How to Get Motivated to Exercise When You’re Not Feeling Your Best
Cheryl G. has suffered from psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis her entire life. After having three kids and settling into what she calls “an inactive lifestyle,” her flares worsened and became more frequent. Finally, after her weight ballooned and her joints stiffened even more, she knew she had to do something before permanent damage set in. So she started exercising. “I make myself do something active every day, even through the pain,” she says.
Multiple studies show that exercise is crucial to the long-term health of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis patients, who are at an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, mental health issues, and more. Plus, inflammation can weaken muscles and cause joint stiffness. “Movement is essential to the homeostasis of the body and the mind,” says Joanna Nobbe, a physical therapist in New York City who works with many chronically ill patients. “This is true for everybody, whether you have a rheumatic condition or not. Physical activity is a nonnegotiable need for every human.”
Even though it can hurt to move when you have psoriatic arthritis, exercise actually lessens psoriatic pain in the long run by strengthening muscles. So, the last thing you want to be is sedentary. “We really have to push ourselves to ‘use it or lose it’ with this bloody disease,” Kim W. laments.