The Relationship Between Exercise and Inflammation (and What It Means for Your Workouts)

Since we’ve been on an inflammation kick the past couple weeks, I figured I’d start covering some of the areas of health and lifestyle that interact with inflammation. That doesn’t exactly narrow things down, seeing as how inflammation is involved in just about everything, but it does give me plenty of things to discuss. Today’s topic, exercise, was a little tricky, because the relationship between exercise and inflammation is anything but straightforward, seemingly fraught with inconsistencies and facts that appear to contradict one another. Exercise reduces inflammation, but it also increases it. And depending on the context, this increased inflammation due to exercise is either a good thing or a bad thing.

Sound confusing?

See for yourself. Study after study (epidemiological and clinical alike) shows that extended exercise programs generally reduce markers of inflammation (like C-reactive protein) over the long-term:

  • In elderly Japanese women, a 12-week resistance training program reduced circulating levels of inflammatory markers compared to baseline; reductions in CRP were associated with increases in muscle thickness.
  • American adults who engaged in frequent physical activity tended to have lower CRPs than adults who were more sedentary.
  • In type 2 diabetics, (key term coming up) long-term high intensity resistance and aerobic training reduced inflammatory markers over the course of a year (independent of changes in body weight, meaning activity was the key factor).
  • Endurance combined with resistance training reduced CRP in young, healthy women better than endurance training alone.
  • In obese, post-menopausal women, a basic moderate cardio program lowered CRP without really affecting body weight either way over the course of a year.
  • At the same time, though, several studies also show that exercise acutely spikes inflammatory markers:
  • Volleyball practice elicits spikes in IL-6 in both male and female elite volleyball players.
  • Acute exercise spiked CRP in cardiovascular disease patients (but a four-month exercise program lowered it).
  • This table of inflammatory responses to strenuous endurance events shows some massive spikes in CRP, some up to 20-fold the baseline value.

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There are many more out there, but the general gist is that regular exercise tends to lower markers of systemic inflammation while acute exercise increases markers of acute inflammation. And sometimes what’s acute can become chronic. How do we make sense of this? How do we avoid making those acute spikes a chronic, constant thing?

I had originally planned on digging through the literature and assembling a handy guide explaining the specific inflammatory responses to the different types of exercise, complete with exercise prescriptions based on cytokines and C-reactive protein and all that fun stuff until I realized that such an undertaking is too massive for a blog post, impossible given the limitations of the literature, and overly complex and frankly useless for the average reader. Instead, we have this: a rambling discussion of inflammation and exercise, peppered with helpful nuggets of advice wrought from years of personal (and painful) experience.

Effective exercise is inflammatory exercise… to a point.

Some degree of inflammation is necessary if you hope to get anything tangible out of a workout regimen – hypertrophy, increased stamina, increased strength, improved work capacity – because your body gets stronger via the inflammatory response to the stress and by rebuilding and refortifying its tissues to deal with future demands. 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. You can’t escape that.

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.

(You don’t actually have to order CRP tests after every training session and create Excel spreadsheets to “plot your inflammation.” Feeling it out is perfectly fine. Review last week’s post for symptoms and see if you qualify.)

Remember that acute inflammation (good, healthy, necessary) is characterized by an inflammatory response that resolves quickly, or as soon as the offending factor is removed. This takes a day or two, maybe even three, but as long as you remove the stinger/take your hand out of the flame/kill the pathogen/put down the barbell for a couple days, you will recover and the inflammation will subside. Inflammation becomes chronic when the stress is not removed, when you keep getting stung by the same bug/putting your hand in the flame/licking the dirty spinach/doing heavy deadlifts every single day. Don’t do these things and expect differently.

Any type of exercise – besides maybe walking – has the potential to become chronic and induce a state of chronic inflammation. Doing high-intensity Crossfit WODs every single day will do it. Training for a marathon will do it. Do what you enjoy without it becoming chronic. Endurance events aren’t going to kill you, but training for them might.

