It is clear that exercise can be extremely beneficial to those suffering from psoriasis. Just read our article on why exercise helps psoriasis! But for many, there are some tricky dilemmas when it comes to stepping into that gym. Here are the three most common challenges people face when it comes to exercise and psoriasis.
3 Problems When It Comes To Exercise and Psoriasis
Embarrassment: Often highly-visible, psoriasis can often cause individuals to become extremely self-conscious. Showcasing your red legs and scaly elbows to an entire row of body-building enthusiasts or trim gym-bunnies is something you would rather avoid! And it’s perfectly understandable, with gyms being so image-orientated. For a while, I refused to go myself, too, until my perspectives changed.
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! I always noticed that hard, vigorous exercise always “heated” me up so much that my psoriasis patches looked like hot, burning coals. The extra blood circulation really makes psoriasis stand out! Plus, it’s harder to lift weights if your hands are all cracked to pieces. That’s one of the biggest hurdle to exercise and psoriasis.
Fragility: When it comes to exercise and psoriasis, one needs to be careful not to injure the skin. Affected areas can be extremely fragile, and when traumatized, can take extra-long to heal. Even worse, it can make your psoriasis spread to the affected area. 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 isn’t the sport for us psoriatics! And, whatever you do, don’t choose the UFC! Anyways, here are some ways of solving those problems you may be experience with exercise and psoriasis.
6 Solutions To Make Working Out Fun Again!
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! You can work out in the privacy of your own home, and even belt out some of your favourite exercise tunes. This is my chosen option. It’s harder to motivate yourself when you’re alone, but there are loads of benefits. I’m currently doing the Insanity program, which I love!
Exercise Outside: Get out of the house and go for a jog or book a tennis court with a friend! I’ve started running in the early morning on Saturdays, and I enjoy my time immensely. The sun’s slowly rising out of bed, everyone else is still asleep, and I’m there, huffing and puffing down the road! I don’t mind a few people seeing my psoriasis outside.
Try and Get Over It: The reality is – you can’t hide forever! That’s the naked truth, my psoriasis friends. The longer you exercise in the presence of others, the more comfortable it will become. This is usually the hardest part about exercise and psoriasis for many people who think it makes them look ugly. But that’s not true. Just tell people what psoriasis is and you’ll be surprised how accepting they can be! I’ve got a few friends who are total gym fanatics, and they just shrugged it off when I told them!
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 an airy, cotton, long-sleeved top! Secondly, loose fitting and light work-out clothes will reduce friction and sweating. Time to throw those spandex shorts out (yes, your pert bum will miss them, but your skin won’t). When it comes to exercise and psoriasis, you have to dress right!
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. Keep a tub of vaseline handy in your workout bag, slosh some one beforehand and after you shower-off, and you will feel one hundred times better, trust me!
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. I do a bit of high-impact plyometric training, which works for me; but the most important thing is to warm up properly!
Psoriasis does not need to hold you back from maintaining a healthy and daily exercise routine. There are no excuses, guys and gals. What are you experiences when it comes to exercise and psoriasis?