Raynauds Disease and Fitness

The inspiration for this post is a lovely twitter friend who has recently been diagnosed with Raynauds Disease.

The following information is taken from the NHS Choices website

Raynaud’s disease is a common condition that affects the blood supply to certain parts of the body, usually the fingers and toes.

You may have heard of it referred to as Raynaud’s syndrome, Raynaud’s phenomenon or just Raynaud’s.

Why does it happen?

The condition occurs because your blood vessels go into a temporary spasm which blocks the flow of blood. This causes the affected area to change colour to white, then blue and then finally red as the blood flow returns.

You may also experience pain, numbness and pins and needles in the affected body parts. Symptoms can last from a few minutes to several hours.

Raynaud’s is usually triggered by cold temperatures or by anxiety or stress.

It is not a serious threat to your health but it can be annoying to live with. People with Raynaud’s often go for long periods without any symptoms and sometimes the condition goes away altogether.

Read more about the symptoms of Raynaud’s.


In many cases it may be possible to control the symptoms of Raynaud’s using self-care techniques such as avoiding the cold, wearing gloves and using relaxation techniques when feeling stressed.

Quitting smoking can also help improve symptoms, as smoking can affect your circulation.

If the above does not help with the symptoms, then a medication called nifedipine has proved effective with some people.

Exercise can also be effective in the treatment of Raynauds as it helps to increase circulation. If you are new to exercise little and often is the key. Aim to do at least 30 minutes each day. This can be walking, jogging, swimming, exercise classes anything that you prefer. Try to plan a mix of activities to prevent boredom from setting in.

Also if you are exercising outdoors remember your gloves and warm clothes as the cold weather can also trigger Raynauds.

Other things that may help include

  • Dry body brushing before your daily shower as it helps to improve circulation.
  • Eliminate all caffeine products from your diet to prevent blood vessels from narrowing and further restricting blood flow.
  • Taking a Ginkgo Biloba supplement twice a day can help to diminish Raynauds symptoms. Ginko helps to promote blood supply to the extremities
  • An omega-3 fish oil supplement can help to improve blood flow, diminish potential blot clot formation and improve cardiovascular issues.
  • Women who have Raynauds may benefit from taking a Magnesium supplement.

Please check with your own GP before starting any self help methods to treat Raynauds symptoms.

If you have Raynauds please feel free to leave a comment below with any thing else you have found useful.

Published by Aimee Pearce

Personal Trainer and Corrective Exercise Specialist in Functional Fitness

2 thoughts on “Raynauds Disease and Fitness

  1. Hi Aimee! Thank you for this wonderful post! I have cut out those cheeky diet cokes and upped my exercising! I just realised as well that when I exercise I tend to leave out my arms which is my biggest problem area with the raynauds. I’ll add more weights and arm movement to my routine. I also had no idea about the dry body brushing and the supplements! I’m going to give them a try! Thanks so much again 🙂

  2. Hi Aimee! Thank you for this wonderful post! I’ve managed to cut out those cheeky diet cokes and I’ve started to up my excercising. I just realised as well while I was reading that when I exercise I usually focus on my tum and legs and tend to leave out my arms, which is where I am affected most by the raynauds. I’m going to add some weights in there and get my arms moving! I also had no idea about the body brushing and specific supplements! I’m going to give them a try! Thank you so much again! 🙂

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