The reason why I single out Chronic Cardio, marathoning, triathlons, and other ultra-endurance events (and why it’s the easiest way to overtrain and become systemically inflamed in the process) is because excelling at those activities usually requires a ridiculous amount of training time. If you want to be the best Olympic weight lifter you can be, you’ll have to train hard and train often and undergo serious stress, but you won’t be under load for more than a second or two at a time. If you want to be the best endurance athlete you can be, you’re likely going to be “under load” for hours and hours each day. There is very little give in these sports, which is why regular endurance work is so problematic for so many people.

Endurance training is problematic for another reason: you can always complete the workout even when you should be resting. If you’re having a bad training day as an Olympic lifter, you simply won’t make the lift. You can’t slog through a heavy snatch; the necessary effort precludes you even attempting it. You’ll deload or call it a day or make it a light workout, but you’re not going to “power through,” because you physically cannot. But because endurance work is lower intensity, you can slog through the days when your body is trying to tell you to rest. It won’t be pretty, and you’ll feel awful and slow and heavy, but you’ll finish – and you’ll dig yourself in even deeper.

Interestingly, folks who run ultramarathons tend to have lower resting CRPs than marathoners. This threw me for a loop at first, but after thinking some more, it makes sense. All the ultramarathoners I knew were the guys who either couldn’t hack it as marathoners or simply didn’t want to push themselves to the brink. They were generally fairly laid back, while we marathoners were the hyper-competitive types. They would just kinda mosey along at a reasonable pace, while we treated 26.2 miles almost like an extended sprint. Our pacing was GO GO GO *slurp glucose gel pack* GO GO GO. Though they covered far more ground – sometimes more than 100 km – they never dug deep, not in the same way we did. They never had to “go to the well.” My well was running dry by the time I finished my career.

Yeah, exercise is a funny subject. There isn’t really a one-size-fits-all detailed prescription, which is why when I offer my suggestions for exercise on this blog, I try to keep them very general. Rather than prescribe this many sets of these specific lifts for this many reps at this weight, I say “lift heavy things.” That could be bodyweight, sandbags, barbells, kettlebells, or the latest in HIT machine technology. Rather than tell you to jog at this heart rate for this long at this grade this many times a week, I suggest you “move frequently at a slow pace” and “run really fast once in awhile.” You could move slowly or really quickly on your feet on the street, on a trail, on a bike, in a pool, as you garden, or even in place (burpees, anyone?). Sure, I think a day or two of lifting, one session of sprinting, and as much slow movement as you can possibly stand each week are reasonable targets for the general public, but it’s honestly really wide open.

Thanks for reading, everyone, and let me know what you think in the comment board!

About the Author

Mark Sisson is the founder of Mark’s Daily Apple, godfather to the Primal food and lifestyle movement, and the New York Times bestselling author of The Keto Reset Diet. His latest book is Keto for Life, where he discusses how he combines the keto diet with a Primal lifestyle for optimal health and longevity. Mark is the author of numerous other books as well, including The Primal Blueprint, which was credited with turbocharging the growth of the primal/paleo movement back in 2009. After spending three decades researching and educating folks on why food is the key component to achieving and maintaining optimal wellness, Mark launched Primal Kitchen, a real-food company that creates Primal/paleo, keto, and Whole30-friendly kitchen staples.

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79 thoughts on “The Relationship Between Exercise and Inflammation (and What It Means for Your Workouts)”

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    1. Ugh and don’t forget the gatorade and goo-packs… I vividly remember the syrupy sludge sloshing around my belly for 26 miles. So grim.

  1. I have found I just enjoy exercise so much more now that I am no longer pressuring myself to “get up and do it” every day.

    I love casually riding my bike to work instead of the sprinting on my bike I used to do. I have managed to see deer eating at a mulberry tree, watched a mother squirrel carry one of her babies up a tree I was just riding past. I never saw anything like this when I just “dug deeper” and pushed myself harder.

