Exercising with Gout

Patient Expert

When you are living with gout, a lack of exercise can cause a vicious cycle that worsens and intensifies the painful effects of the disease. Gout makes your joints hurt and that makes you less likely to get up and get moving. This inactivity in turn makes you less flexible, weakens your muscles and joints, and can result in bone loss. These changes amplify the painful symptoms of gout.

Exercise can absolutely help you keep your gout in check and promote faster healing. The right exercises can reduce pain and increase your energy as well as keep you in shape by maintaining a healthy body weight and building healthy bones, joints, and muscles.

The right kind of regular exercise can help reverse the effects of gout. It will also build more muscle, increase bone density and boost your overall level of fitness. With regular exercise, you will feel stronger and have more energy. Also, it is important to remember that the most effective 1-2 punch is a healthy diet combined with an exercise plan to help lower uric acid levels.

The exercises described below will help reduce the painful symptoms and recurrence of gout. It's essential that you perform the exercises with good form and smooth motion. For strength training, I recommend using elastic bands which are easier on your joints. The very last thing you want to do is injure or cause inflammation of your joints with bad form or exercising incorrectly.

Note: Always remember to consult with your doctor before starting an exercise program.


LOW-IMPACT CARDIO/AEROBIC EXERCISES

Cardiovascular exercise will help improve lung function and increase your body's ability to use oxygen to metabolize acid in the body. In addition, most aerobic exercises will strengthen the lower body muscles.


How To Do: Choose low impact aerobic exercises such as fitness walking, stair climbing or dance exercise. Start with 10 minutes every day and add a few minutes each day. Your goal is 30 to 45 minutes a day 5 days a week.

Swimming

There is a reason they call swimming the fountain of youth. Swimming and water aerobics is a fantastic way to increase mobility and functioning of the joints without the full impact of gravity. When you're moving in water, there is less stress on your joints.


How To Do: Start slowly and gradually increase your total time spent swimming. It's essential to remember that speed and distance are not as important as the amount of time you spend swimming. Build up a good routine by starting with two days per week for 15 minutes. Your goal is to swim for 30 to 45 minutes.


STRETCHING


Shoulders

Take a few minutes to take all your major upper body joints through complete range of motion exercises. Place your hands by your side and roll your shoulders forward for 30 seconds and then roll them backward for another 30 seconds.


Wrists

Make a fist with your hand and roll your wrists both clockwise and anti clockwise for 30 seconds each.


Back and hamstrings

Sit on the floor with your legs straight out in front of you and reach forward to touch your toes. Hold for about 15 seconds and try 3 more times.