6 Daily Habits to Reduce Inflammation

Inflammation is one of them wellness buzzwords (along with collagen, cuppingand hormone balancing) that we kind of know we have to be aware of, but it can all be felt really overwhelming. The truth is, we all have inflammation at one level or another. But contrary to what people think, it’s not all bad. Inflammation is a natural process that helps your body heal and defend itself. But chronic inflammation is a different story. That’s why learning to reduce inflammation is key to optimal health.

When inflammation is prolonged, it can do a lot of damage to our bodies. Chronic inflammation can manifest itself in the form of digestive stress (gas, bloating, constipation, sore joints), unhappy skin (acne, eczema, psoriasis), low energy or extra weight you can’t shake. Even more seriously, chronic inflammation can severely damage our cells, leading to what Novant Health is calling “the development of potentially debilitating or life-threatening diseases.” Cancer and type 2 diabetes count among them.

Featured Image by Michelle Nash.

Photo by Michelle Nash

How to Reduce Inflammation: 6 Tips You Can Do Daily

Inflammation is aggravated by environmental toxins, stress overload and a processed inflammatory diet – things that unfortunately exist in most of our daily lives. As with most processes that actually heal our bodies over time (rather than just masking symptoms), there is no quick “off button” for inflammation.

The good news? If you’re wondering how to reduce inflammation, there are simple practices you can incorporate into your day to help you feel your best. Feeling overwhelmed and don’t know where to start? Try to choose two habits from the list below that you can add realistically to your routine. After a few weeks, see if you can add another and build from there.

Photo by Michelle Nash

Reduce stress

I know, I know. Easier said than done! But there are a few key things you can bring into your routine that make a huge difference in how you feel. Try incorporating one relaxing bath, yoga sessionor meditation into your weekly, if not daily, rituals. Even a few mindful breaths before you start your day can help you center yourself right away. I’ve been trying to pause and take a few slow, full breaths when I start to feel stressed during the day. It has completely changed how I feel for the better.

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Drink up

Staying fully hydrated flushes out toxins that we are exposed to on a daily basis. Think pesticides, heavy metals, air pollution, mold and more. Moisturizes effectively is one of the key strategies to ensure that the body is able to effectively detoxify. Always have a glass of water on your desk and by your bed, and take a water bottle with you when you leave the house. Still feeling uninspired? Add these 10 things to your bottle that will supercharge your water.

PS Did you know that there are right and wrong times a day to drink your water?

Photo by Michelle Nash

Clean up your diet

One of the easiest ways to lower inflammation is through our daily food choices. Foods such as processed sugar, refined carbohydrates, GMO dairy products and soy and oils such as canola, soybean and corn can all be difficult on the gut and thus increase inflammatory markers. Try incorporating more cultured/probiotic foods, greensberry, healthy oils and fatsnuts, dark chocolate, green tea and spices turmeric, cinnamon, garlic and ginger.

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Get started

Exercise decreases inflammatory markers and your risk of chronic disease. Moving our bodies sends fresh blood and oxygen throughout our body, pumps the lymphatic system for waste removal, and gently restores the digestive system if it feels out of whack. Try to move for at least 30 minutes a day or work up a sweat in the sauna. Walking is a great source of exercise. Or you can try one of these ideas for joyful movement.

Photo by Michelle Nash

Try dry brushing

Dry brushing is a great way to move toxins through your body. It stimulates your lymphatic system and facilitates your body’s efforts to reduce inflammation. This is one of my favorite daily habits (along with facial massage). When I’m consistent, I notice smoother, more even skin. Plus, generally better energy!

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Prioritize sleep

Sleep is your body’s time for recovery. While you sleep, your body flushes out toxins and enters a deep healing state. Many of us struggle to get a full eight hours with our busy days. You can start by aiming to get 30 minutes of extra sleep a night and slowly increase until you get 7-8 hours. When you first experience how good you feel after one really restful night’s sleepyou will never want to go back!

This post was originally published on January 17, 2019 and has since been updated.

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