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Magazine

Get Active in Fighting Your Psoriasis

May 26, 2020 · 6 min read

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Staying active can help us ward off numerous health conditions. Could psoriasis be one of them? Regular, vigorous exercise has been found to reduce the risk of developing psoriasis and control flare-ups in current patients. Let’s look at how the two are related…

Exercise and inflammation

Increasing physical activity helps to reduce your body’s level of cytokines, a pro-inflammatory protein. So, exercise can prevent chronic inflammation, decreasing the severity and incidence of psoriasis flare-ups

Exercise and body weight

Exercising regularly can also help patients to lose excess body weight, which is another contributing factor to psoriasis flare-ups. Inflammatory markers are reduced in patients of a healthy weight, reducing psoriasis severity along with it.

Exercise and mental health

Another benefit of exercise is that it releases endorphins that help to boost your mood. Symptoms of depression and low self-esteem are common among psoriasis patients, and exercise can be an effective way of fighting these.

Tips for exercising with psoriasis

The recommendation is that 3-4 hours per week of vigorous exercise helps to control psoriasis. Lighter exercises like walking may not be enough to see the same results, but if your fitness levels are low, it is better to start with gentle activity and build it up.

Try to avoid exercises that involve a lot of contacts and especially friction on the skin. For example, lying on the floor to do sit-ups may irritate the skin on your back and worsen plaques. Patients with psoriatic arthritis should avoid high-impact exercises like running as these are tough on the joints. yoga and pilates are good examples of low-impact exercises to try.

Tight workout clothing may irritate your skin, so opt for loose, breathable clothes instead. The gym is a great place to get fit, but if you’re feeling self-conscious, then there’s plenty you can do at home, too. Buy a set of dumbbells and find a workout video on YouTube to follow. Make sure you shower soon after exercising as the sweat may irritate your skin.

Don’t let psoriasis hold you back.

Getting active could be the perfect supplement to your psoriasis treatment.

 

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  • Kassem Sharif, Abdulla Watad, Nicola Luigi Bragazzi, Nicola Luigi Bragazzi, Micheal Lichtbroun, Howard Amital, Yehuda Shoenfeld. Physical activity and autoimmune diseases: Get moving and manage the disease (2018)
  • Zheng Q, Sun XY, Miao X, et al. Association between physical activity and risk of prevalent psoriasis: A MOOSE-compliant meta-analysis. Medicine (Baltimore). (2018)