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Psoriasis and keeping fit

Keep FitKeeping fit.

Quite surprisingly, I, of all people, am actually about to write a blog post with the words “keeping fit” in the title! This is hilarious, and probably very silly, because am not in the least bit fit.

Therefore, this blog post may not really be for you if you are:

  1. Already fit,
  2. Looking for actual advice on how to become fit,
  3. Sane

I am about as unhealthy as it is possible to get without actually being dead. I am so unfit, I can get out of breath opening a packet of cookies. On one rare occasion, I decided to try going for a bicycle ride, but after I had pumped the tyres up, I put the bike away again because I was totally knackered. I can get tired just by thinking about exercise.

How things have changed.

There are, of course, reasons that I find myself in this situation, because things were not always this way. In fact, a number of years back, (a fairly large number, to be honest), the exact opposite was true. As a youth I was amazingly fit, and just didn’t realise what I had until it was gone. Whilst I have never run a marathon, I could have done so quite easily back then. I weighed next to nothing, ate like a pig and then burned all those calories back off. Being a bit skinny, I was built for speed rather than power, and was akin to a hyperactive whippet after too much Red Bull.

Life, age, marriage, a mortgage, responsibilities, and other such mundane things do take their toll on the blush of youth – but still, even though they may slow us down, these are not good reasons for someone to lose their fitness entirely.

But a medical condition can have this effect.

RunNot a big deal.

Now, I’m really not going to make a big deal out of this.  After all, I have seen, and been totally amazed by, blind downhill skiers. I have seen people with missing limbs running the 100 meters faster that I could watch it, or running distances that would wear me out if I drove that far in the car. Clearly – dedication, drive and determination can overcome most obstacles. And all I have got to moan about is a mildly irritating skin condition. I should consider myself very fortunate.

So I will be honest and state that my biggest barrier to getting fit is just simple laziness. And my second biggest problem is an intense dislike of those activities which are done purely because they are exercise. The idea of going to the gym for example, or jogging, just leaves me cold.

But I have no beef whatsoever with activities that are done purely for enjoyment, that also happen to be exercise. It is things of that nature that kept me super fit as a youth – skateboarding, BMX bikes, running away after knocking on someone’s door, and other such fun pursuits. And it is these activities that psoriasis is making more difficult now. Although I don’t go bobby-knocking much these days.

Finding the right activity.

In my blog post ‘10 things I can’t do’, I briefly noted two such activities; Golf and cycling, which are now no longer on my social calendar. For each, I can no longer grip (the club or the handlebars), without breaking the skin on my knuckles, and cycling has a most unfortunate adverse effect on my rear end. As you may already know – psoriasis does attack those more ‘delicate’ areas.

So many other things are also out of reach. Tennis, badminton and squash - no can do - for the same reasons as golf. Mountain climbing or surfing are out - hands, knees and elbows are the issue. In fact, I have yet to fine a pleasurable pastime which also gets you fit as a by-product, that I can do without my psoriasis getting in the way. But, being so lazy, I haven’t really looked that hard.

I need your help.

Do you have a fun activity that keeps you fit, that you can do despite your skin condition? Leave a comment and let me know!

Nigel Beckett

9th September 2018

2 thoughts on “Psoriasis and keeping fit

    1. Nigel Beckett

      Thank you for the suggestion! I do have a Tai Chi DVD here somewhere. I started learning this a few years ago - but found that I needed more room than I have available, because I kept kicking the sofa! But I did enjoy the discipline, and perhaps I will dig that DVD out and give it another go.


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