The Importance of Exercise For The Gout Sufferer

It’s a new year, which means it’s time to make new year’s resolutions! What is the most commonly made New Year’s resolution? Exercise, indeed! Reduce your weight! Eat more healthily!

In reality, though, most of you will subscribe to a gym in January, only to give it up after a couple of months. This is especially true when spring comes around and that good weather makes you lazier to get your butt in the gym.

But if you have gout, you have to exercise. Let me repeat myself for emphasis added: “If you have gout, you should be exercising. Period.”

Your New Resolution: Stay Active!

So, make it a new year’s resolution and change your bad habit of not exercising and get moving! You don’t need a gym to exercise, you can do it from the comfort of your own home or outdoors where it costs you nothing.

We are all aware that regular exercise can provide numerous incredible physical and mental benefits. Some of the many advantages include improved heart and lung fitness, bone strength, mental well-being, increased energy levels, and better sleep!

So, you’re wondering how I can exercise when I have gout and my joints are so sensitive. And I respond that a lack of exercise will only worsen the disease and make gout pain worse in the long run.

Why? Because since your joints hurt, that makes you less likely to get up, move, or exercise. This inactivity makes you less flexible and weakens your joints and muscles. This may result in bone loss, by the way, intensifying the painful symptoms of gout.

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Active Gout Patients Experienced Significantly Fewer Flare-Ups

Gout is the most common type of inflammatory arthritis. A study examined inflammatory pathogenesis in an acute model of murine (yes, mice) gout and analyzed clinical data from human gout patients as a function of physical activity to investigate the effects of regular physical activity and exercise intensity on inflammation and clinical outcome.

Gout is a type of inflammatory arthritis characterized by inflammation caused by monosodium urate (MSU) crystals in the joints, tendons, and surrounding tissues. Consumption of purine-rich foods and beverages, as well as various health factors (obesity, heart, or kidney disease), may result in elevated serum uric acid and the formation of MSU crystal deposits in the body.

Untreated, gout may cause irreversible joint damage, chronic pain, and deformation. Aside from dietary and lifestyle changes, pharmacological treatments for gout include a combination of anti-inflammatory and urate-lowering agents.

The researchers discovered that low-to-moderate intensity exercise regimens may significantly reduce the inflammation seen in an acute model of murine gout.

Finally, the researchers discovered that as a preventative measure, the exercise would be beneficial to a patient with gout who is in a recovery period between flares in order to hopefully prevent or limit future flares.

Rest and reduced movement/weight are advised for a patient experiencing a flare with a red, painful, and swollen foot. The researchers, on the other hand, envisioned a standardized exercise regimen being prescribed during clinical inactivity to help reduce the severity and frequency of future occurrences.

Exercise Is Beneficial for Managing Gout Symptoms

Exercise will help you stay in shape and maintain a healthy weight. It will also help you gain energy and build strong bones, joints, and muscles.

In the end, exercise may promote faster healing from gout attacks. A 2008 study on gout and exercise stated that men who ran 5 miles per day had 50% less occurrence of developing gout than least active men.

Combining my gout diet tips from my eBook Gout and You: The Ultimate Gout Diet & Cookbook and exercise, there is no way you are not lowering your uric acid levels, no way!

That being said, you should not employ crash diets or overexercise causing rapid weight loss. Losing weight too quickly may have the opposite effect and cause your uric acid levels to rise.

Before we go any further, rule #1: do not exercise if you are having a gout attack or if your joint is inflamed, whether it is because of a gout attack or not! Exercising during a gout attack or when a joint is inflamed will aggravate your condition by exacerbating the pain and prolonging the inflammation.

Pay attention to your body’s signals and wait to exercise until the inflammation, gout attack, or flare-up has passed. Then start out slowly and build back up.

A side note: Exercise has absolutely no impact on dissolving tophi or uric acid crystals. However, it does contribute to lowering and maintaining low uric acid levels.

The Importance of Exercise When You Have Gout

Regarding managing gout, exercise has a protective effect. Consistent exercise has been shown to increase lifespan in people with high uric acid levels by 4-6 years in addition to lowering blood uric acid levels.

Obesity and weight gain may be reversed to reduce the likelihood of an acute gout flare-up. Exercise has also been shown to reduce inflammation.

Exercise also lowers insulin resistance, which raises the possibility of a gout attack. The best non-drug interventions to reduce gout symptoms have been shown to be this along with a low-calorie eating regimen.

Another area where exercise may help people with gout is in regaining strength and flexibility after an acute flare-up.

When you’re in pain, you’re less active, and when your body isn’t moving around much, your joints may stiffen and lose flexibility. According to a recent clinical review, exercise modalities may help you regain your ability after the immobility of a gout flare-up.

Another study discovered that people without gout who exercised on a regular basis were less likely to develop tophi. These are the bulbous joints caused by uric acid crystal buildup.

So, What Kind of Exercises Can I Do?

