I am a bit confused:

I think there is a consensus that inflammation is bad when it is chronic.

But where exercising, we do create inflammation as well and, if you exercise daily, that inflammation is more or less permanent as there is always a part of your body in restorative mode.

From this angle, can't we hypothesis that daily exercise, while it brings a large number of benefits, is bringing chronic inflammation with all the risks it contains (higher risks of cancers, etc)?

I guess the hypothesis is wrong, but I am curious as to why.


Inflammation is the body reaction to a harmful event, like a muscle damage during exercise or infection. Basically, by inflammation your body always wants to repair something.

Inflammation becomes bad when makes more harm than the initial harmful event did.

Both acute or chronic inflammation can be beneficial or harmful.

Regular exercise can also reduce systemic inflammation, as discussed in a review of clinical trials: Regular Exercise as a Means of Reducing Age-related Inflammation

In summary, regular exercise reduces fat mass and adipose tissue inflammation which is known to contribute to systemic inflammation [58, 59]. Independent of losses of fat mass, exercise also increases muscle production of IL-6 which is known to reduce TNF-α production and increase anti-inflammatory cytokines [69]. Exercise training also increases vagal tone [74], which according to the cholinergic anti-inflammatory reflex espoused by Tracy [72], could lead to reductions in systemic inflammation. Acute exercise activates the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and sympathetic nervous systems. Cortisol is known to have potent anti-inflammatory effects [75], and catecholamines can inhibit pro-inflammatory cytokine production

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