Sunday, February 5, 2012

How to Exercise With Psoriasis

It is clear that exercise can be extremely beneficial to those suffering from psoriasis. But for many, there are some tricky dilemmas when it comes to stepping into that gym. Here are the three major problems and some helpful solutions.

Problems You Might Face Whilst Exercising With Psoriasis

Embarrassment
Often highly-visible, psoriasis can often cause individuals to become extremely self-conscious. Showcasing your red and scaly elbows to an entire row of body-building enthusiasts or trim gym-bunnies is something you would rather avoid!

Discomfort
Having dry, cracked and irritated skin can be very uncomfortable. Exercise can exacerbate affected areas, and the buckets of sweat don't help either!

Fragility
When exercising with psoriasis, one needs to be careful not to injure the skin. Affected areas can be extremely fragile, and when traumatised can take extra-long to heal or worsen. This is known as the Koebner response, which describes how psoriasis spreads to areas of skin injury and trauma, like cuts. Perhaps rugby or extreme sumo wrestling aren't the sports for you., and whatever you do, don't sign up to the UFC!

The Solutions

Exercise at Home
If you feel too uncomfortable at the local swimming pool why not exercise at home? Invest in a treadmill, yoga mat or buy the latest celebrity exercise video! Here, you can work out in the privacy of your own home, and even belt out some of your favourite exercise tunes.

Exercise Outside
Get out of the house and go for a jog, book a tennis court with a friend, or head to the gym before anyone else gets there! Out and about, there won't be as many stares.

Try and Get Over It
The reality is - you can't hide forever! The longer you exercise in the presence of others, the more comfortable it will become. Being open about your psoriasis with other gym regulars can also really help! You underestimate how understanding and accepting people can be.

Wear Appropriate Workout Gear
Wearing loose fitting, light and comfortable clothing has 2 main benefits. Firstly, you can use all those folds to hide your psoriasis. Instead of shorts and a t-shirt, pick up some light sweatpants and a long-sleeved top! Secondly, loose fitting and light work-out clothes will reduce friction and sweating. Time to throw those spandex shorts out!

Moisturise
Moisturise and moisturise! Use your favourite moisturiser to lubricate the places most likely to be aggravated by exercise, and enjoy a gentle shower afterwards so not to aggravate your problem spots.

Choose the Right Exercise
Choosing the right type of exercise is also important. For those with extra sensitive skin you will want to avoid those hard-hitting contact sports in order to reduce the risk of injury. Instead, try some non-contact sports such as tennis, cricket or volleyball. If you suffer from psoriatic arthritis, it is best to stay away from heavy-duty sports and practise some gentle tai-chi or yoga. Other appropriate activities include aerobic-type exercises such as walking, biking, running and swimming.

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