There are 4 major areas you should be covering in your exercise regimen:

  • Range of Motion Exercises: These consist of keeping your joints flexible and mobile in order to reduce stiffness, a good motion exercise for your foot is to rotate your ankle in a circular motion. Other exercises include rotating your head and neck, ankles, or wrists.
  • Strength Exercises: Devised to increase and maintain the strength of your muscles by using weights or doing resistance exercises. Remember strong muscles help to support and take the pressure off sore joints, strengthening your bones. Consider yoga or tai chi as low-impact strength exercises, see stretching exercises below.
  • Endurance or Cardiovascular Exercises: These exercises may benefit your heart, increase blood circulation, help you lose weight, and boost your energy. It is important to choose low-impact aerobic exercises like walking, stair climbing, dancing, swimming, and cycling, which I love doing. To be honest, though, swimming offers the best aerobic exercise for the gout sufferer. That’s because this exercise does not put any stress on your joints since you’re moving in the water.
  • Stretching Exercises: This will help your flexibility as well as your muscle strength. Yoga, pilates, and tai chi are the most popular. Examples include muscle stretches and moving a joint as far as you can.

Always Check with Your Doc First!

Finally, before beginning an exercise program, consult your doctor. Your doctor will need to consider several factors, including the stage of your gout and the severity of your gout. They will also examine which joints are commonly affected to ensure that you do not inflame them further than necessary.

Depending on your condition, your doctor may recommend different exercises like swimming instead of running. Or they may recommend using ellipticals instead since most gout sufferers get gout attacks in the big toe affecting the foot area.

Therefore, it’s a good idea to watch your feet while exercising! Believe me, I’ve learned the hard way by running too fast and inflicting excruciating swelling on my feet.

A physiotherapist or exercise physiologist can also advise you on safe exercises. Remember that strenuous exercise may raise uric acid levels in the blood. How so? If you’re not careful, not staying hydrated may lead to a gout attack.

Exercises to Help Mitigate the Risk of Gout Flares

When you have gout, it’s natural to wonder whether you should walk or run as part of your daily exercise routine. Without a doubt, the answer is a resounding yes — except during a painful gout flare.

In severe gout flares, even the pressure of a bed sheet can be excruciatingly painful. Most patients in this situation would benefit from resting and raising their feet.

Moving Safely During a Gout Flare

Uric acid accumulates in the body and crystallizes into microscopic fragments, which results in gout. Uric acid is a byproduct of normal metabolism. Uric acid crystals may build up in your joints, most frequently in the middle joint of your big toe or where the toe meets the foot.

Uric acid crystals may also accumulate in your midfoot joint and ankle. This might result in severe pain that is sharp, swollen, and even looks red and feels warm to the touch.

A typical gout flare-up may last up to two weeks, but anti-inflammatory medication may help you feel better faster. Your primary care physician or rheumatologist may suggest anti-inflammatory medications like nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), colchicine, and glucocorticoids to reduce pain during acute gout flares.

How Walking and Exercise Help Relieve Gout

Exercise may be the last thing on your mind during a gout attack when you have swollen, painful joints, but that’s okay. One of the healthiest things you can do for your body during a gout attack is to rest.

Gout, according to the Mayo Clinic, may erode and destroy your joints if left untreated. That is why strict adherence to your medication treatment plan is critical. Physical activity and exercise are important for maintaining joint health when you have gout for two reasons:

  1. Avoid putting too much weight on your joints: According to this 2016 study, a healthy diet to control weight, such as the DASH diet designed to reduce high blood pressure, has been found to help people reduce their uric acid levels. Be careful not to lose too much weight too quickly, as this may cause uric acid to rise.
  2. Reduces uric acid levels to help prevent gout attacks: Researchers discovered that fat transports more uric acid in the body than muscle. As a result, by losing body fat, you can lower your blood uric acid levels.People with gout should focus on improving their cardiovascular health through exercise due to their increased risk of developing high blood pressure. Coronary artery disease and gout are closely related.

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The Most Effective Way to Resume Exercise after a Gout Attack

Many doctors recommend aquatic (water) exercises as a good way to begin re-engaging in exercise after a gout flare-up. That’s because the buoyancy of the water will reduce the impact on the joints.

Additionally, low-impact aerobic exercises on a machine like an elliptical can be beneficial. Once the gout flare has subsided, it’s critical to maintain your joints’ flexibility by including stretching and range-of-motion exercises to encourage healthy joint movement.

Once you’ve begun to ease into post-flare exercise, it’s critical not to overdo it. Once the flare has subsided, patients should not experience pain when walking. If you have pain walking after a flare, return to using walking support and reduce your planned exercise until the pain goes away.

Don’t Overdo It!

When returning to normal activities after an acute gout flare-up, the most important thing to remember is to take your time. If you used to run before the flare-up, you should begin with low to medium-intensity exercises such as walking or cycling.

Exercises that have a high impact on the joint, such as skipping rope and plyometric jumps, should be avoided, especially immediately after an acute flare-up.

Exercise at a high intensity should be avoided because it can increase uric acid levels in the body and lead to another gout attack. High-intensity exercises, such as sprinting workouts, high-intensity interval training (HIIT), and more intense cycling, raise a person’s heart rate to between 76 and 96% of their maximum.

Expert Exercise Advice for People With Gout

Gout does not preclude you from being active or even running on a regular basis; the key is to gradually increase your workout intensity. Before beginning any exercise program, consult with your doctor and physical therapist.

