Keeping active
and feeling good

Why should I stay active
with psoriasis?

Being more active can:

  • improve your psoriasis
  • reduce your weight
  • increase your heart health
  • help your mood!

What does that mean for me?

Keeping active releases hormones in the body
that reduce stress, depression and fatigue.

We know that getting active can feel extra tricky when you have psoriasis. You may have been put off being active in the past because of your psoriasis but you do have options so that you can benefit from keeping active.


What does that mean for me?

To get started and boost your confidence, you could do an activity with a friend who knows about your psoriasis. Just having them there can stop you worrying so much about what other people might say or think.

You may not feel great at first but it's important to stick with it as the benefits don't come immediately. Give yourself 6 weeks and see how you feel then.

Activity is…

Anything that gets you moving, and preferably slightly out of breath. Activity is not just organised exercise. For example activity could mean walking, cleaning or gardening.

If it’s been a while since you did any regular activity, start small, for example getting off the bus a few stops earlier or parking in a car park further away from your destination and walking the rest of the way. Build up gradually to walking further.

If you have psoriatic arthritis, cycling (on either a bike or an exercise bike) or other low-impact activities such as pilates or yoga can be a great option.

You can search online for tips and tools to help you become more active


What does this mean for me?

Make a plan for keeping active. Start by thinking through the advantages for YOU. Choose anything that is active and that you enjoy.

Having fun with activity is the most important thing! If you don’t enjoy something having the motivation to carry on with it is very difficult.

Finding a time to be active that fits in with your life and an exercise you like will improve your mood, weight, heart health and potentially your psoriasis.

Patient’s top-tip

Choose clothes that aren’t too tight and that are made out of breathable fabrics rather than cotton t-shirts etc. This will keep you more comfortable when you are active. The problem with cotton is that once it is damp it doesn’t dry quickly and can start to rub against your skin.

There is a lot more choice nowadays. Treat yourself to a couple of sets of clothes made from breathable fabrics so you can use one set while the other is in the wash! For tips and a fun read about gym clothing, check out the Flaky Fashionista’s 'gym bunny' blog.

Top-tips from our health coach

  • Take note of when in your day you have been active, congratulate yourself (a mental ‘pat on the back’!) and keep up the good work!
  • Research shows we often put more effort into things when energising music is on in the background. When you feel in the mood to do something active, dance along to the radio in the kitchen, go for it!
  • It’s worth remembering that things like vigorous housework for an hour can burn as much as 200 calories!

Nurse's top-tip

Moisturising before exercising can stop your skin becoming irritated and also from cracking while exercising.

If some areas are particularly rough or likely to rub while doing a particular exercise, lubricating those areas with thick emollients or petroleum jelly can stop any problems before they begin!

Make notes

Use this space to write down any thoughts about getting active and any changes you want to make.

Action planning
What activities do I think I would enjoy?
What activities do I feel ready to do?
What one activity am I going to start with?
What date am I going to start? What time?
Where exactly will I do it?
How much time will it take?
Who will encourage me? Who can help me?
What date am I going to review my efforts?
How might I overcome any difficulties to getting started and keeping going?

Write down the three
most important
reasons why YOU
want to get active.




For some great ideas about how you can start to become more active you could search for fitness ideas online.

Write them here in the leaflet or put them somewhere you will see them regularly - on the fridge or cupboard door, on your bathroom mirror.

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For further advice or information please consult your healthcare provider or psoriasis patient association in your region


The University of Manchester
Manchester Academic Health Science Centre
psoriasis association
Salford Royal NHS
Funded by NIHR
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