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How to Exercise If You Have Gout

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Gout is characterized by painful swelling and inflammation of the joints, in the knee, ankle, finger, wrist, elbow and big toes. Painful attacks of gout is caused by the build-up of uric acid that forms crystals at the joints, due to the inefficient excretion via urine or over production in the body.

Exercise may help to prevent the occurrence of gout. But, even exercise can pose risks of inflammation in the joints. Consult your doctor if you have gout, and discuss exercise as a means of prevention.

Below are the best exercises you can try if you have gout:

1. Stretching

Stretching help promotes the decrease of build up of uric acid in the body. Also stretching exercises help increase the range of motion and flexibility in the joints.

Back and Hamstrings
a. Sit on the floor, with your legs stretch out in front of you. Then reach forward to touch your toes. Hold this position for about 15 seconds and try 3 more times.

Shoulders
a. First take a few minutes to take all your major upper body joints through complete range of motion exercises.
b. Then roll your shoulders forward for 30 seconds and then roll them backward for another 30 seconds, while placing your hands by your side.

Wrists
a. Roll your wrists both clockwise and anti clockwise for 30 seconds each, while making a fist with your hand.

2. Swimming

Swimming and water aerobics is a great way to increase mobility and functioning of the joints without the full impact of gravity. This is because, when you are moving in the water, there is less stress on your joints.

How To:
a. Start slowly and gradually increase your total time spent swimming. Always remember that speed and distance are not as important as the amount of time spent swimming.
b. Start with two days per week for at least 15 minutes. The goal is to swim for 30-45 minutes.

3. Low-Impact Aerobic or Cardio Exercise

Cardiovascular exercise helps to increase the body’s ability to use oxygen to metabolize acid in the body and improves lung function. It also help strengthen the lower body muscles.

How To:
a. Opt to choose low impact aerobic exercises such as stair climbing, fitness walking and dance exercise.
b. Start with 10 minutes daily and add a few minutes each day.

Note: Your goal is 30-45 minutes per day, 5 days a week.

If you have not been exercising, do not suddenly start a vigorous exercise plan as this might trigger a gout attack. If you are not sure how to start, seek professional help, along with the treatment plan that your doctor has prescribed.