Taking Precautions While Exercising With Psoriasis
While exercise clearly provides benefits for psoriasis sufferers, there are some simple precautions you must take in order to prevent flare-ups and injuries. By implementing preventative strategies you will get the maximum benefits from your workout and enjoy the activity more.
Choose exercises that are appropriate for your current level of fitness, and consider the following before beginning:
- If you have not exercised in a while, meet with your health care provider prior to beginning an exercise program. Begin slowly and concentrate on activities that gently stretch and build strength.
- Avoid activities that jar your joints. It is important you take steps to minimize the risk of injury as your psoriasis may flare-up if you are hurt.
- The most important kind of exercise to engage in is one you enjoy, since you will be more likely to stick with it.
- Choose activities that give your entire body a workout and select exercises that enhance flexibility and strength.
- Make sure your exercise program has an aerobic component to get your heart pumping.
- Choose exercise clothes carefully. Wear loose clothing that is created from fabrics that allow free flow of air or trap perspiration away from your skin. Avoid clothing and activities that can irritate your skin.
- Apply moisturizing barrier salve or a light dusting of cornstarch to areas that perspire heavily and are subject to friction before you exercise.
Engage in Healthy Exercise Practices
Heed the signals your body gives you while you are exercising. This is particularly important if you have psoriatic arthritis.
While exercise is healthy, you must respect your body’s innate knowledge about when modifications need to be made. Do not push through the pain. Pain is a signal that you need to back off.
Drink plenty of fluids before, during and after exercising. Staying hydrated will enhance your energy level and support your skin’s ability to rid itself of toxins. Well hydrated skin is less subject to injury than dry skin.
Many people who have psoriasis have an increase in symptoms when their skin is exposed to extreme climates. Cold and dry conditions are usually the most detrimental. Choose indoor activities or ones that do not expose you to temperature and moisture extremes.
Ensure Your Skin’s Health After You Exercise
Examine your skin after exercising for signs of irritation — flare-ups are more likely to arise in areas where the skin is irritated or sweaty. You may need to modify activities or purchase different clothing if irritation occurs. If friction occurs, apply topical medications promptly.
Shower immediately after your workout. Avoid the use of coarse bath tools such as rough washcloths, brushes or loofahs. Use natural, fragrance-free, hypoallergenic products containing few ingredients for hair and skin care after your workout. Apply moisturizers liberally.
Psoriasis and Exercise: The Bottom Line
Exercise clearly offers benefits for individuals with psoriasis. By implementing simple strategies, both skin and overall wellness improve.
Don’t let your psoriasis stand in the way between you and better health. You owe it to yourself to get moving and decrease your risk of flare-ups.