    I simply love this new approach to exercise (and my body does too) 😉

    1. I completely agree, I used to be the same way! If I’m not enjoying it, then what’s the point? Doing it all for vanity, as I used to, will only get you so far

    2. Who wouldn’t? I remember running on the pavement thinking that more was better even though I literally hated it. I now just run when I want and stop when I want. I prefer taking long walks and mixing in bodyweight exercises.

      MovNat is huge and will continue to grow. I’ve never been involved with one but I can’t wait to be soon!

      With that being said, my awesome sister asked me if I wanted to run in a half marathon this year….

      1. I completely agree. I’m currently training for a half marathon that I didn’t wholeheartedly want to participate in, but the athlete in me wants to perform better than last year and felt the pressure looming. I’m actually in the midst of writing an update about how I finally decided that this mentality was making me miserable and I’ve completely changed my training plan so that I’ll enjoy the process and not ruin it for myself. I enjoyed a leisurely 1 hour run on Sunday and even saw some beautiful swans while out – much better this way!

    3. i honestly miss doing bodyrock everyday, especially for mental reasons, but i hold back because i really think moving slow everyday, and 2-3 intense workouts a week is better in the long run.

    4. What a beautiful and inspiring post, Happycyclegirl! It’s lovely that you enjoy the majesty of Mother Nature along your wellness journey.

  2. Agree and disagree about ultra-marathon.

    I think it is a training issue. Basically, the training is less taxing. Actually running 100+ KM — hell even 36 miles — is really, really painful. For a few days.

    People who are attracted to that might also be people who can deal with it better.

  3. My experience is that one has to be careful with any type of repetitive exercise. It can lead to injury and acute inflammation, which can become chronic. Building up your strength slowly, changing up your exercise routine, rest in between workouts are all important to help prevent these types of nagging injuries. Thanks for the post.

  4. Interesting reading-dealing with Celiac (Gfree for 2 years) but issues of intestinal cramping & inflammatory response to upper levels of exersion during exercise-running up hills, prolonged riding, even moderate weight lifting-getting my markers checked!

    1. that’s interesting; i don’t have celiac but i do have IBS and a very sensitive gut…can’t handle wheat/fructose/dairy–basically all short-chain carbs (I follow the FODMAP diet)…anyhow, I can tolerate carbs SO much better when I am working out and moving–I can eat about 4 times the carbs without gut upset during strenuous exercise; carbs during car trips/sedentary times/meetings spell disaster for me. exercise calms my gut. i wonder if you eat something different when you exercise (before, during or after)…maybe something that’s not gluten but a short-chain carb. try it on an empty stomach? …or fat and protein only maybe.

      1. really interested in hearing more about your thoughts on the FODMAP diet…I think it appears to be the answer for me but am interested in your thoughts around exercise…

  5. Realistically, health and wellness is ultimately about controlling inflammation – both short and long term. It makes sense that during a start up period or times of acute, sporadic training you would see increased inflammation, but that if you look at the long game, your inflammation profile would be much better.

    From food to exercise, it’s best to keep your inflammation down, period.

  6. Hey Mark,

    I actually have wondered about inflammation and exercise. It seems that every time I do something like intense jump squats, I am on the mend for 3-4 days, which really wrecks havoc on having a consistent workout (sometimes the inflammation is INTENSE around the day 2-3…walking hurts…).

    Do you think this is a case of lack of protein in my diet or some other diet factor that needs to be addressed? I mean, should I up the protein on my days where I am doing intense full body workouts?

    1. That’s classic delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS). 2-3 days is pretty typical. It happens to most people when they start out on a regimen of anything high-intensity. A good diet and lots of protein definitely helps, but it’s something that has to be toughed out in the beginning. It will stop happening, though, if you get through the first couple of weeks. Your body will adapt to being put under that kind of stress regularly and you’ll stop getting so sore (a little soreness is expected from time to time, of course).

      But 3-4 days is a perfectly reasonable time frame for rest periods between intense workouts. You really don’t want to do LHT or sprinting any more frequently than that–it starts getting counterproductive to strength gains because you’re not allowing enough recovery. You can work around this be eating a TON of (good, clean) food. That will speed up your recovery and allow you to work out more frequently. But slow and steady is the best for most people who aren’t interested in putting themselves through serious suffering and a lot of inconvenience just to squeeze out a few more percent of progress.