Here are five gout-friendly workout tips to help you get started and stay active with gout:

  1. Select the appropriate footwear: Because gout frequently affects the big toe, midfoot, and ankle, proper footwear is essential. A physical therapist can assist in determining the best footwear for a gout patient. A significant portion of their consideration is based on evidence demonstrating that specialized footwear benefits patients by changing the alignment of the leg and foot. This affects the activity of the foot muscles as well as your gait pattern, or the way you walk. These changes are intended to reduce the pressure (load) on your joints.
  2. Maintain a comfortable walking pace: Keep in mind that your goal is to move without pain. Begin slowly, walking at a pace that causes the least amount of stress and pressure. As you become more comfortable with your walking stride, try increasing your heart rate gradually.
  3. Include additional aerobic low-impact exercises: Consider including other heart-pumping exercises in addition to walking in your routine aerobic activity. For instance, you could try swimming or using a stationary bike. Because they don’t put as much strain on the weight-bearing joints in the feet, ankles, and knees, both of these are particularly advantageous choices for gout patients. Elliptical machines can be a wise decision to get your arms and legs moving without putting too much strain on your joints.
  4. Extend the affected joint: You’ll want to regain joint flexibility to ensure ease of movement once your gout flare has subsided. By slowly moving your joint forward, backward, and around to a comfortable limit, you can perform simple stretching. Increase the number of repetitions gradually by adding five more times.
  5. Use strength training to develop muscle: Strong muscles can protect your joints from wear and tear, especially if you have gout. Simple resistance exercises (using your own body weight) can be effective muscle builders in addition to weight training.For example, hold each end of an elastic resistance band and place your foot in the middle, then repeat your flexibility exercises while pushing against the band’s force.

Make Physical Activity a Part of Your Daily Routine

The US Department of Health and Human Services recommends that adults engage in 150 minutes or more of moderate-intensity physical activity per week, such as brisk walking. An ideal exercise routine consists of three parts:

  1. Aerobic activity: These activities increase your heart rate and boost endurance. Aim to incorporate 30 minutes of aerobic exercise into your program three to four times per week.You could walk or ride a stationary bicycle. Consider taking a swim. Swimming and exercising in warm water can be beneficial to stiff joints. You may find that moving your joints is easier in water than on land.Furthermore, the water supports your body and reduces joint wear and tear.
  2. Stretching exercises: These exercises will help you increase your range of motion. Flexibility enhances other types of exercise and allows you to move more comfortably throughout the day. Make it a habit to stretch for 15 minutes every day. Stretching should be done slowly and smoothly.
  3. Exercise for Strengthening: If you haven’t been moving around because your joints hurt and are swollen, your muscles might be weak. You can build strength by using resistance equipment and performing weightlifting exercises. Your joints will be supported and injury-free by stronger muscles.To avoid injury, move slowly and increase the intensity of your workout as you gain strength. Everyday tasks like climbing stairs and lifting heavy objects will become simpler to complete as your strength increases.There are many methods for building strength. You could exercise using free weights, elastic bands, weight machines, or in a pool. Always stretch before beginning any strength-training exercise. Start with extremely light weights and gradually increase them as you gain strength.

Exercise Suggestions for People With Gout

  • Begin slowly, but consistently, with an exercise program. The current exercise recommendations call for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week. This is a good place to start when it comes to weight management and cardiovascular health.
  • High-intensity exercise should be avoided, particularly during and immediately following a gout flare-up. This can cause an increase in uric acid levels.
  • Always drink plenty of water. Dehydration has been linked to elevated uric acid levels. Drinking water and avoiding sugary drinks high in fructose, which has also been linked to increased uric acid levels, are two examples.
  • If you are having trouble controlling your gout or exercising, seek advice from your doctor. If necessary, they may suggest physical therapy.
  • When it comes to weight loss, it is best to combine exercise and diet to lose weight gradually. Increased uric acid levels have been linked to rapid weight loss.

A Healthy Lifestyle Will Help Keep Gout Away

I’ve said this many times, make sure to drink plenty of water, not Gatorade but good ol’ plain water! Try and exercise at least a minimum of 30 minutes a day for at least 5 days a week. In the beginning, you may need to start with shorter sessions and then build slowly afterward.

Whatever you do, make sure to add some exercise in your daily life, it’ll make a big difference in your overall health as well as your gout.

Gout attacks typically last three to ten days. It can be months or years before you have another one. Exercise should be at the top of your to-do list during these times when you feel good.

Gout management requires moderate-intensity exercise. It can help with body weight and uric acid management. It’s critical to ease back into exercise after a flare-up. Exercises that do not aggravate your pain while still allowing you to move your body are best.

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    102 replies to "Gout and Exercise"

    • Hafidz

      Dear Spiro,

      I’ve been following and reading your articles and so far it’s making sense to me. I’m 167cm tall and weigh 64kg and 42 years old. I’m an avid cyclist and I do ultra endurance cycling (or Audax). The distance ranges from 200km all the way up to 1200km and I can go 2 to 5 days of cycling.

      I had 2 flare ups about 1 year apart, back in August 2018 and recently in November. Both gout flare ups that I experienced can be traced to dehydration and lots of fructose intake while I do endurance cycling; Building up to the recent flare up I was trying out a Keto diet with the hope that I can utilize fat as my primary fuel source instead of carbs. I suppose I was wrong. Now i’m doing the total opposite with no meat, plant-based diet. The pain at my left toe has subsided since.

      What I am still in the dark is that how do I fuel up during my endurance cycling since I can’t take those fructose drink as energy. I do not have the luxury of finding fruit stalls during my rides. energy bars are laden with sugar and I’m afraid of future flare ups. I’ve seen pro cyclists make their own rice cakes or oat bars but they still use either honey, sugar or agave nectar.

      Any tips?


      • Spiro Koulouris

        Thank you for your email and for sharing your story!

        You can have fruit in a gout diet, you can’t totally avoid sugar, I recommend 26 grams of sugar intake daily, about half of the recommended 52 grams which is dangerous.

