feet in swimming pool indicating low impact exercise for gout sufferers

When you are living with gout, a form of arthritis caused by a build-up of uric acid crystals in the joints - a lack of exercise can cause a vicious cycle that worsens the painful effects of the condition. Gout makes your joints hurt and so you may not feel like exercising. 

However, lack of exercise can make you less flexible, weakens your muscles and joints, and can result in bone loss. Exercise can help you keep you to manage your gout and promote faster healing. The right exercises can reduce pain and boost your energy. Exercising can also keep you in shape by helping you to maintain a healthy body weight and building healthy bones, joints, and muscles. 


The right exercises can even help reverse the effects of gout. It will also build more muscle, increase bone density and boost your overall level of fitness. Regular exercise can make you will feel stronger and have more energy. 

The following five exercise tips can help reduce the painful symptoms and recurrence of gout. It's essential they are performed with good form and smooth motion. Always remember to consult with your doctor before starting an exercise regime. 

1.Low-impact Cardio/Aerobic Exercises. 

Cardiovascular exercise will help boost your lung function and your body's ability to use oxygen to metabolise acid in the body. Most aerobic exercises will also strengthen the lower body muscles. Choose low impact aerobic exercises such as Fitness walking. Stair climbing. Dance exercise. Start with 10 minutes every day and add a few minutes each day. Your goal is 30 to 45 minutes a day, 5 days a week.


    Swimming and water aerobics are a great way to increase mobility and the functioning of the joints. When you are moving in water, there is less stress on your joints.You should start slowly and then gradually increase the time you spend swimming. It is vital to remember that speed and distance are not as important as the amount of time you spend swimming. Build up a regular routine by swimming two days per week for 15 minutes. Eventually you should aim to swim for 30 to 45 minutes.

    3.Resistance Training.

    By engaging in exercises that require the use of resistance, you can work your muscles against a force. This type of workout will improve strength and balance as it challenges them to grow stronger while staying. The other significant factor with this type of physical activity is that it provides a range of motion with limited impact.


    Simple stretches will allow the muscles to continue with their strength building and flexibility without unwanted contraction.

    • Wrists - Make a fist with your hand. Roll your wrists both clockwise and anti-clockwise for 30 seconds each.
    • Shoulders - Place your hands by your side and roll your shoulders forward for 30 seconds and then roll them backward for another 30 seconds.
    • Back and hamstrings - Sit on the floor with your legs straight out in front of you then reach forward to touch your toes. Hold for about 15 seconds and try 3 more times.

    5.Weight loss exercise. 

    Simple weight loss exercise can help you combat persistent gout symptoms. A combination of muscle building exercise alongside mid-tempo aerobic  exercise can have a positive impact.

    It is important to keep a close eye on nutrition and diet as a way of fuelling your new exercise routines. Normally sessions do not need to be any longer that 20 minutes at a time.

    It is always worth considering water aerobics as a way of limiting impact to the affected joints.

    How do I start to exercise with Gout?

    It is worth noting that if you are amid a painful gout flare up exercise is not recommended. These ideas are targeted at people with gout that require a long-term management programme.

    If you are suffering with a gout attack, please get medical advice via your GP or 111 services immediately as the sooner you address the problem the sooner the symptoms will begin to relent.

    If you are struggling with getting advice for long term management please find this useful guide via Arthritis Action, it can help you locate Osteopaths and Physios in your area.

    Remember Gout is much more than just a ‘sore big toe’ it can be debilitating if not dealt with quickly and correctly.


    Any information of a medical nature on this website is given to provide a general understanding of a medical condition or conditions. No patient/doctor relationship is to be inferred and you should seek medical advice from a qualified practitioner. Nothing on this site should be used as a substitute for competent advice from a qualified medical practitioner.


    1 comment

    Mary clelland

    Just woke up on friday morning with a really. Sore foot.thought it was my Bunion that was giving me so much pain,
    It was not until I showed it to my Daughter the Next day that she said to Me it looks like gout have had joint problems for a while but did not Realise it’s a form of Arthritis due to a bad diet in the gut,

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