Best Exercises for Gout Sufferers
How to Stretch While Suffering From Gout
- If there is no gout flare-up in your feet, stand with feet flat on the floor, about 10 inches apart. Let one arm fall limp to one side and reach to the sky with the other, stretch the arm over the head and bend to the side. Straighten and reach to the sky with both arms. Bend over toward the floor and drop arms as low as they will drop without straining. Reach to the side with the other arm. Arch back backwards so your arms drop behind the body and bend backwards slightly. Let hands drop and roll shoulders forward for 30 seconds and backwards for 30 seconds.
- Because it is very difficult to get up from the floor with gout or obesity, do hamstring stretches on stairs or a low stool. Stand facing the stairs with one foot against them, touching the stairs with your big toe. With your opposite arm reaching over your head, try to touch your toes of the foot on the stairs. Try three times and repeat with your other leg and arm.
Afterwards, follow with a rotation activity:
- Make a fist and roll your wrist clockwise and counter-clockwise for 30 seconds each direction. Repeat with the other wrist.
- Sit straight on chair and look to the side. Slowly move your head down so your chin touches your chest, then slowly move your head from side to side. Rotate your neck back up slowly until it's facing the sky.
- Sitting on a chair, hold one leg up and rotate your ankle clockwise and counter-clockwise for 30 seconds in each direction. Repeat with your other leg.
Fitness is relative and gout sufferers have many limits that must be respected. For some, limiting to stretching and rotations may be good enough for a few days. If exercise is limited to stretching and rotation, it should be repeated several times per day. Soon, mobility will increase and a more effective exercise routine will be possible.
Good fitness routines for those trying to move more while suffering from gout or obesity are low-impact cardiovascular exercises such as walking, stair climbing or mild dance exercise. It is recommended to start with 10 minutes every day, but some benefit from starting with as few as 2-4 minutes and working up to the 10 minutes. Starting slow will permit an ultimate goal of 30 minutes of fitness daily.
Aerobic exercise is at the center of every exercise plan. This is what will help you burn calories, strengthen your heart, keep your joints mobile, and metabolize acid in the bloodstream, all at the same time.
But how hard do you have to huff and puff before you improve your gout? Not as hard as you might think.
Low-impact exercise is a good plan to start, especially if you’re new to working out, or you’re prone to gout attacks. Walking and biking are good ways to get your heart rate up without taxing your bones too much, but if you’re really worried about joint pressure, opt for a few laps in the pool: swimming provides the resistance you need without the hard impact that can hurt.
Resistance Band Strengthening
Strength training should factor into every workout routine, since it will build your muscle and rev up your metabolism for lasting positive results.
However, free weights aren’t for everyone, and using machines can be tricky, even downright dangerous, if you’re not familiar with them. Making use of your own bodyweight (and a couple of simple tools) is a great alternative.
Resistance bands are thick, flat, stretchy belts that can be held, wrapped or secured to provide some resistance to a simple movement. For instance, standing in the middle of the band and pulling each end up with your hands can be an easy way to work out your arm muscles.
There’s a huge variety of bands out there, and just as many ways to use them, so take the time to speak with a trainer or fitness expert before you begin. Good form is vital if you want to target the proper muscles and void injury, so don’t skip out on helpful instruction.
Focus on Frequency, Not Distance
When you’re beginning to see results and enjoying all the extra energy, it’s natural to want to push yourself towards a goal. Motivation is wonderful, and you should definitely keeping aiming higher, but be careful what you focus on.
Running a marathon won’t get rid of your gout for good, but when you stick with a regular exercise plan — like a 30-minute stretch of cardio, three to four days a week — results will begin to add up, and you might just see your gout fade into the background.