        So fuel up anyway you like but keep it under 26 grams a day but if you are racing one day, you can increase that since your body will burn it quickly.

        Plenty of water with minerals will do, i know of many athletes that just drink water and have skipped the gatorade.

        And go get your blood tests done so you can see with your doctor at what level your uric acid is at.

        Then assess from there.

        Good luck!

    • Ed

      I’m a little confused about the advice here. I am suffering a pretty bad acute attack I think. At first I thought it was related to my back – bulging discs. Foot pain has been attributable to that in the past. My toe however has become too painful to bear any weight. Hard even to get it to relax enough to straighten. Assume it’s gout. I’m a regular swimmer – up to a mile, but haven’t had a chance this week. You’re suggesting I avoid ALL exercise during this attack. or would I benefit from a swim?

      • Spiro Koulouris

        Hi Ed!

        You have nothing to worry about, swim as much as you want. Swimming is the best exercise for gout sufferers since it doesn’t put any pressure on the joints. What I meant is for exercise during a flare up or gout attack, do not go around putting any additional pressure on your inflamed joints. It will make the recovery even longer!

        • Red Toe

          So what if you’re having a gout attack and your big toe is inflamed. Can you still go swimming? Wouldn’t the motion of kicking your foot through the water put additional pressure on your toe joint?

          Can you swim while suffering an attack?

          • Spiro Koulouris

            Yes during an attack it’s best to avoid all forms of exercise. Some gout sufferers who are older and suffer from joint stiffness or arthritis, swimming is a recommended form of exercise to pursue, that is my point.

    • […] Exercise is also another great way to fight the nasty effects of bone erosion. Certain exercises such as weight-training and muscle strengthening help improve bone density, stimulate the production of new cells in the bones, and slow down bone loss. You can choose from a variety of exercise which include fast walking, jogging, dancing, weight lifting, and push ups. […]

    • Lynda

      I have a few health problems and now need to do some exercise I have an up hill walker that I use but can I use my vibration plate

    • chaman

      Search for Edgar Cayce on Gout. Fast acting would be to use a Epsom Salt pack over the back across Kidney region and use a laxative (preferably enema) and follow other things like diet above. e.g.

    • Hari

      I have suffered from gout attacks every 16 months or so for the past 9 years. The most recent one was excruciating, and I am just getting over it now with Indomethacin.
      This is despite me switching to a whole food plant based diet 3 months ago, consuming zero meat, zero alcohol, and doing 60 minutes of cardio (bike) every day. I also do calisthenics for strength conditioning.
      So, what else can be done to prevent further attacks? I do not want to go on long term medications. Any food I should be avoiding or including? Any supplementation? It’s rather demoralizing to feel like you’re making great choices that might not be making a difference!

      • Spiro Koulouris

        Anytime you try to beat gout naturally, you should team up with a doctor that will follow you and do multiple blood tests within a year to see if it’s really working or if it’s hopeless since gout can be due something else, so no natural remedy, good diet, exercise will work for you. Then you will have no other choice but go on medication in order to lower uric acid and avoid any future gout attacks. Don’t go in it blindly hoping for the best, you need to examine the data which is how your uric acid levels react to whatever you are doing.

        Hope this is clear for you!

        Good luck!

    • Joshua

      I have gout in my right knee and it has caused my leg muscles to become very weak. The doctor called it atrophy. What are some leg workouts that I can do to re-strengthen my legs? I’m not in a flare up now but just got over one.

      • Spiro Koulouris

        Simple walking strengthens legs. Also do some squats each day with no added weight, just your body weight. If you feel any pain or pressure, simply stop. Listen to your body and do as much as it allows you to.

      • Ericka

        Same here, except I haven’t been diagnosed but honestly think Gout is what I have, my thigh has lost so much muscle that is now skinny ‍♀️ and it scares me that it is weak because of that, each time I start to get those painful attacks it loses more muscle.

    • Mercy Mbewe

      Hi! I have a combination of gout and arthritis of both knees since diagnosis 2009. My condition has gotten worse and in constant pain and my uric acid is not dropping in spite of removing from my diet food which are uric acid forming. I tried exercise I was unable to tolerate.I now have to take pain killers daily. I am not sure if my recently diagnosis of hypothydism aggravated the inflammation.

    • […] Experts say that people who are physically active are not only in better moods on average. But they’re also less likely to develop gout and/or joint pain (disclaimer: as long as they have good posture and avoid injury). […]

    • Alfred

      Hi Spiro,

      I am a gout sufferer for long time, my doctor has been giving me injection and tablet for the pain and inflammation. I notice that when I played tennis, my gout flares up, is there any connection to my tennis activity and my gout inflammation?

      • Spiro Koulouris

        Hi Alfred!

        Yeah exercise can cause flare ups, especially ones involving putting lots of pressure on your feet like jogging, hockey, tennis, etc…It’s best to do it once in a while and play lightly if you can. Exercises that I do that don’t involve putting pressure on my feet for example is biking and swimming.

    • W

      Riddle me this … I’m over 50. I’m in better shape now than I was a decade ago. My uric acid is 5.0. I exercise regularly and work an active job in healthcare. I still had an acute attack of gout. I’m not lazy. I eat healthy and do not over endulge in alcohol. My caffeine limit is just 24oz of coffee daily.

      • Spiro Koulouris

        It depends. Do you eat a lot of meat or have in the past? Fried food? Processed foods? Sugary beverages and foods? Tell me more about your diet from your teenage years to now. A lot of times past bad dieting and bad lifestyle habits lead to disease later on in life.

