Yes, we all know that exercise is good for us. But the ubiquitous “they” don’t usually tell us specifically why. Now they’re starting to be able to do that. First, they’ve recently discovered that excess fat (especially in the abdominal area) can lead to chronic inflammation throughout the system.
In a test done with a small group of healthy volunteers (20-45) they subjected their blood samples both before and after exercise with an infectious agent and then analyzed the blood for a substance called “tumor necrosis factor” (TNF). Sounds kind of like a monster in a sci-fi thriller, doesn’t it? Anyway, the levels of this little TNF monster were significantly lower after exercise than before–and TNF is considered the first step in the inflammation process.
So if you’re one of the many who’ve said, “Oh, so what about exercise,” maybe being able to name a specific and icky-sounding culprit will help you fight your urge to consistently choose the couch over the aerobic crunch.