BENEFITS OF EXERCISE FOR RAYNAUD’S PHENOMENON
Raynaud’s phenomenon is a vascular disorder that occurs when blood flow to the extremities is restricted due to vasospasms that cause the blood vessels to tighten or close, restricting the supply of blood and therefore oxygen, resulting in skin discolouration. Symptoms are triggered by cold temperatures and emotional stress. Primary Raynaud’s is diagnosed when there are no underlying causes. Secondary Raynaud’s is a result of other conditions such as scleroderma, lupus, or rheumatoid arthritis.
The benefits of exercise
A regular exercise programme is often prescribed by doctors to help alleviate the symptoms of Raynaud’s phenomenon. Physical activity helps to increase blood flow and circulation and strengthens arterial walls thus helping to counteract the causes of the attacks. As the disease itself is due to a lack of circulation it’s important to ensure your clothing isn’t so tight around the wrists or ankles that it may exacerbate the issue by restricting circulation to the extremities.
Cold temperatures can be dangerous for people who suffer with Raynaud’s. It’s important to wear plenty of warm clothes and thick socks and gloves. For some it’s even wise to avoid exercising in cold temperatures altogether. As always it’s advisable to consult your Doctor before undertaking any new exercise programme and this is especially true if you have been diagnosed with the phenomenon, particularly secondary Raynaud’s.
If you’d like further information on how our trainers can help you to maximise the benefits of exercise please get in touch.