Physical activity is important for your overall health and especially so if you have psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis. Exercise can help you maintain a healthy weight and lower your risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

U.S. fitness guidelines recommend you get at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise at least five times a week, plus additional strength training. If time is an issue, spread your activity during the day with three 10-minute blocks of moderate to vigorous activity.

Exercise doesn't have to be a long, boring workout. Pick an activity you enjoy and you are more likely to stick with it.

If you are in pain from psoriatic arthritis, you might want to begin your exercise program in water. The water's buoyancy can prevent you from putting stress on your hips, knees and spine but allow you to build strength.

Talk to your doctor before beginning any new exercise program. Ask your doctor, instructor or physical therapist about how to adapt for your skin condition or psoriatic arthritis. If you have psoriatic arthritis, you want to avoid activities that involve prolonged standing or walking.

Here are some tips to get more exercise into your day:

  • Schedule 10-minute breaks in your planner or calendar and go for a short walk.
  • Sitting at your desk? Do ankle rolls, heel/toe raises and knee lifts every hour or so.
  • Watching TV? Do stretches and floor exercises or walk when commercials come on.
  • Park further from the door when you go to work, shopping or doctor's appointments. Never use the drive-up ATM at the bank. Get out of the car and walk to the ATM.
  • Take the stairs rather than the elevator.

Range of Motion Exercises

When you have psoriatic arthritis, you should perform range-of-motion exercises regularly to help you maintain your flexibility and prevent you from getting too stiff. For range-of-motion exercises that can keep you moving and help reduce pain, visit Be Joint Smart, a resource created by The Arthritis Foundation and the National Psoraisis Foundation specifically for people with psoriatic arthritis.

Do you have questions about how to incorporate exercise into your routine?

NPF’s Patient Navigation Center is the world's first, personalized support center for psoriatic disease. Our Patient Navigators can help you find exercises that work for your lifestyle and support your journey to a healthy life with psoriatic disease. For free and confidential assistance, contact our Patient Navigators »