercise regularly and are very fit; even a professional or Olympic level athlete. For example, research3 has shown that sitting for more than eight hours a day raises your risk for type 2 diabetes by 90 percent!
So, to lay the groundwork for overall health and longevity, I recommend avoiding sitting as much as possible, ideally striving to sit for less than three hours a day. A stand-up desk is a great option if you have an office job.
The second step is to simply walk more. I recommend aiming for 7,000 to10,000 steps a day. Use a fitness tracker to make sure you're meeting your goal. Next, you'll want to incorporate a more regimented fitness routine, and while virtually any exercise is better than none, high intensity exercises are the most potent.
Download Interview Transcript
High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is one of the most effective and efficient ways to capture and maximize the benefits exercise has to offer. It also offers anti-inflammatory benefits that you cannot tap with milder, less strenuous exercise.
Some of the latest research into the benefits of HIIT involves myokines, a class of cell-signaling proteins produced by muscle fibers that offer potent protection against metabolic syndrome a cluster of conditions, including high blood sugar, that raises your risk of diabetes and heart disease.
High intensity training effectively stimulates your muscles to release these anti-inflammatory myokines, which increase your insulin sensitivity and glucose use inside your muscles. They also increase liberation of fat from adipose cells, and the burning of the fat within the skeletal muscle. Acting as chemical messengers, myokines also inhibit the release and the effect of inflammatory cytokines produced by body fat.
Now, it's important to realize that your diet can sabotage these beneficial effects. By eating inflammatory foods, such as sugar/fructose, refined grains, trans fats, and processed foods in general, your body will generate inflammatory cytokines. And, unfortunately, you simply cannot exercise your way out of a bad diet. No amount of exercise will successfully create enough myokines to outcompete the inflammatory cytokines produced by an unhealthy diet...
A frequent question that comes up with regards to high intensity exercise is the differences between the high-intensity cardio that you can do on an exercise bike or elliptical machine, versus high intensity strength training, using weights. Either strategy will give you the general benefits of HIIT, which includes cardiovascular fitness, improved muscle growth and strength, and the generation of "anti-aging" human growth hormone (HGH), also referred to as "the fitness hormone."
However, high intensity strength training has the added benefit of inducing a rapid and deep level of muscle fatigue. This triggers the synthesis of more contractile tissue, and all the metabolic components to support it including more anti-inflammatory myokines. So if you aim to address chronic inflammation in your body, high-intensity weight training may offer additional benefits over other forms of HIIT training.
The fact that exercise can reduce inflammation may be confusing in light of the fact that it also increases inflammation... Mark Sisson addressed this seeming contradiction in a previous blog post,4 noting that "depending on the context, this increased inflammation due to exercise is either a good thing or a bad thing."
The key difference is that while bouts of exercise tend to promote acute inflammation, when done regularly over the long term, it decreases chronic or systemic inflammation. The oxidative stress from the exercise forces your body to build up your antioxidant defenses. This is indicated in studies showing extended exercise programs help reduce inflammatory markers such as C-reactive protein.
That said, acute inflammation can become chronic, so part of the equation involves exercising in such a way as to avoid turning those acute bouts of inflammation into a chronic one. I've often stressed the importance of recovery especially when doing HIIT and this is precisely why. If you over-train, you typically wind up end up doing more harm than good, as your body needs to recuperate from the damage (inflammation) incurred during your workout.
As Mark explains in his article:
"An effective training session is basically an acute stressor that initiates a transitory, temporary, but powerful inflammatory response. An effective training regimen is composed, then, of lots of those acutely stressful training sessions interspersed with plenty of recovery time against a backdrop of lots of slow moving and good nutrition.
Avoid inflammatory plateaus. Track your training. Plotted on a graph, the inflammatory responses to your training should resemble a series of peaks, dips, and valleys. If you don't let your last exercise-induced inflammatory spike recede before exercising again, you'll only heap more on the pile.
If you keep stringing together spikes in inflammation without recovering from the previous one, they start to overlap and that starts to look a lot like chronic inflammation. That gives you a plateau, a mesa of inflammation. Avoid the mesa."