      1. Maybe being fully hydrated, too? For the last five years I’ve done these 4-hour indoor climbing competitions, where it’s how many hard routes can you complete in the time frame. It’s brutal. I’ve been SO sore for SO long after these, but I’ve learned that if I go into it fully hydrated (chug water 24 hours prior) I will recover 1-2 days sooner.

      2. A few years ago I did P90X for the full 90 days. Boy, did I ever get sore! The soreness did diminish after a month (never all the way disappeared, though!) But I found that the “cardio” (jump training, yoga or kempo) days following the lifting days really helped my soreness. Sitting still is what aggravated it. That being said, after 5 or 6 days were were pretty worn out and the day or two of total rest were great. On the few weekends where we took 3 days of total rest, we felt even better. So, perhaps “rest” isn’t always sitting and doing nothing, but is really some cardio-type activity to get your blood moving for a half hour to an hour. Incidently, P90X2 has incorporated more rest days than the original and encourages self pacing.

    2. Might be worth taking a BCAA (branch chain amino acid) supplement after working out, as well as protein, as it can help with DOMS.

  7. I’m a thrill seeker and licking dirty spinach is one of my favorite ways to spend an afternoon.

    You did a good job covering something that could have easily become an overwhelming topic. Thank you for keeping it simple and sweet for us mere mortals. 🙂

  8. I’m usually not to sore after lifting heavy things. I do the Enter The Kettlebell Rite of Passage now and my to heaviest days are Monday and Friday, and Wednesday is light. The snatches for between 2-12 minutes push my heart up enough to qualify as my sprint session. The most sore I have been is when I did a PBF Self-Assessment yesterday and my quads from the 80 Squats I did. Is that Level 5 now 😉

  9. What do you think about post-workout cold showers? Will this cause the inflammation to subside more quickly? Too quickly?

    1. I’ve wondered about this too. After a hard weightlifting or sprinting workout, I like to take a two-minute dip in the cold pool. That often reduces DOMS, but now I’m wondering if I should just deal with the soreness. Exercise causes acute inflammation and then the body repairs itself. Am I short-changing any improvements in muscle growth and strength by somehow numbing DOMS?

      1. Brandon & Godzilla –

        I’ve used the cold showering method in previous marathon training and I personally found that a very cold shower (not an ice bath even) within 10 minutes of completing a long run had a beneficial effect on my recovery. The idea being that your capilliaries etc are drawn away from the surface of your body and hopefully the internal damage/bleeding within your muscles is slowed/stopped. I’ve also spoken to professional runners who prefer to alternate the hot/cold shower on their legs.

        It’s personal preference but it is an easy one to attempt and the studies suggest it ‘may’ hep with DOMS…

  10. Thanks Mark. I just did an easy 50 mile run on Catalina Island using my persistence-hunt-trot pace. Felt great, feel great. Quick recovery. Paleo fueling. No need to go to the well. Average less than 20 miles a week training (if you want to call it training, more like short commutes and jaunts) along with Russian sauna and cold plunge training and Primal Blueprint based diet. Happy me. Blog report coming next day or two.

  11. I love the primal blueprint specifically for it’s general advice! Years ago during chronic cardio I was always so sore and so hungry and dreaded the gym. Lifting heavy things and moving slow frequently while enjoying the wilderness is definitely a blueprint I can follow!

  12. “controlled hormesis”…or mithridatism
    Exposure to self-administered “poisons”…exercise, produces an inverted U shaped curve or J shaped curve, of dose response: some small amount makes you stronger, larger doses kill the organism.