    • Ali


      My Uric acid level is 7.4 I start walking on treadmill 10 km daily now I feel fain in both legs. My weight is 95 kg, age 34. Please advise.

      • Spiro Koulouris

        Hi Ali!

        Yes you are putting a lot of pressure on your joints and you will feel pain when you have high uric acid. Best to slow it down a bit and for now do not do any treadmill until inflammation on feet is gone.

    • Patric

      Hi, I don’t have any gout problem at the moment but my current Uric Acid Level is 7.9 mg/dl. I am an overweight person, I was told to exercise daily and maintain a planned diet. I have been doing 60 minutes of cardio workout daily, 30 min at early morning and 30 minute at evening after work. Will cardio workout help me with decreasing Uric Acid? or is there a chance it will do the opposite?

      I want to decrease Uric Acid level and also at the same time do exercise to burn a lot of calories.

      • Spiro Koulouris

        Hi Patric!

        No exercise can only decrease your uric acid, so keep at it. If you lose weight too fast sometimes that can cause a flare-up or attack but that’s more with dieting compared to exercising.

        • Patric

          Hi Spiro, thank you so much for your response 🙂

    • Chris

      Hi Spiro. I have had gout on and off for a while, always in my big toe. 3 days a go I got it on the side of my foot. I have been doing all the home remedies and it’s weird because the throbbing pain has gone which is amazing but I can barely walk on my foot. Is this because I have tested it for too long? Should I try walking on it more? I would love to here you me suggestions. Thanks, Chris

      • Spiro Koulouris

        Hi Chris!

        Hard question to answer. Whenever you have inflammation on your foot, it is always best to rest it as much as possible and not aggravate it by walking or doing any other type of exercise. We sell a cream on our store that you apply up to 4 times a day on your foot whenever you have pain and inflammation. That can help you get back on your feet much quicker. But other than that, try a foot massage too! That helps!

    • Darren Kelly

      Hi, I’m suffering with gout in big toe. In awful pain. I race triathlons but am considering whether to give running a miss altogether. Could running cause an attack? I eat healthy and don’t drink much alcohol. Eat fresh veg and fruit but I do eat a lot of protein. Any suggestions please. Thanks Darren

      • Spiro Koulouris

        Hi Darren!

        Yes you can experience inflammation or even an attack, it really depends, everybody is different. Run lightly like I do from time to time. Preferably take up biking, elliptical and/or swimming which don’t affect the joints as much for a cardio workout.

    • Christine Grosvenor

      I have gout in my wrist, will it be ok to ride my bike or will it aggravate it?

      • Spiro Koulouris

        Yeah while your wrist is inflamed, it’s best to avoid putting any pressure on it as much as you can so it can heal faster, so I would avoid riding your bike until you are better.

    • […] you are a gout sufferer, it’s essential to exercise. Inactivity will make you less flexible, weaken your joints and muscles, and encourage bone loss. […]

    • 7 remèdes naturels pour les poussées de douleur douloureuses (# 5 est choquant) –

      […] plus il est difficile de faire de l'exercice. C'est un problème parce que exercice régulier est largement considéré comme l'un des meilleurs moyens de réduire les symptômes de la […]

    • […] gout is that the worse the symptoms get, the harder it is to exercise. This is a problem because regular exercise is widely regarded as one of the best ways to reduce the symptoms of gout in the long term. Your […]

    • Rashmeet Rajpal

      Hey Spiro, Hello I’m suffering from huge pain and inflammation on my right knee since a year. At starting I thought it is may be my ligament tear(ACL) after getting MRI, it was found nothing my Dr. Told me this is just cuz of exerction in knee as I use to do a lot of workout in gym. Since then I have left my gym it’s been a year and my body weight jumped from 78kg to 100Kg. I have visited many bone doctors but no one told me about gout. But last week I visited doctor in Mumbai India, he told me this is may be the case of gout, suggested me to have uric acid test which comes out to be 7.2 ( the upper top limit), I still have lot of pain on my knee and it is not on same place sometime it pains to the right of knee, sometimes to left and my toe (knee cup bone) is also paning.. my doctor went out in an emergency, since then I haven’t shown him my reports. Kindly help me & I really want to get in shape again and want to get back to my gym.

      • Spiro Koulouris

        Hi Rashmeet!

        Go seek the advice of at least 2 rheumatologists and take it from there. Very hard to give you any advice. The only thing you can control is your diet and lifestyle. You are exercising so that’s good but try and follow the principles of the 80-10-10 gout diet I talk about on this website and book. Also don’t take any of those whey proteins or creatine since you go to the gym. Too much protein strains the kidneys causing uric acid levels to rise. Replace meat protein and whey protein with beans instead. You don’t need much protein. Check out my article on Gout and Whey Protein too.

    • Char

      I’m suffering gout for almost a year , at first I thought it was simple pain on my foot because of my whole day cycling activity until I visit a doctor recently and realized I have a gout. Can I still do my cycling activity when the pain subsides? or should I lessen my cycling?

      • Spiro Koulouris

        Yes wait until pain and inflammation leaves entirely before cycling again. You are simply prolonging the swelling even longer by cycling while suffering.

    • Ashutosh Roy

      I’m 27 years and I got my result of uric acid it’s 8.5 and I have little pain in the left upper corner of my left leg knee.
      So can I do leg workout? If it will not cause any issue, like leg press and squats.
      This is the first time my uric acid level is high; so please help me on this I’m afraid.