Your diet will also wield a significant influence over the level of inflammation in your body, as most food will either promote or deflect it. Recent research5 also shows that both deficiencies and excesses of certain micronutrients (such as folate, vitamin B12, vitamin B6, vitamin E, and zinc) can result in an ineffective or excessive inflammatory response.
As noted by co-author Anne Marie Minihane:6
"Studies have showed that high consumption of fat and glucose may induce post-prandial inflammation (manifesting itself after the consumption of a meal), which may have consequences for the development of diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.
The Western-style diet, rich in fat and simple sugars but often poor in specific micronutrients, is linked to the increased prevalence of diseases with strong immunological and autoimmune components, including allergies, food allergies, atopic dermatitis, and obesity.
Inflammation acts as both a friend and foe, being essential in metabolic regulation, with unresolved low-grade chronic inflammation being a pathological feature of a wide range of chronic conditions including the metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular diseases."
The easiest way to ensure your diet is as anti-inflammatory as possible is to simply eat REAL FOOD. You really do not need a PhD in nutrition to get it right. To help you get started on a healthier diet, I suggest following my free Optimized Nutrition Plan, which starts at the beginner phase and systematically guides you step-by-step to the advanced level. It is especially important to avoid processed vegetable oils and sugars. Personally I believe the oils are far more toxic than the sugars. You simply must have a regular source of high quality unprocessed fats if you hope to be healthy.
Beyond that, it's simply a matter of learning which foods tend to provide the greatest anti-inflammatory benefits. I've provided a sample list of such foods below. By replacing processed foods with whole, unprocessed, and ideally organic foods, you will automatically eliminate several of the most inflammatory culprits in your diet, including:
A number of foods are well-known for their anti-inflammatory properties, and making sure you're eating a wide variety of them on a regular basis can go a long way toward preventing chronic illness. The following foods and nutrients deserve special mention for their ability to quell inflammatory responses in your body:
Tulsi is another tea loaded with anti-inflammatory antioxidants and other micronutrients that support immune function and heart health.
Fermented foods such as kefir, natto, kimchee, miso, tempeh, pickles, sauerkraut, olives, and other fermented vegetables, will help "reseed" your gut with beneficial bacteria.
Fermented foods can also help your body rid itself of harmful toxins such as heavy metals and pesticides that promote inflammation.
One is copper, which is one of the few metallic elements accompanied by amino and fatty acids that are essential to human health. Since your body can't synthesize copper, your diet must supply it regularly. Copper deficiency can be a factor in the development of coronary heart disease.
It's thought that much of garlic's therapeutic effect comes from its sulfur-containing compounds, such as allicin. Research9 has revealed that as allicin digests in your body it produces sulfenic acid, a compound that reacts faster with dangerous free radicals than any other known compound.
Continue reading here:
Exercise and Anti Inflammation Diet to Live Longer
- What's the best way to lose fat- diet or exercise? - Belfast Live - June 1st, 2020
- Latest Scientific Findings on Weight Loss Opportunities and Diet Risks - SciTechDaily - June 1st, 2020
- 'Fat burning zone'? The best way to exercise to burn fat - Jakarta Post - June 1st, 2020
- These 3 workout and diet weight loss tips for men are so easy but they actually WORK - T3 - June 1st, 2020
- We tried Ring Fit Adventure on Nintendo Switch and it is a REAL workout. Turns out weight loss CAN be fun - T3 (Australia) - June 1st, 2020