    1. I recall a website that uses applied hormesis, I think it is “getting stronger”. People do body hacks.

  13. I have been attempting to progress as a crossfitter for a couple of years now, but with little result. I recently slogged through a WOD and felt quite discouraged after. I am not sure if my determination and persistence is setting me back or perhaps its nutrition. I am still trying to figure out the primal foods/ amounts that will help me gain functional mass (another 20-30 lbs) and overall wellbeing. I think to recover and then gain will require a good amount of calories (2,500-3,000 (?)). I am currently 6’1″ and weigh 150 pounds. I attempt to crossfit/workout at least 3, but more over 4-5 days per week.

    After reading this article, it seems that my training schedule may be a bit too much. I appreciate the idea of lifting heavy a few times a week while enjoying the outdoors often. Right now, however, I am in the routine of consistent hard work. I love burpees (substitution for sprints) when the snow covers the hills too.

    I know this may read more like a brain dump than a clear question or comment, but any advice or thoughts will be much appreciated.

    1. Hey Doug, it depends on the kinds of WOD’s that your doing at Crossfit. If you want to put on mass you will have to cut the crossfit as most wod’s are metcons with heavy dosing of cardio. You might want to do your own lifting and limit the cardio. Lift heavy things, rest and eat big. Have your bigger calorie days on your lifting days. Most carbs post workout. You might be trying to do too many differnt things when your goal is mass. Going to be hard to do with all the calories you are burning at Crossfit.

  14. chronically inflamed for years
    just starting to listen to the body at age 34
    ~ i still dont quite know how i feel about not red lining 3 days a week

    but i know i am in less pain

    its a journey for sure – trying to enjoy it

  15. I beat the heck out of my body through running– Now I’m a mess of osteoarthritis. My coping mechanism these days is to strive to be active without focusing on an exercise plan. Mostly that involves daily housecleaning (don’t scoff I like a clean house) and pilates. This works great. I have far less joint pain, keep a healthy weight and have a nice sense of accomplishment. For me it’s all about moving– even if it is only to push a vacuum. Though I do try to incorporate regular walking so I can be sure to get my sunshine.

  16. Did the main site Crossfit WOD’s for 3 years and ended up with chronic inflammation, I could feel it but ignored it thinking I was doing the right thing. One year ago came across Gymnastics workouts on from Coach Sommer and I dumped Crossfit for gymnastics and have not looked back since. Five weeks ago came across this via gymnasticsbodies forum and it is now my program and work this with Coach Sommer progressions, have made some good gains.

  17. reach your numbers and move to the next level…it’s really that simple.

  18. Primal eating habits and Crossfit have helped me conquer intense inflammation! Yeah Mark!

    1. Mine too. I used to have what I assumed was carpal tunnel. I blamed it on heavy computer use, which obviously played some part.

      Since going Primal my wrist pain is completely gone. I probably use the computer more now, still no pain.

  19. How much primal food should a 23 year old male doing crossfit consume to beat chronic inflammation and gain functional, healthy weight?

  20. I just began training for a marathon and I am going to try hard to “slow down” and do run/walk intervals within the “fat burning” range, thanks to what I’ve learned through Mark and The Primal Blueprint. I hope I can keep myself from pushing my pace, as my goal is to lose body fat this year!

  21. After doing 5-6 days a week workouts, I have started to cut it back now to 3-4 days adding in some Mark’ Sisson approved fun days! Swimming, stand up boarding, hiking, camping, anything fun to workout without working out! Been going great so far. Have an upcoming 20k mud run and am training for that as well. I used to take a long time to recover but as I have dialed in my primal diet better. I have reduced that recovery considerably. Thanks Mark!!

  22. Mark, where did you get the data that ultramarathoners have lower CRP than marathoner?

    Also, you seem to ignore that proper training for endurance events, for example Marathon, should consists of easy effort on most days. If you are indeed keeping the intensity easy on your easy days, there is no reason “chronic cardio” will cause chronic inflammation or overtraing.

  23. Great article! It is really important, as you say, to do what you enjoy without it becoming chronic. I used to have that problem when playing basketball.

  24. Fitness is like life, a journey to self discovery. Everyone has to find out how their bodies respond and which is the most efficient way to eat and workout for them.