      • Spiro Koulouris

        Not for now. Wait till the pain and inflammation subsides and then continue gradually.

    • Arnold

      Hey man, can you help me?
      I’m in my 40s and remember having gout in my early 30s but it was just my toe…it hurt like hell but after it was gone and I quit eating certain foods (eg shrimp) I was fine (I think). I never got blood tests after that…so I don’t know.

      But now I went and sprained my ankle (it seemed way too easy to sprain it, but that’s what the doc said) a year ago and it seemed to just never heal. It healed some, but never fully and I kept reinjuring it or something…it’s become a chronic disabilitating condition that seems to have actually altered my ankle’s appearance and caused my leg to wither (one is much thinner than the other now).

      Before that sprain, I was exercising with powerlifting and kickboxing and noticed some weaknesses and mobility limitations in the foot…but I was still able to perform.

      Could this be recurrent gout?

      If so, what do I do in regards to getting back to lifting weights and kickboxing…or, are these activities out of my life forever (if indeed I’ve got gout in my ankle)?

      Thank you for your reply!

      • Spiro Koulouris

        It might. Best to go visit your doctor and go do some blood tests to see where your uric acid level is at. If it’s not gout you are cleared. Could be some form of inflammation that could leave if you treat it effectively.

        If it is gout then you can still lift weights and do kickboxing on a proper gout treatment regimen.

        I hope you don’t have it of course. But go check yourself.

    • Larry

      Hi Spiro,

      I am a new gout sufferer. I also have hypertension which I have been on meds for a number of years. Because of my hypertension I have tried to stick with cardio type exercise particularly jogging on the treadmill. After getting my first gout flare up I went looking for something that didn’t involve the constant pounding of the feet and so I bought a rowing machine. Your feet are stationary but you can get a nice low impact cardio work out. It works core and legs and shoulders too. When my feet can take it, I alternate between the rower and the treadmill. Just thought I would share.

      • Arnold

        Thank you so much Spiro, I appreciate it.

    • Syron Macasadia

      Hello I have a gout on my right wrist.. Is it ok to have some heavy weights or some bench press?

    • Shashank

      Hi Spiro,

      I first suffered from Gout around 2 months ago. I took Alupurinol for a month, but my Uric acid levels remained at 7.7. Another doctor then gave me a potassium based medicine (K-Flam) which is supposed to be more effective.

      The gout frequency has reduced to once in 2 weeks. But this is still very annoying obviously. I’ve maintained diet and am actively involved with sports for at least 1 hour everyday (squash, badminton and cricket). Why does this keep re-occuring?

      Please help.

      • Spiro Koulouris

        You have to be patient, it takes at least 1 year for the uric acid crystals to melt, so be patient and follow your doctor’s advice. Plus do frequent blood tests to measure your performance.

        • Jim

          I have heard from other sources that the crystals never go away. What is truth of the matter? Thanks.

          • Spiro Koulouris

            Hi Jim!

            Yes they can go away. Check out this 2007 study to learn more–>

    • Aswin


      I was an active runner for more than a year. I train for marathons and cover around 100 kms per month. I recently had inflammation on my foot and went to doctor. My blood test showed high uric acid levels. The doctor suspected Gout and prescribed Allopurinol 40 mg. Even after taking the medicine for more than 2 months, my uric acid levels too came down and is 4mg/ml. Still I am feeling slight pain in my foot. I have stopped running completely. How long will it be for my pain to go completely and return to my active running ?

      • Spiro Koulouris

        Very hard to predict Aswin! Depends how bad your inflammation is. Pain in your foot while running can be a permanent thing. For me if I do any hard running , I feel it the next few days. If I jog, it’s relatively light for a few minutes. I do more biking instead since it’s better for my joints.

    • Hrithik


      I had a gout attack one and a half years ago after that I’m trying to maintain a healthy uric acid level and had no gout attacks since then but is there any permanent cure for it, like going back to normal and back to eating and drinking.

      • Spiro Koulouris

        You will have to eat a disciplined gout diet in order to maintain healthy uric acid levels. Even if you take medication, if you go back to eating unhealthy and drinking lots of alcohol for example, your health will just deteriorate as well as your gout. This is a lifestyle change that you have to decide to make.

    • Gautam Pai

      Hi Spiro!

      I’ve had a gout attack once which stopped after a couple of days. My uric acid level was 7.7 (range of 3 to 7). With medication lasting a month, my uric acid levels are now below 5. Does this mean I’m out of trouble? Also, I’ve cut out alcohol from my diet. Would one night of partying spoil it all?

      • Spiro Koulouris

        Hi Gautam!

        Yes one night of drinking hard can lead to a gout attack, so watch out, I wouldn’t do it if I were you. Now if you take your daily allopurinol you should be fine but remember that drinking and not improving your diet and lifestyle can lead to other gout complications like kidney stones, diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, sleep apnea and many more. Tread carefully!

    • Ravi Sharma

      Hi Spiro, first things first – Thank you for a great article and secondly for replying to everyone so promptly .I am 34 year old and I have been quite fit for long, but I’ve now had gout for the past 5 year and It has deteriorated the quality of my strength training completely.

      I have been on Allopurinol 100mg for more than a year now and I’m about to start taking BCAA and whey protein (isolate) to improve my workout quality. Do you think this will / may trigger gout? Should I increase the dosage of Allopurinol? Any / all advice is appreciated.

