Staying active is an important part of keeping a healthy lifestyle.

For some, exercise is enjoyable and easy to incorporate into their day. For others, it might seem too challenging, or even impossible, to commit to a daily workout routine. This can be especially true for people with a chronic condition like psoriasis.

Having psoriasis can feel like a full-time job. You may not feel like you have the time or energy to be active. Yet, even a little moderate activity during the day can be helpful. Read on for tips on working out if you have severe psoriasis.

A good workout is great for burning calories and building muscle. Exercise can also have benefits other than keeping you in physical shape, including:

  • reducing inflammation in the body
  • improving your mood and energy level
  • helping you manage stress and anxiety
  • improving sleep

Feeling confident in your body can be hard for anyone. When you have psoriasis, exercise may also provide you with a boost of confidence that enables you to feel more comfortable in your body.

When it comes to picking the right workout, it’s best to find something you enjoy. That way, you’re more likely to keep it in your daily routine. When picking a workout, consider the following:

  • Do you prefer group classes or solo activities?
  • Do you have any physical limitations?
  • What classes are available in your area?

If you’re new to working out, start with something comfortable for you. Don’t set unrealistic goals. It’s OK to start small. After you build more strength and confidence, you can increase the intensity of your workout.

The four categories of physical activity are:

  • Cardio and endurance. This type of activity gets your heart rate up. Some examples are brisk walking, jogging, biking, or dancing.
  • Strength training. These are activities that build your muscles to keep you strong. Examples include weightlifting as well as weight-bearing activities such as pushups or lunges.
  • Stretching and flexibility. Stretching exercises work to keep you more limber and mobile to help prevent injury. This category includes yoga and Pilates.
  • Balance. Being more stable can help to reduce your risk of falling. Yoga, tai chi, and barre are examples of balance activities. You can also simply practice standing on one foot, keeping something sturdy nearby to grab onto, just in case.

Some forms of exercise are easier on your joints, which might be helpful when considering a new workout if you have psoriasis. A few examples are yoga, gentle walking, biking, swimming, or water aerobics.

As you probably already know, keeping your skin moisturized is a major part of managing your psoriasis. Drinking water before, during, and after an activity can minimize moisture loss through sweat. You can also protect irritated areas of skin with a thick lubricant such as petroleum jelly.

Many people with psoriasis find that sweat irritates their skin. Clothing should be soft and loose-fitting to avoid irritation. Even soft fabric that’s constantly rubbing against your skin can get uncomfortable.

After your workout, you may want to shower right away to get rid of any sweat. Remember to use warm or cold water, not hot water. Pat your skin dry and moisturize within a few minutes after showering to prevent drying out too much.

Working out can be fun and enjoyable. Start by choosing an activity that you enjoy and feels good for your body. You may need to try a few different things before you find something that fits your lifestyle.

Take extra care to protect your skin. You can do this by wearing loose clothing. Stay hydrated by drinking water during your workout. And, always moisturize when you’re finished. Start slowly and celebrate each accomplishment.