Every time I finish exercising, I immediately check out two things in the mirror:
1. Do I finally have the thighs of a supermodel?
2. Have I sweated away my spots?
Oddly enough neither has happened yet, so I guess I have to go back tomorrow. I don’t literally mean that I believe actual sweat will make my psoriasis spots go away, but I do believe that exercise can play a role in helping to manage psoriasis symptoms. In fact, a lot of times sweat irritates psoriasis so its important to shower right after a workout.
“Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t shoot their husbands, they just don’t.” – Elle Woods, Legally Blonde
So even though I’m not literally sweating away my spots, exercise is doing its part in controlling my psoriasis, both mentally and physically. Choose exercises that make you happy, that you know you’ll stick to and look forward to. I’m a huge fan of exercising outside or taking classes. The dancier the class, the better! That’s why I especially love Zumba (if you’re in the Boston area, check out my all-time favorite class – “Zumba with Maeve“). It doesn’t feel like exercise and I can look forward to dancing out my daily stress! Yoga is also a favorite practice, giving you permission to zen and focus, for at least the duration of class.
There are multiple sources that study how exercise can play a role in the treatment of psoriasis. How? Exercise helps you control your weight, which is important to people with psoriasis. “People with psoriasis are on average 7% heavier than those without the disease,” Alan Menter, MD, chairman of the division of dermatology at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas, tells WebMD.
Like a lot of psoriasis symptoms, how the two are related is not exactly clear. But one likely link is inflammation. Obesity can lead to chronic inflammation, which may worsen your psoriasis. Also, the body tends to make more fat cells in response to increased inflammation, making it even harder to control weight, says Paul S. Yamauchi, MD, PhD, spokesman for the National Psoriasis Foundation and medical director of the Dermatology Institute and Skin Care Center of Santa Monica, Calif.
So however you choose to get your exercise, get out there a few times a week, it’s worth it!