Physical activity has strong anti-inflammatory properties, according to a recent review. The findings are significant because persistent inflammation is involved in the development and progression of chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
The European Journal of Clinical Investigation review notes that studies have revealed the mechanisms and molecules behind exercise's ability to block inflammation. Specifically, exercise boosts levels of the cytokines IL-6 and IL-10, which exert anti-inflammatory effects by inhibiting TNF-α and by stimulating IL-1ra, thereby limiting IL-1β signalling. In addition, IL-6 has direct impacts on sugar and fat metabolism.