Reduced levels of physical activity in people’s daily lives cause the development of metabolic syndromes or age-related disorders. Chronic inflammation is now understood to be an underlying pathological condition in which inflammatory cells such as neutrophils and monocyte/macrophages infiltrate into fat and other tissues and accumulate when people become obese due to overeating and/or physical inactivity. Pro-inflammatory mediators such as cytokines that are secreted in excess from inflammatory cells will not only lead to the development of arteriosclerosis when they chronically affect blood vessels but also bring tissue degeneration and/or dysfunction to various organs. Chronic inflammation is also involved in sarcopenia that brings hypofunction in the elderly, dementia, osteoporosis, or cancer and negatively affects many chronic diseases and people’s healthy life expectancy. In this paper, outlines of such studies are introduced in terms of homeostatic inflammation, which occurs chronically due to the innate immune system and its abnormalities, while focusing on the efficacy of exercise from aspects of immunology and oxidative stress. The preventative effects of functional food ingredients in combination with exercise are also introduced and described. The challenges and future directions in understanding the role of exercise in the control of chronic inflammation are discussed.
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