by Dr. Jon Cartile, DC

Summer is upon us and we should all take this time to get outside and get moving. We are designed to be creatures of motion, so while we have the longer daylight hours we should be taking advantage. With exercise we are overloading the body and breaking down tissues – this is part of how we loose fat and build muscle. With tissue breakdown comes inflammation. Controlling and minimizing inflammation in our body is one of the most important things we can do to maximize our benefits from training and to prevent injury. In the long run this adaption to training is what makes our body healthier and fitter and more able to adapt to other stressors in our life. In the long run, it will actually lead to a reduction in overall body inflammation. The important thing is to help your body optimally deal with the overload using the following basic tips:

  • Warm up – Start with dynamic movements of the activity you want to do in a controlled manner. So if you are going to run, start with leg swings, standing jumps and slow jog. If you’re going to golf, start with slow body twists and arm swings. This increases the pliability of your tissues and decreases the amount of micro-damage.
  • Drink water – This is straight forward, anytime you increase activity you will lose moisture. This will keep better blood flow and move the tissue waste created from exercise.
  • Omega 3 – Omega 3 is important for our bodies own anti inflammation production. It’s important that we get our omega 3,6 and 9 in the right ratio, unfortunately most of us our diets are high in omega 6, and this will diminish the omega 3 effects.
  • Alkalizing foods – Blueberries, pineapple, Spinach, Bell peppers, Broccoli, Kale, Almonds, Bananas, Apples, Ginger

Of course there are foods to stay away from. These are the foods that we should be avoiding/minimizing anyways: Sugar, Trans fats, Dairy, Alcohol and Fried foods. Making these changes will minimize the inflammation created with exercise, decrease your aches and pains, reduce your chance of injury, speed up your post-workout recovery and increase your overall strength & ability to handle stressors.