  25. I am 48 years old and did some Burpees last night. I think I am experiencing “good inflamation”. LOL I recently discovered “Primal” and, evolution aside, I believe the information you provide is awesome and will be very beneficial. Two years ago I lost 53 lbs and recently gained 20 back. I am working on knocking that 20 off and, more than that, working to change my eating and exercise lifestyle so I never gain it back again. I want to be more FIT! I believe you can help me do that. Thanks a million for what you do, Mark!! -Justin

  26. Hi, this is my first post here. I just started Primal (New Year’s Resolution) so I’m just a bit into it and not ready to post any Before and After photos.

    The food transition is easier than I thought it would be. I live near a couple small farms that sell their own meat and eggs. I never paid much mind to them before because it is more expensive than grocery store food but I now see the extra price is well worth it.

    As far as exercise, I have a walking buddy and we go on long walks around the area together. So that parts fine. I wanted to go with the “lift heavy things” part too so I got the P90X DVD series and jumped right in. Maybe that was a mistake but I just don’t know. Everything seemed to be going fine and I was proud of myself for going all out but later in the afternoon I couldn’t so much as bend over to pick something up off the floor and walking up stairs was excruciating.

    After about 2 days it got better. My question to the more experienced people is…was that an example of the good kind of acute inflammation that builds strength? Or did I just mildly injure myself and should not be so aggressive with the P90X? Or is mildly injuring yourself part of what helps? This is a timely article since I’m unclear on whether what happened was a good thing or a bad thing.

  27. I have a question; where does martial arts fall into this? I’m thinking of taking up Kali/Escrima at my local gym – Is it an endurance exercise?

  28. I do intervals (4-6 30 sec w/ 3.5 min rest)three times a week, one set pullups, parallel bar dips and squats on the same days and at least 30 m walk on the other 4 days.

    Is this considered too much?

  29. So Mark, do you think I was causing undue inflammation when I used to do Jazzercise three times a week, plus two times a week of strength training? I know there were times my M.S. flared during this time. Guess my body was trying to tell me to back off…. but I thought at the time it was the good and healthy thing to do. Glad I found Paleo/Primal way of living.

  30. Now I’m motivated to grab my 53lbs KB, and walk around my neighborhood, about one mile. Slow but heavy, awkward, seems so real worldly, Ok, I’ll do it. Thanks for the article.

  31. My new rule for exercise: if I’m not enjoying it, or I’m not building to a new skill that I want to have in my repertoire, I don’t do it. I happen to ENJOY lifting heavy things, sprinting, jumping, climbing, crawling, rolling, etc. So I’ll do this for a while, then stop. There’s no rush, and I’m in better condition (less inflammation, no injuries) than ever.

  32. Maybe I should thank my lucky stars I’m built for strength rather than endurance then! 🙂

  33. About the ultramarathoners, there were a bunch of them who managed to qualify for this year’s Olympic marathon trials. They aren’t “marathoners,” but their many many miles of “base” enable them to put together a respectable marathon on race day. Even without “training for a marathon.”

  34. i’ve also noticed that trail races are far more laid back than road races. more fun too!

  35. Great post. I too lived many years following a chronic cardio and junk food lifestyle. I was skinny fat and not healthy at all. So happy to be Paleo/Primal and promoting the same to my clients.

  36. For those who consider cutting their aerobic exercise because of Mark´s blog, here is some scientific facts. “It appears that elite endurance (aerobic) athletes and mixed-sports (aerobic and anaerobic) athletes survive longer than the general population, as indicated by lower mortality and higher longevity. Lower cardiovascular disease mortality is likely the primary reason for their better survival rates. On the other hand, there are inconsistent results among studies of power (anaerobic) athletes.” J Sci Med Sport. 2010 Jul;13(4):410-6. Mortality and longevity of elite athletes.
    “Compared with controls, the rate ratios (RRs) for all-cause hospital days per person-years of exposure were lower in athletes from endurance sports (RR, 0.71; 95% confidence interval [Cl], 0.70-0.73), mixed sports (including endurance and weight training) (RR, 0.86; 95% Cl, 0.85-0.87), and power sports (RR, 0.95; 95% Cl, 0.94-0.96) (P < .001 for all comparisons) after adjustment for age and occupational group" JAMA. 1996 Jul 17;276(3):216-20. Hospital care in later life among former world-class Finnish athletes.