- Tom Schwartz: The Real-Life Diet of the 'Vanderpump Rules' Star Who Is Making Questionable Smoothie Decisions in Quarantine - GQ - June 1st, 2020
- Watch How This Guy Trained to Get Six-Pack Abs in Just 6 Weeks - menshealth.com - June 1st, 2020
- Three SIMPLE weight loss tips that actually work - T3 - June 1st, 2020
- Best weight loss exercises for every body type, according to fitness expert - Daily Star - June 1st, 2020
- Heather and Terry Dubrow Reveal the Perks of Their New Dubrow Keto Fusion Diet: Alcohol and Fruit! - Us Weekly - June 1st, 2020
- The Supplements to Take Before, During and After Your Workouts - LIVESTRONG.COM - June 1st, 2020
- Garth A. Rattray | The frustration of patients' non-adherence - Jamaica Gleaner - June 1st, 2020
- You can get a six pack in 15 minutes without even leaving your living room with this workout - T3 - June 1st, 2020
- Cycling and illness: Can intense training increase the risk of catching a virus? - Cycling Weekly - June 1st, 2020
- Diabetes type 2 - the best exercise to avoid high blood sugar symptoms - Express - June 1st, 2020
- World No Tobacco Day: Ways to use this lockdown as a catalyst to quit smoking - National Herald - June 1st, 2020
- Can Milk And Dairy Products Prevent Age-Related Bone Loss? Here's The Truth - NDTV Food - June 1st, 2020
- How to live longer: The best diet hailed by health experts to increase life expectancy - Express - June 1st, 2020
- How People Are Practicing Healthier Behaviors in the Face of COVID-19 - Healthline - June 1st, 2020
- Fitness: What will gyms look like when they reopen? - Montreal Gazette - June 1st, 2020
- When to start a diet: 7 reasons why now is a good time from a dietitian - TODAY - May 26th, 2020
- Weight loss: Experts reveal the best time to drink apple cider vinegar - Express - May 26th, 2020
- This Guy Tried the Workout and Diet That Helped Navy SEAL David Goggins Lose 100 Pounds in 3 Months - menshealth.com - May 26th, 2020
- Losing Sleep During COVID-19? Tips on How and When to Exercise - Healthline - May 26th, 2020
- How to live longer - the best breakfast food to prevent early death and boost weight loss - Express - May 26th, 2020
- To Fight Covid-19, Dont Neglect Immunity and Inflammation - The New York Times - May 26th, 2020
- Certain exercises linked to improved blood flow in key brain regions - SlashGear - May 26th, 2020
- How to structure a healthy diet while you're working from home during the coronavirus pandemic, according to n - Business Insider India - May 26th, 2020
- Michael Phelps Eating And Exercise Regime Proves He's Half Man, Half Amazing - Men's Health - May 26th, 2020
- Virus has made healthy eating more costly - just when we need a better diet - Bryan-College Station Eagle - May 26th, 2020
- Pre-Workout Diet: Five Foods To Eat Before You Hit The Treadmill - NDTV Food - May 26th, 2020
- Is it safe for Joe Maddon and Dave Roberts to manage teams? - Los Angeles Times - May 26th, 2020
- 5 Ways to Stay Fit While Maximizing Technology - HealthTechZone - May 26th, 2020
- Women need to exercise as they age, doctor says - Taipei Times - May 26th, 2020
- Fitness: What will gyms look like when they reopen? - Cochrane Times Post - May 26th, 2020
- How to live longer: The best exercise to boost heart health and increase life expectancy - Express - May 26th, 2020
- Yes, You Can Lose Weight Walking as Little as 30 Minutes a Day - but There's a Catch - MSN Money - May 26th, 2020
- 6 benefits of drinking coconut water during pregnancy - TheHealthSite - May 26th, 2020
- World Digestive Health Day Q&A with Dr Megan Rossi and Poo-pourri - ResponseSource - May 26th, 2020
- Obesity in mice prevented by disabling gene - Medical News Today - May 24th, 2020
- Weight loss: 3 things that helped Adele lose 22 kilos, according to her personal trainer - Times of India - May 24th, 2020
- Intermittent fasting: if you're struggling to lose weight, this might be why - The Conversation UK - May 24th, 2020
- A Meal With Craig Burton, putting diet facts on the table - The Phuket News - May 24th, 2020
- Diabetic? Tips to keep your blood sugar levels in check amid pandemic - The Indian Express - May 24th, 2020