      • Spiro Koulouris

        Hi Ravi!

        Yes too much protein will affect your kidneys which in turn will affect your uric acid levels to go higher. This can trigger a gout attack. Best to monitor your uric acid levels by asking your doctor to do blood tests and see how the whey protein is affecting it in order to change allopurinol dosage.

    • Erich

      I’ve been dealing with my first ever gout flareup for 9 weeks now. By (eventually) cutting out everything from my diet but chicken, coffee ,water, vegetables, and the remedies like lemon juice and apple cider vinegar. I’ve cut all fruit sugars, grains and starches. It’s reduced swelling for a few weeks now but still, the flareup won’t end. It rotates between feet and anytime I try anything from the “old menu” or step wrong, one or both feet swell and the pain comes right back.

      How do I get this flareup to end?! I was a daily runner before this and am a good fit body weight. I think i just ate too rich and drank too many beers. Will I ever be able to indulge again?

      Thanks, any advice helps. This is crazy.

      • Spiro Koulouris

        Hi Erich!

        If you have suffered from previous gout attacks in your feet, then you should know that from time to time you can feel pain and swelling, either from drastic weather changes and/or sports related activities that strain your feet. As a gout sufferer I recommend you cycle more than running. It puts less pressure on your feet. There are many other ways to stay fit without putting that excess pressure on your feet like swimming for example. Again remain disciplined in your diet and avoid alcohol completely.

    • David


      I notice all of these comments refer to gout in the foot. Do you have any suggestions for those with gout in the elbows. I want to return to weight training to build my arms again but without stressing the elbows.
      Please advise.



      • Spiro Koulouris

        Hi David!

        Light weights until your elbows are strong enough to lift more without the pain. Nothing much else to do. Give your elbows at least a day or more of rest in between workouts as well.

    • sarah


      I am 21, I have just been diginosed with gout and I cannot walk properly. Will I ever be able to walk properly again?

      • Spiro Koulouris

        Hi Sarah!

        Yes if you treat, you will be fine. Have you seen your doctor yet? Best to go see them as soon as possible.

    • […] Exercise for Gout Prevention […]

    • Michael G

      I had a gout attack 3 weeeks ago. took meds for a few days and got injections. I drink a gallon a day and been eating better since. When would it be safe to start working out again? I didn’t break any bones just gout on my left foot which the pain 95% went away.

      • Spiro Koulouris

        Hi Michael!

        It depends what type of exercise you do. If you do any upper body strength exercises, you can probably start now but let your foot heal 100% before embarking on running or any other exercises involving your feet.

    • Sue Tutt

      My husband has suffered from gout for 50 years (he’s 80). Just recently during this gout attack,’he used a heating pad on his big toe! He says it feels good and relieves some pain. Is this okay and are warm water soaks helpful and okay?

      • Spiro Koulouris

        Yeah that is fine Sue, many gout sufferers use various types of compresses to relieve the inflammation.

    • Bruce Morgan

      Hi Spiro,
      How soon can I start exercising after a gout attack? After starting the medicine my pain subsided a great deal and I regained most of my mobility in the joint. However it still seems slightly swollen and has a small amount of pain when I flex the joint but I’m walking fine and with very little pain. Can I start walking (not running) on a treadmill?

      • Spiro Koulouris

        Hi Bruce!

        No wait some more. If you start now you will inflame the joint even more and pain will last longer. Skip the treadmill cause that will put pressure on your feet and toes and do weightlifting for now. That doesn’t have an impact on your feet cause you are mostly standing straight and/or sitting on a bench.

    • Narendar

      Hi Spiro!

      This is Naren I am suffering from gout for the last 2 months.
      While walking on my right foot I am feeling some pain. Do you have any suggestions to reduce the pain?
      Every time I got the pain, I used to take pain killers.

    • Danish Maqsood

      I have pain in my ankle since 15 to 20 days after joining gym in my home also I started running from 3 days please advise me, is it uric acid or something else.

    • Simmi Paul

      Hi I’ve found that working out during a gout attack has helped , am I crazy should I refrain until it goes away?

      • Spiro Koulouris

        If your experiment works then keep at it. It could be true and it could be a coincidence, meaning something else may have helped your gout but you attribute it to exercise. But I know myself from past experience that the more I walk while on a gout attack, the better you feel much quicker.

    • David

      I would like to ask whether a golf round will increase acid uric level and so the risk of gout attack.
      I enjoy reading your blog, and I hope to get your input on this matter. Thank you.

    • Travis

      Hi I am Travis age 34..I am having gout high uric acid since 2 years.. Got severe shoulder joint pain..but no pain any where else. Also losing muscle and strength in my upper body. Kindly suggest.

      • Spiro Koulouris

        Travis have you done anything to improve diet? Uric acid will cause gout and other related arthritic issues for you if you don’t manage it properly. Look at your diet and try and follow the steps outlined on my site and book.

    • Kazi Mahir

      Hi,I’m just 19 and I’m suffering from gout.I like jogging and working out a lot. Is it okay if I continue with it?

      • Spiro Koulouris

        HI Kazi!

        As long as it doesn’t bother you as in getting a sore foot then continue. If you notice you start getting sore too often, then lighten up on the load, jog but less. As for working out, I presume you mean weightlifting, yeah that is not an issue. Exercise helps with your overall health and at the end helps fight gout.

