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Exercise your inflammation away! 3 ways to target that pain with simple movements

You can reduce inflammation with exercise!

Inflammation is a hot topic in the health and wellness industry, yet many of us don’t fully understand what it is and how it impacts our bodies.

Tamra Stephenson, fitness trainer and the wellness director at Entrata in St. George, shared exercises that can help reduce inflammation. While many of us associate inflammation primarily with diet, Tamra emphasized that exercise also plays a crucial role in managing inflammation.


What is Inflammation?

Inflammation is a natural response of our body to perceived threats or damage. However, when this response is in overdrive, it can lead to chronic conditions and diseases that worsen over time. Tamra herself was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) in 2012, a central nervous system disorder that causes inflammation and pain. Through her personal journey, she discovered that exercise was a part of managing her symptoms.

The Benefits of Exercise

The exercises Tamra recommended are not strenuous, but focus on promoting mobility and movement. These exercises enhance blood flow, increase oxygen levels, and improve overall health.

Foam Rolling

One of Tamra’s favorite exercises is foam rolling. This exercise targets the fascia, the connective tissue linked to your organs, muscles, and joints. The goal is to keep this tissue fluid and moving, allowing for full range of motion.

Here are some guidelines for successful foam rolling:

  1. Do one side at a time. Drop one foot off to the side and lay your other calf on top of the roller.
  2. Lift the hips up. Make sure that you’re not rolling over any bone.
  3. Don’t roll past the knee.
  4. When you start turning the foot in, you’ll start to get the inside of the calf.

In terms of other places to foam roll, Tamra recommends starting at the foot and working your way up.

“Let’s say something is happening in your hamstring. That doesn’t mean it started there. Start from your foot and roll up. You’ll hit whatever is connecting in and causing the issue on your way up or past it.

Tennis Ball Rolling

In addition to foam rolling, Tamra suggests using a tennis ball for a deeper massage into the fascia, particularly in the glute area.

“If you can stand more pressure, you could start with a tennis ball. But, you could move on to using this, too,” Tamra advised.

To work your glute, sit on the ball and lean from side to side.

“You can stretch all day long for a glute and not get it enough,” Tamra said.

You can take a stretch to far, but Tamra said you don’t need to be using a tennis ball for very long to get the benefits.

“You want to go for three minutes max in any area using the ball, and even foam rolling,” she recommended.

Morning Exercises

Simple, slow movements first thing in the morning can promote blood flow and prepare the body for the day. A basic march is a good place to start. Tamra also likes the simple toe-touch stretch. Start with your arms in the air and roll down. You don’t even have to actually touch your toes.

The next movement Tamra recommended was a twist. Twist your arms and spine to one side, raising the heel of that opposite foot.

Finish off your morning movements with side to side leans, and shallow squats with arm swings.

You can learn more from Tamra on her Instagram, @mountainhighfit, and her website,

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