One of the key components in promoting a healthy immune system is exercise. Because psoriasis is an auto-immune disorder, protecting the immune system is a very important part of managing psoriasis.
According to the National Psoriasis Foundation, individuals with psoriasis are more likely to be obese and 1.5 times more likely to report heart disease. With obesity comes a whole host of other health problems, such as high blood pressure and diabetes, which further complicates psoriasis problems.
Through regular exercise and a healthy diet, individuals with psoriasis can effectively control their weight and drastically reduce the risk of other medical complications.
Psoriasis treatments also tend to be less effective on overweight patients. By shedding some pounds through regular exercise, treatments will become more effective.
With individuals suffering from psoriatic arthritis, regular exercise is crucial. To alleviate the pain associated with this type of psoriasis, many sufferers keep their joints in an unnatural and bent position. This can cause the joints to lock and grow deformed over time. Exercises that move these joints, when performed properly, will help reduce the pain and stiffness, as well as improve range of movement.
Individuals who suffer from psoriasis are often stressed by the condition. Once again, regular exercise is very effective at reducing stress and contributing to an overall feeling of wellness. Exercise stimulates the production of endorphins, those biological chemicals that make us feel good. It also combats and reduces stress-inducing hormones like adrenaline and cortisol.
Many individuals who suffer from psoriasis are reluctant to exercise for fear of exacerbating their condition. Perspiration can cause flare-ups and individuals with psoriatic arthritis will often experience joint pains. I cannot overemphasize the importance of regular exercise for individuals with psoriasis, so I have outlined some tips below to make it a little easier.
Wear clothing that is comfortable. Avoid synthetic fabrics that cause skin irritation or rub uncomfortably against inflamed skin. Fabrics like cotton are highly absorbent and help to soak up perspiration and reduce the risk of skin irritation.
For areas likely to be irritated, such as joints, it is advisable to apply a high quality shielding lotion prior to exercising. This reduces the risk of agitating the skin and causing a flare up. Do not participate in sports that have higher risks of sustaining injuries.
Adapting to the environment you work out in reduces the risk of aggravating your psoriasis. In areas where the weather is hot and sunny, apply a strong sunblock to prevent sunburn. Gloves In A Bottle SPF-15 is an excellent shielding lotion with sunblock qualities. If you travel overseas where the climate is dryer, remember to keep your body well-moisturized and hydrated. Use a high quality shielding lotion to seal in your skin’s natural oils and moisture.
Cleaning up after exercising is especially important for individuals suffering from psoriasis. Not only will it help to remove potential irritants that could trigger a psoriatic outbreak, it also helps to cool your body down after your workout. A shower after exercising removes the dirt and grime, and powder helps the skin feel more comfortable.
Exercise for individuals suffering from psoriasis
Aerobic exercises improve your cardiovascular system. For individuals suffering from psoriasis, low-impact aerobic exercises like cycling and walking are recommended. Hydrotherapy, or water exercises like water aerobics or swimming have minimal impact on the joints and are ideal for patients suffering from psoriatic arthritis.
Strength and flexibility exercises are also helpful for individuals suffering from psoriasis. Strengthening the muscles can help ease the stress on the joints. The stronger the muscles, the more stable the joints are. Free weights and resistance bands are ideal for building strength. Instead of lifting heavy weight, light weights with more repetition would be better for individuals suffering from psoriasis. Range of motion exercises like yoga can also help ensure that the joints remain flexible, especially for individuals suffering from psoriasic arthritis.
Before trying to perform different exercises, it is always good to seek your doctor’s opinion. No matter what exercise you choose, pay attention to your body’s signals. If you feel any pain or discomfort, consult with your doctor immediately.