Is Walking Good for Gout?

If you suffer from gout, you know what this feels like. Some of the most common symptoms of gout include severe attacks of pain, marked swelling, and severe tenderness of the joints. This often takes place at the bottom of the big toe. Sometimes, these attacks even occur at night, causing the big toe to feel like they are on fire.

During a gout attack, exercising is likely the last thing you want to do; however, exercise can actually be good for gout. On the other hand, there are certain times when exercise can also be good for gout. There are a few points that you should keep in mind regarding exercise and gout.

Is Walking Good for Gout?

Yes! Walking is good for gout. For people who suffer from gout, it is important to take steps to reduce pain, increase the range of motion of your joints, and improve your energy. Walking is good for all of the above. Walking can even help you lose weight, which is another important part of managing gout. On the other hand, when and how you should walk is a bit more complicated.

First, if you are having an active gout attack, you should NOT exercise that joint. Some of the symptoms of an active gout attack include:

  • You have joints that are more swollen than usual
  • Those swollen joints appear to be red
  • There is a feeling of warmth radiating from those joints
  • The pain you are feeling is far worse than usual

These are signs that there is an active attack of inflammation brewing in those joints. During an active gout attack, you want to try to avoid moving the joint as much as possible. You should also try to apply ice to your affected joints in 20-minute increments to try to reduce your joints’ swelling. This could also help you control your pain, shortening the duration of an active gout attack. Most gout attacks will last anywhere from three to ten days. Then, if you manage your gout appropriately, you might go months between gout attacks.

This is where exercise is important. If you have gout, you want to do everything possible to keep gout attacks at bay. There are a handful of key ways that you can reduce the frequency of your gout attacks.

5 Activities to Manage a Gout Flare Up

If you are having an acute gout attack, this usually arises due to uric acid (or similar) crystals that build up between the joints. These crystals impact the cartilage, bones, muscle tissues of the joints, leading to severe pain. The good news is that there are a few activities that you can complete to help you manage gout attacks and keep them at bay.

Some of the top activities that you should engage in include:

No Alcohol

If you have gout, you need to avoid alcohol. While many people like to drink socially while hanging out with friends and family members, you should find other ways to enjoy parties. Alcohol can increase your uric acid levels. High levels of uric acid lead to urate crystals, which will lead to gout attacks.

Drink Water

 While water is important for any diet, water is particularly important if you have gout. Water will help you stay hydrated. This is important because it will help you flush uric acid crystals out of your body. This will keep gout attacks at bay.

Reduce Stress

Stress is known to be a major contributor to gout attacks. While we also suffer from stress in our lives to some extent, how we manage that stress is important. Think about meditation, breathing routines, and exercise as healthy ways to manage stress.

Exercise Regularly

Speaking of exercise, this will also help you keep gout attacks at bay. As mentioned above, you should not exercise during an acute gout attack; however, exercising at other times can help reduce the frequency of your gout attacks. When you exercise, you strengthen your joints and improve their flexibility. This allows your joints to better resist the formation of uric acid crystals. Exercise will also help you lose weight.


Finally, if you have gout, you need to sleep. Ideally, you should get at least eight hours of sleep every night. In addition to reducing stress, sleep also provides your body with an opportunity to rest, recharge, and remove toxins such as uric acid crystals. Sleep can also rest your joints, giving them a chance to recover as well.

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Sleep provides your body with an opportunity to rest, recharge, and remove toxins such as uric acid crystals.

These are a few of the most important activities that you should follow to prevent gout attacks from developing. The good news is that you do not have to be a competitive athlete to enjoy the benefits of exercise when it comes to gout. A simple walking routine can lead to major benefits.

How to Ease Into Walking After a Gout Flare Up

Following an acute gout attack, you might not feel much like moving. You are probably worried that the instant you try to move the affected joints, you will feel the sting of uric acid crystals. The good news is that your body has the ability to recover. There are a few steps that you can take to ease into walking again following a gout flare-up. These include:

  • Start by stretching. Before you start walking again, your joints need to be flexible enough to handle it. Start by flexing and extending your toes back and forth. Make sure you can do this without pain. Then, roll your ankles from side to side. Progress from this step to bending and extending the knees. Stretching is critical before you start walking again.
  • Find flat ground. Once you are ready to start walking again, it is important to start with flat ground. Do not add stress to your joints by trying to handle stairs or hills. Simply find a flat area of land and walk for about thirty minutes at a slow pace. Give your joints a chance to warm up.
  • Cardio Walking is the next step. After a day or two of casual walking, start to ramp it up again. When you engage in cardio walking, you want to shoot for between 50 and 70 percent of your maximum heart rate, which you can calculate using the formula of 220 – your age in years. This will help you burn calories, improve your cardiac health, and help you lose weight.
  • Tackle Elevation last. Once you can briskly walk without pain, you can try to handling hills and stairs at a decent speed as well. This is how you can return to walking following an acute gout attack. Remember that exercising regularly is important for keeping gout flares at bay.

Final Thoughts on Walking with Gout

Is walking good for gout? Yes! It is important for you to exercise regularly, particularly if you have gout.

Exercising will not only strengthen your joints but will also help you lose weight, which is also important for preventing gout attacks.

It’s okay if you don’t want to move at all after an acute flare up.

You simply need to have confidence in your body that you have recovered. Now, why don’t you put these steps to the test and try walking with gout!

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