- Mike Tyson, Vegan for 10 Years, Says "I'm In the Best Shape Ever" - The Beet - May 24th, 2020
- The Real-Life Diet of TimTheTatman, Who's Intermittent Fasting and Trying to Stay Healthy - GQ - May 24th, 2020
- 15 Tips To Stay Consistent On A Healthy Diet From Nutritionist - NDTV - May 24th, 2020
- Young Indiana wrestlers find ways to stay fit amid pandemic - The Herald Review - May 24th, 2020
- Skincare: Common mistakes we make during the lockdown and different ways to deal with it - PINKVILLA - May 24th, 2020
- Coronavirus diets: What's behind the urge to eat like little kids? - Kiowa County Press - May 24th, 2020
- As obesity's link to COVID-19 grows, one family that lost 24-year-old daughter diets together - USA TODAY - May 24th, 2020
- Overcome the coronavirus meat shortage by adopting one of the world's healthiest diets - CNN - May 22nd, 2020
- Weight loss: This is the best time to eat to burn belly fat - but expert issues warning - Express - May 22nd, 2020
- 'Once N95 masks are available, should I wear one?' and other coronavirus questions answered by Wisconsin health experts - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel - May 22nd, 2020
- This Guy Threw Away Junk Food, Cut Back on TV, and Lost 80 Pounds - menshealth.com - May 22nd, 2020
- Perspective: The Exercise We're Missing Out On - WNIJ and WNIU - May 22nd, 2020
- I'm heading out into this newly opened Wisconsin. What do I need to know? Our experts are here to help. - Marshfield News-Herald - May 22nd, 2020
- High blood pressure - the 25p fruit that could prevent deadly symptoms of hypertension - Express - May 22nd, 2020
- Full-body home workouts for weight loss: 4 effective exercises that will help you burn belly fat - Times Now - May 22nd, 2020
- The diet secret that Salma Hayek is prepared before a big event - Play Crazy Game - May 22nd, 2020
- 'I Spent My Early 30s Masking My Eating Disorder with Fad Diets and Over-Exercising' - Yahoo Style - May 22nd, 2020
- Horoscope today: Here are the astrological predictions for May 22 - Mumbai Mirror - May 22nd, 2020
- Associations of Midlife Blood Pressure Responses to Exercise with the Risk of Disease in Later Life - Bel Marra Health - May 22nd, 2020
- Lockdown could be a great time to try the keto diet and this keto meal plan could really help with weight loss - T3 - May 22nd, 2020
- Before you go back out in public, read the immunity checklist - Houston Chronicle - May 22nd, 2020
- Understanding PCOS And Its Patriarchal Standards Of Femininity - Feminism in India - May 22nd, 2020
- Rugby star Sonny Bill Williams talks diet, fasting and training in lockdown - Voxy - May 22nd, 2020
- Why am I so tired? How to deal with exhaustion during pandemic - TODAY - May 22nd, 2020
- What the health? Doctor prescribes tips for wellness in his new book - The Spokesman-Review - May 22nd, 2020
- World Hypertension Day: Managing hypertension during a global health crisis - The Indian Express - May 22nd, 2020
- Take care of your hair with this night routine - The Indian Express - May 19th, 2020
- Adele seen driving to the gym as she keeps up her gruelling exercise regime after seven stone weight loss - The Sun - May 15th, 2020
- The UK Lockdown Diet Report: Brits Struggling As They Pile on the Pounds, Reveals The 1:1 Diet by Cambridge Weight Plan - PR Newswire UK - May 15th, 2020
- Coronavirus diets: What's behind the urge to eat like little kids? - Waco Tribune-Herald - May 15th, 2020
- Love Your Health: Infertility, Diet And Exercise. Is There A Link? - Greeneville Sun - May 15th, 2020
- Greg Bell: The simple health choices that help Utahns fight COVID-19 - Deseret News - May 15th, 2020
- Immunity building: Ensure your diet is full of these essential nutrients - The Indian Express - May 15th, 2020
- Ellie Goulding admits to previous 'unhealthy relationship with food' - Metro.co.uk - May 15th, 2020
- What Happens When You Run a 5K Every Day - LIVESTRONG.COM - May 15th, 2020
- International Day of Families 2020: 5 tips to ensure a healthy, balanced diet for your family - Times Now - May 15th, 2020