Effects of Resistance Training on Inflammation
Inflammation is a double edged sword. A little inflammation acts as a signal for the brain that there is damage in a particular area that needs healing, too much of it leads to long term damage.
Resistance training (RT) is associated with reduced risk of low grade inflammation related diseases, such as cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. Acute inflammation is the local protective response to an injury, This short term adaptive response is crucial for tissue repair. However, the long term consequences of prolonged inflammation are often detrimental.
Researchers at the University of Connecticut recently analyzed the few studies that do exist on the relationship between the two. The researchers found a variety of results with strength training and inflammation. Microscopic muscle damage occurs during strength training, especially during the lowering phase of a repetition. As a result of workout-induced muscle damage, inflammation rises in the short term, and the production of several cytokines increases (although not all are pro-inflammatory). As a whole, the cytokines released right after strength training have two major responsibilities: repair the muscle damage and regulate new muscle growth. Both are positive responses.
Long term resistance training has been shown too reduce markers on inflammation in the body. A 12-month study using strength training with overweight women averaging 39 years old showed a decrease in CRP( a marker of inflammation).