Most of us hate it, but all of us know that exercise is super important when it comes to leading a healthy lifestyle. After a diagnosis with Psoriatic Arthritis (PsA), exercise may not be the first thing on your mind, but low-impact exercise and anything that gets your heart rate up and joints moving can help psoriatic arthritis symptoms. Exercise can also combat developing additional conditions related to Psoriatic Arthritis.
Movement helps to:
- Keep joints limber
- Keep tendons looser
- Reduce inflammation
- Reduce pain
So, you have Psoriatic Arthritis. Here are some low impact exercises you can do!
(Keep in mind that you should consult with your physician before beginning a new exercise routine. Start out small with any of these exercises and work your way up to doing them for longer times.)
Walking: Try walking in short bursts of 10 minutes and gradually try to work your way up to an hour per day. A gradual approach will help to prevent injuries. If you are swollen, you can always use a walking aid or shoe insert to lessen the stress put on your joints.
Cycling: Indoor and outdoor cycling is a great low-impact exercise! You can use either an upright bike or a horizontal bike, whichever you prefer. Make sure you have your bike adjusted correctly and are using a proper pedaling technique.
Yoga: Yoga is also a great low-impact exercise. It can help to relieve pain, relax muscles, and ease stiff joints. When doing yoga, you use controlled movements and deep breathing. Performing stretches can also improve range of motion, balance, and mobility.
Swimming: Any type of water exercise can help immensely to relieve pain! Your body is supported by the water while you move which helps to relieve joint tension and pain. Swimming can help build strength and flexibility while being a great cardiovascular workout.
Tai Chi: Performing this gentle martial arts exercise makes your body move in calm fluid movements. This allows you to relax while maintaining mobility and increasing your range of motion.
Strength Training: Lifting weights increases muscle strength, which helps to reduce stress on your joints. Start small, with light weights and more repetitions. Then, work your way up to using heavier weights.
When you start exercising, you may experience pain and discomfort. There will likely be some discomfort, especially at first, as you work through joint pain caused by psoriatic arthritis. Try your best to work through the discomfort but listen to your body – it knows when enough is enough!
Icing between workouts and taking ibuprofen, or other anti-inflammatory drugs, may help to combat muscle and joint soreness. Remember to communicate with your doctor if you have intense pain while exercising.
Don’t forget to take it slow! Gradually work your way into a more intense workout routine. Learn to set goals and have them be part of your regular routine. Finding a workout buddy can help hold you accountable and keep exercising fun!
If you or someone you love has PsA, current clinical studies may be an option that could help you find relief. Submit your information and a member of our clinical team will reach out with more information. Click here to learn more!