Can exercise help relieve symptoms of gout?
Gout is a form of arthritis that affects millions of people around the world. It can be extremely painful, and often requires long-term treatment to manage symptoms, which can include swollen, hot joints. Gout can be triggered by certain things such as drinking too much alcohol, a high temperature or becoming dehydrated, but it can also come on without warning.
Fortunately, there are ways to manage this condition. Whilst it might not be your first thought when it comes to joint pain, exercise may actually be able to help relieve gout symptoms, if done in the right way. Let's take a look at how exercise can benefit those suffering from gout and what types of exercises can provide the most relief.
How exercise can help
Exercise has many benefits for those suffering from gout. First and foremost, it helps reduce inflammation in the body, which can help ease pain associated with gout flare-ups. Regular physical activity also helps maintain a healthy weight. This is important for those struggling with gout, since being overweight increases your risk for developing the condition or experiencing more frequent flare-ups.
Exercise can also help increase energy levels and improve mental health while reducing stress levels – all of which have been linked to an improvement in overall health and well-being among those dealing with gout.
Mental health benefits
Gout can become an all-consuming condition, which can leave sufferers feeling depressed or lonely as they try to balance their health needs with everyday life. Exercising releases endorphins in the body, which can help reduce stress levels and give a sense of calm. It can also increase self-esteem, as positive thought patterns begin to develop from seeing progress in physical activity goals.
It also helps lift mood and energy levels due to the improved circulation that it creates in the body. With better blood flow comes more oxygen to the brain, providing more clarity and focus throughout the day. People who are going through chronic pain and inflammation may benefit from being active by learning how to control their symptoms with physical activities they enjoy.
Types of exercises that can help
Not all forms of exercise are beneficial when it comes to managing gout symptoms. High intensity activities like running or jumping should be avoided as they can put too much strain on joints affected by gout, which could cause further inflammation and pain.
However, low impact exercises such as walking, swimming, and cycling are great options as they put less strain on joints but still get your heart rate up enough to reap the benefits of physical activity. Gentle strengthening exercises like yoga or Pilates can also help build muscle strength and flexibility without putting too much strain on your joints.
A better future
Exercise is an important component in managing the symptoms of gout, as well as boosting mental health. While high intensity activities should be avoided due to their potential to exacerbate joint pain due to extra strain on affected areas, low impact exercises such as walking, swimming or cycling are great options for those looking to start exercising regularly to help manage their symptoms of gout.