Exercise and psoriasis

Regular exercise to help manage psoriasis

How regular exercise can help you manage your psoriasis

Regular exercise is important for your overall health and to maintain a healthy weight.1 It is particularly important if you have psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis, because being overweight can make your symptoms worse.2 Exercise can lift your mood by causing the release of endorphins – your body’s feel-good chemicals.3 This can help you manage any stress and anxiety you might be feeling due to your condition.3,4

It is recommended you exercise for 30 minutes 5 times a week.5 You may not feel like exercising if your psoriasis is severe and you are suffering from pain, particularly if you have psoriatic arthritis. However, the correct type of exercise can help manage your pain.6 Speak to your doctor before starting any new exercise programme.1

There are plenty of ways of including exercise into your normal routine. Take the stairs rather than the lift, leave the car at home for short trips, or stand up and stretch while watching TV.1 Housework and gardening are also great ways to fit exercise into your day.7

You might like to try calming exercises such as yoga or tai chi.4 Walking, cycling and swimming are gentle on your joints and may be suitable for you if you have psoriatic arthritis.8 You may feel up to more high impact activities such as running and tennis.8

If you want to go to the gym or swimming pool but feel vulnerable when your psoriasis is exposed, there are ways to manage these feelings. It may help to take things one step at a time. First simply visit to look at the facilities. Then try a 10 minute session, then 20 minutes, and so on.

Don’t forget it is important to pick an exercise you enjoy, so you are more likely to stick to it.1 Exercising with a friend9 or while listening to music can make it more fun.

Regular exercise may help not only your overall wellbeing, but your psoriasis too.1

People playing football

This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your doctor or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

UK/IE MAT-27012 Date of prep: July 2019

  1. www.psoriasis.org/treating-psoriasis/complementary-and-alternative/exercise (accessed July 2019).
  2. www.healthline.com/health/psoriasis#psoriasis-treatments (accessed July 2019).
  3. www.nhs.uk/conditions/clinical-depression/living-with/ (accessed July 2019).
  4. www.healthline.com/health/psoriasis-stress#condition-management (accessed July 2019).
  5. www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise (accessed July 2019).
  6. H Loof and UB Johansson. J Clin Nurse 2019; 28: 321-9.
  7. www.healthline.com/health/exercise-and-weight-loss#calorie (accessed July 2019).
  8. www.healthline.com/health/psoriatic-arthritis#pictures (accessed July 2019).
  9. P Dolan. Happiness by Design. 2014. ISBN: 978-0-241-00310-7.

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