Frequently Asked Questions

Are there exercises I could do to keep myself healthy?

Just like everyone else, people with lupus need to exercise regularly or engage in some kind of movement, and most people with lupus can take part in some form of activity. All exercise plans should be discussed with your physician or exercise specialist in order to maximize results and minimize possible harm. Activities such as walking, swimming, bicycling, low-impact aerobics, certain types of yoga, Pilates, stretching, or using an elliptical exercise machine will strengthen your bones and tone your muscles without aggravating inflamed joints, while also helping to lower the risk for developing osteoporosis. It’s also a good idea to vary the exercises, so that different muscle groups all get a regular workout.

If you are experiencing swollen joints or muscle pain, you should avoid or at least limit activities that may be demanding on joints and muscles, such as jogging, weightlifting, or high-impact aerobics.

If you find that you tire easily when you exercise, you should pace yourself. The most important thing to remember is to not give up exercising, as muscles that are not used will quickly become weak.

Regular exercise and even simple low-impact movement will:

  • reduce or minimize stress
  • help to keep your heart healthy
  • improve muscle stiffness
  • increase muscle strength
  • help prevent osteoporosis
  • increase your range of motion

Medically reviewed on June 20, 2013

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