Managing Lupus with Everyday Exercise

July 27, 2018

With an estimated 1.5 million Americans living with Lupus, it’s important to know how to live your everyday life, which includes diet, lifestyle, and exercise. Exercise can be a key factor in taking back control when you are dealing with chronic pain, joint aches, and inflammation. As well as pain management related to Lupus, regular exercise is important for good sleeping habits, maintaining energy levels, keeping a healthy body weight, and increasing bone density.

It may seem a daunting task to undertake exercise when you are experiencing painful symptoms related to Lupus, but engaging in gentle exercises with regular breaks can be the key to giving yourself a positive outlook and incorporating it into your everyday life.


It’s important to enjoy the kind of exercise you do, as this means you are more likely to do it regularly. Gardening can provide a form of gentle exercise you can undertake for as long as you feel comfortable doing it. Make sure you aren’t putting any strain on any particular joints or muscles, and wear protection from the sun on a hot day.


Since its introduction to the world less than a hundred years ago, Pilates has seen a surge in recognition and popularity. Combining the movements of yoga and gymnastics, pilates focuses on the technique and breathing involved in each activity. The key is not quantity of movements, but the quality. You slowly build strength in deliberate, slow movements which can significantly improve muscle strength, bone density, flexibility, and overall health. These can directly help the symptoms of Lupus, reducing muscle and joint pain, and keeping weight loss or gain in check.

Walking or jogging

Aerobic exercise is an important lifestyle choice for people with Lupus. Aerobic exercise is anything that raises your heart rate and gets you slightly out of breath, which can vary from person to person. If jogging gets you clutching at your chest and stopping every thirty seconds, then it’s not for you. Try a fast-paced walk to get your heart rate up. Listen to music to keep you motivated. Aerobic exercise is proven to prevent fatigue, raise energy levels, and help improve sleeping habits, all of which make living with Lupus that bit easier.

Lifting weights

Don’t be put off by the way this sounds, lifting weights can be done by anyone, anywhere. This may mean using dumbbells at the gym after your workout, or it can mean picking up a couple of five pound food cans while watching TV in your living room. Engaging in slow, repetitive movement that work on the muscles can increase your strength and your bone density. Another advantage to lifting weights is increasing blood circulation and energy levels, which can fight the fatigue people with Lupus often experience.

As with all exercise you undertake when you have Lupus, know your limits. Choosing an exercise that you enjoy or get pleasure from is a good idea, because you feel comfortable doing it. Even if you’re not a fan of exercise, it’s important not to push your body, as this can have an adverse effect. Take regular breaks, drink water, and begin gently.

Written by, Jess Walter, Freelance Writer