Inflammaging refers to chronic inflammation that sets in the body with age. Read on to know how to prevent it.

Age brings out many changes in our body. Besides external changes such as wrinkles and grey hair, our body ages internally as well. One such sign of internal ageing is inflammaging or low grade inflammation that occurs as people become older. This may seem harmless, but if not treated, it can often become dangerous and chronic as well. However, there is a way to prevent inflammaging or even treat it with basic exercise and eating the right diet.

What is inflammaging?

Inflamm ageing or Inflammaging is a term used to describe the chronic, low-grade inflammation that occurs as a result of aging. “With age, your immune system becomes dysregulated, and this can lead to chronic inflammation. This inflammation can contribute to many age-related diseases such as cardiovascular disease, neurodegenerative diseases, and cancer,” says dietician Kejal Shah.

What leads to inflammaging?

There are various factors that can cause inflammaging. Some of these include:

1. Weak immune system

Our immune system undergoes changes that can lead to a decreased ability to regulate the inflammatory response leading to inflammation, explains Ashok.

2. Cellular damage

Cellular damage is another reason due to oxidative stress and DNA mutations. “When the body tries to repair or remove the damaged cells, it can trigger inflammatory responses,” says Ashok.

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3. Gut composition

The composition of the gut also takes a beating due to microbiota changes, which can impact the immune system and lead to increased inflammation, says Ashok.

Fight inflammaging with exercise
Yoga and exercise is an effective way to prevent inflamm ageing. Image courtesy: Freepik

How to prevent inflammaging with your diet?

Here are some key points to keep in mind while following an anti-inflammatory diet:

1. Include plenty of fruits and vegetables

Fruits and vegetables are rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that can help reduce inflammation in the body.

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2. Choose whole grains

Whole grains such as brown rice, quinoa, and whole wheat contain fiber and nutrients that have anti-inflammatory properties.

3. Incorporate healthy fats

Omega-3 fatty acids that are present in fatty fish, flaxseeds, and walnuts have been shown to reduce inflammation. It is important to include these healthy fats in your diet.

4. Limit processed and sugary foods

Processed foods and sugary foods can contribute to inflammation in the body. Limiting these foods can help reduce inflammation and promote overall health.

5. Include lean protein sources

Lean protein sources such as poultry, fish, legumes, and tofu can help support muscle health and reduce inflammation in the body.

6. Spice it up

Certain spices like turmeric, ginger, and cinnamon have been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties. Adding these spices to your meals can help reduce inflammation.

7. Stay hydrated

Drinking plenty of water is important for overall health and can help reduce inflammation in the body. Aim to drink at least 8-10 glasses of water per day.

Also Read: Anti-inflammatory recipes: 5 dishes to reduce inflammation

How to prevent inflammaging with exercise?

The following workout regimes can be following to prevent this condition, suggests fitness expert Wanitha Ashok.

1. Aerobic exercises

Aerobic exercises, such as walking, jogging, swimming, or cycling, can help improve cardiovascular health and reduce inflammation. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise every day.

2. Strength training exercises

Strength training exercises, using body weight or external resistance help build lean muscle mass, improve bone density, and enhance metabolic function. Strong muscles can support joint health and reduce the risk of chronic inflammation. With age joint and muscle pains are common exercise and movement help address it.

3. Yoga

It’s seen that Yoga helps lower the levels of inflammatory markers in the body. Yoga combines physical postures, breathing techniques and meditation to promote relaxation, reduce stress and improve flexibility.

4. Other exercises

The other forms of exercises that can be included or alternated with are dancing: swimming, pilates, Tai Chi and interval training.

A glass of water
Drinking adequate water and staying hydrated also helps with inflamm ageing. Image courtesy: Freepik

Things to remember

  • If you are 35 and above it is important to consult your physician before you start exercising.
  • Training under a certified fitness professional is recommended, especially if you have existing health conditions or concerns.
  • Remember to listen to your body and stay hydrated.
  • All exercises require adequate warm-up and cool-down to prevent injury and promote recovery.
  • Practice NEAT- Non-exercise activity thermogenesis. NEAT is the energy expenditure and helps improve blood circulation. Activities like changing posture, garden work, answering the doorbell, laying, standing, walking, stair climbing, kitchen work, cleaning, singing and other activities of daily living help improve blood circulation to prevent stiffness and keep the joints and muscles, healthy.
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