    • Kevin Donnelly

      Hi! I have gout in my left foot. Is swimming a good thing to help with gout? I like to swim a lot and I just whanted to know if this would make it easier or if it would make it worse?

      • Spiro Koulouris

        Hi Kevin!

        Swim all you want. It doesn’t apply any pressure on your joints, actually I should swim more now that you remind me.

    • Lonnie Ebneter

      Is ok to box or do martial arts when you have gout? I am concerned of getting hit or hitting a heavy bag and the stress it will cause on my joints. Thank you!

      • Spiro Koulouris

        Hi Lonnie!

        If you suffer from gout, best exercise is not to do anything strenuous like heavy lifting, usually it is advised to do light workouts but if you box and do martial arts and don’t feel any soreness from the joints, then continue and monitor your activity. If you feel pain and soreness then back off of a little and if you always seem sore, then you know you gotta change your workouts.

    • Mustafa


      I am 41 and I recently had a pain in my left big toe. So I visited my doctor and he told me to undergo some test and then came to the conclusion I had gout. My question is that is it good for a gout patient to walk? Please clarify.

      • Spiro Koulouris

        Hi Mustafa!

        If you are suffering from a gout attack and your big toe is hurting. Try not to walk that much. I understand you have no choice sometimes and you need to get around, to go to the bathroom or do some minor task around the house but it is best to limit the pressure you put on your toe and relax. This way it can heal faster.

    • Cameron

      I’ve been on an elliptical and lifting weights regularly for several months now, and have made great progress in my physical fitness. I just went on a bike ride with my wife and a group of friends, and I had a need for speed, which I satisfied quite strenuously. While I enjoyed it, and my regular workouts enabled me to ride very fast for 3 or 4 kilometers, I am now suffering from an acute gout attack in both big toe joints. I didn’t know about strenuous exercise causing an attack because of dehydration. I think it is easy to get dehydrated without realizing it. When I’m on the elliptical my routine is more strenuous than this bike ride, but I always have a 500ml bottle of water on the machine, and I usually drink at least half of that and refill before starting, and I never get a gout attack from it. I didn’t drink as much while cycling. I’ve learned a lesson from this. I need to be more careful next time.

    • […] you must eat the majority of your daily calories in complex carbs limiting protein and fat and exercise a few minutes a day. If you don’t want to hit the gym that’s fine. Take 20 minute walks each day, try the 7 Minute […]

    • […] always been against rigorous exercise, the best exercise is moderate like I outline in my post on exercise. Not only to avoid harming your kidneys but also to avoid worsening your joints too! Until next […]

    • […] Exercise can help increase your feet’s circulation. Nothing will help your feet more than a simple walk every day. This might seem counterintuitive since walking puts stress on your feet but you can’t really lift weights with your foot muscles can you? So the best way to exercise them and keep those muscles strong is by walking. It also increases foot strength and flexibility. Make sure to speak to your doctor if you experience any pain, redness or any other foot problem after exercising. Check out these 5 exercises for stronger and more flexible feet from fitness educator Stacey Lei Krauss that only takes 5 minutes a day. […]

    • Andrew

      I have been following your blog for about a year now, because I developed gout around age 35. I am now 41, and recently (about 6 months ago) started working out (lifting weights) at my local gym.

      For about one month now, I take a protein supplement to boost my protein intake for quicker recovery. I usually take one sixteen ounce serving on gym days only (M,W,F). One sixteen ounce serving is roughly equal to 60g of protein. Most fitness websites recommend approximately 1g protein/1kg body weight for mass gain, which is what I am trying to accomplish.

      My question is: Am I going to have another flare up because of the protein supplement I take? Or will the exercise help to keep the flare ups under control? My last flare up was in the middle of February. I usually can count on a flare up at least twice a year, if not more frequently, so as I calculate, I am overdue for another painful flare up.

      I enjoy reading your blog, and I hope to get your input on this matter. Thank you.

      • Spiro Koulouris

        Thanks for the question Andrew!

        Yes protein is protein so it forces your orgrans to work more in order to break it down putting more stress on them already since we suffer from gout, our liver and/or kidneys don’t work at full capacity. So there is a chance of an increased risk of developing a flare here and there. Truth is even if you exercise you don’t need that much protein, it’s all a myth according to a popular study that gets quoted often on the net and was done with triathlon ahtletes. All you need is 4-6 ounces a day and it is more then enough to repair muscle.

        • Josh

          Try out cayenne pepper as a pain reliever. I find it works really well. It’s subtle how to use it, though. I make a paste of it by adding apple cider vinegar and dried cayenne pepper and often add turmeric too. The consistency should be that it just flows.

          When the mixture is thoroughly mixed it should just be able to be poured. I then put it on the affected place and let it dry. Then you have to apply pressure onto the skin in the affected area and wait. Sometimes it doesn’t take exactly right. It requires blood flowing in the area so you want to massage the surrounding areas to get some blood flow.

    • […] Don’t forget to exercise, it doesn’t only help you outside but inside as well helping your organs get rid of those toxins from your system. […]

    • […] other diseases on top of gout. You can avoid metabolic syndrome rather easily. Eat properly and exercise. There is a study that those that live a sedentary life are at the highest risk of developing […]

    • […] suffered from gout. This is something you should be careful with dear gout sufferer. Avoid OA by exercising, keeping your weight and BMI down, and follow a strict gout diet that I outline in my […]

    • […] are more lifestyle choices that you can alter from smoking to exercise that all affect your gout but the buck stops with you. It looks like more people will be diagnosed […]

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