    So it seems that vigorous aerobic exercises for years (decades) is GOOD for you.

  37. Hey Mark,

    What’s your stance on how exercise alters plasma levels of anti-inflammatory signal molecules?

  38. Question: I have just started researching this. I am obese & I suffer with Rheumatoid Arthritis. I notice there is a lot of information regarding strength training. Where do I start if my mobility is limited. I.E. – Bad knees, twisted elbow joints and back pain. Any help will be appreciated.

  39. I think bodies should have come with a manuel. It’s frustrating to spend time and energy- only to find the ‘ problem’ getting worse! Thank God for people like you Mark, who keep learning and sharing your findings????

  40. Hi all
    I liked this article and the comments I have read. I am trying to find out by experimentation the right amount of hard “lift heavy things” in a week that does not leave me sore the whole week. From what I read I gather that I should step down a little, reduce my farmer’s walks and short squat/deadlift workouts. My weekly session of sprints (on Wendnesdays,15mins intense) stays unchanged. And my rest/play is accomplished with Zumba sessions (2 a week,I keep it at 30 mins each) and Yoga and Pilates (ahhhhhh, feels so good, once a week each)

  41. This is an interesting read. I was diagnosed with fibromylgia about 4 yrs back when I was training for a triathlon. I’m a group exercise instructor who mainly takes yoga now, with a little bit of cycling every week & occasionally circuit training.
    I deal with inflammation constantly, and when my dr banned from cycling, my pain & other symptoms just got worse. After seeing a natural path I was able to get back into fitness, but have never been able to get back to where I was.

    I still teach 5 days a week. Play outdoors alot, hiking, snowshoeing, cycling. I love being in the outdoors. But I admit it’s still a lot harder than it used to be. I don’t recover from much of anything & an still in constant pain. I’ve found nothing that has helped me feel successful in fitness.

    1. 3 yrs 7 mo ago… I´m curious of where you are now? Are you still dealing with this condition? What do you do? What do you eat?

  42. Hi Mark,

    I’ve shared and posted this article in my website as a source of reference for topical steroid withdrawal sufferers. For us, we are battling inflammation everyday and always looking for ways to reduce inflammation so that our withdrawal symptoms are less severe.

    I find that once I have been able to exercise (i.e. play soccer especially), my skin has been improving at a greater rate. There are always benefits to exercising. Exercise is the cure to everything I guess =)

    Tks for the info!

  43. Thank you for the article. My husband and I have both experienced inflammation and arthritis symptoms since we started really getting into working out and eating healthier over a year ago. I’m sure as we dig into it, we’ll find more things we need to do, not do, eat and not eat. Just learning as we progress.

  44. I think the vast majority of people struggle with chronic inflammation. If this was adressed through their diet and lifestyle, people would have much greater benefits from their workouts. Tanks for the article Mark, really enjoyed it!

  45. 2018 is my goal to increase my endurance but my recent blood tests show A LOT of inflammation (high Hs-CRP, homocysteine Lp(a) ), so I’m definitely glad I stumbled upon this article. I’m fairly healthy – my cholesterol ranges & glucose are good so I’m not technically too worried, but .. at 51, I do need to chill on the endurance and get back to lifting heavy things more, running 400 M AMRAP’s less. Thanks for posting <3

  46. Hi,
    I am 25 lbs overweight and type 2 diabetic. Your article makes so much sense for me vis á vis inflammation that is a big concern for diabetics. Just began running 2 miles every alternate day – it is so enjoyable, doesn’t bother my knees and I find the day in between (mostly walking, swimming and flamenco once a week) works so great. The main thing that running does for me is mental, I feel so much younger and well, embarrassingly joyous. I still watch what I eat so I can drop the weight. But I just love this addition to my life.