Inflammation is one of those health buzz words (along with collagen, intermittent fasting, cupping, and hormone balancing) that we kinda know we should pay attention to, but it all can feel really overwhelming. The truth is, all of us have inflammation on some level, and it’s not all bad. Inflammation is a natural process that helps your body heal and defend itself.
But when it’s prolonged, inflammation can manifest in the form of digestive stress (gas, bloating, constipation, achy joints), unhappy skin (acne, eczema, psoriasis), low energy, or extra weight you can’t shake.
Inflammation is worsened by environmental toxins, stress overload and a processed inflammatory diet – things that are unfortunately found in most of our daily lives. As with most processes that actually heal our body over time (instead of just masking symptoms), there’s no quick “off switch” for inflammation. The good news? There are simple practices you can incorporate into your day to get you feeling your best! If you feel overwhelmed and don’t know where to start, try picking two habits from the list below that feel realistic for you to add to your routine. After a couple weeks, see if you can add another!
image by Claire Huntsberger
I know, I know. Easier said than done! Try incorporating a relaxing bath, yoga or meditation into your weekly, if not daily, routine. Even a few mindful breaths before you start your day instantly centers yourself. I’ve been trying to pause and take a few slow, full breaths whenever I start to feel stressed during the day, and it’s made a huge difference in how I feel.
image by Sakara
Staying fully hydrated flushes out toxins that we’re exposed to on a daily basis – think pesticides, heavy metals, air pollution, mold and more. Hydrating effectively is one of the key strategies to make sure the body is able to effectively detox. Always keep a glass of water on your desk and by your bed, and try to have a water bottle in hand any time you leave the house! Still feeling a little uninspired? Supercharge your water with these tips.
ps – Did you know there are right and wrong times of day to drink your water?
image by Cali Vintage
Clean Up Your Diet
One of the easiest ways to lower inflammation is through our daily food choices. Foods like processed sugar, refined carbs, GMO dairy and soy, and oils like canola, soybean and corn can all be difficult on the gut, thus raising inflammation markers. Try incorporating more cultured/probiotic rich foods, greens, berries, healthy oils and fats, nuts, dark chocolate, green tea and spices like: turmeric, cinnamon, garlic, and ginger.
image by Outdoor Voices
Exercise decreases inflammatory markers and your risk of chronic disease by sending fresh blood and oxygen throughout your body, pumping the lymphatic system for waste removal, and gently restoring your digestive system if it feels off. Try to move for at least 30 minutes a day or get in a sweat sesh at the sauna.
image by ikea
Dry brushing is an amazing way to move toxins through your body! It stimulates your lymphatic system, thus easing your body’s efforts to reduce inflammation. This is one of my favorite daily habits (along with jade rolling!) and when I am consistent I also notice smoother, more even skin, and overall better energy!
image by Zulu & Zephyr
Sleep is your body’s time for recovery! Did you know that while you sleep, your body flushes toxins and actually goes into a deep healing state? Many of us struggle with getting a full 8-hours with our busy schedules, so start by getting 30 minutes of extra sleep this week a night, and slowly increase until you’re at 7 – 8 hours. Once you experience how great you feel after a truly restful night’s sleep, you won’t ever want to go back!