Got inflammation? Walk it off

There have been lots of reports lately on strength training. How important it is for helping you lose weight and improve blood sugar control.

But a new study shows that aerobic exercise still has its place. And by “aerobic exercise” I don’t necessarily mean Jane Fonda-style workouts. (Though if you enjoy those, by all means, stick with them!). Aerobic exercise is any type of activity that gets your heart rate up. Even something as simple as walking counts. And can make a big difference in your health.

In fact, it appears that aerobic exercise is more critical to reducing the overall inflammation that accompanies metabolic syndrome.

Metabolic syndrome (aka, pre-diabetes) has been linked with chronic low-grade inflammation. And one key marker for this inflammation is a substance called interleukin-18 (IL-18).  So a group of researchers in Norway set out to determine which type of exercise was better for reducing IL-18.

The 31 people in their study were randomly assigned to an aerobic exercise group, a strength training group, or a control group.

Participants did their particular form of exercise three times a week for 12 weeks.

The results? After aerobic exercise, blood levels of IL-18 were 43 percent lower. Strength training didn’t have any effect.

“Effect of exercise training on inflammation status among people with metabolic syndrome,” Metab Syndr Relat Disord 2012; 10(4): 267-272