What Is the Best Exercise for Fibromyalgia Symptoms?

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Millions of people suffer from fibromyalgia, and it can leave you feeling like exercise is impossible for you. However, a carefully designed exercise routine can help you manage your symptoms and improve your overall well-being. The best exercise for fibromyalgia will be different for every person who suffers from it and you should spend some time figuring out what works for you.

These tips will help you safely create an exercise routine to help manage your fibromyalgia today.

What Is the Best Exercise for Fibromyalgia Symptoms? | Quit Chronic Fatigue

Why Exercise When Dealing With Fibromyalgia? 

Although suffering from fibromyalgia often means that exercise is the last thing on your mind, it can be a valuable tool for managing your condition. Over time, exercise can lessen the pain associated with fibromyalgia and can keep your muscles from deteriorating with disuse. If you are careful and consistent, you may find exercise is one of the best treatments possible.

Yes, the pain and fatigue that often accompanies fibromyalgia can make exercising difficult and sometimes impossible, but being physically active is essential for your overall wellbeing. Regularly engaging in aerobic exercise will improve your ability to function, your pain levels, and your general quality of life.

You may be worried that starting to exercise is just going to make your pain flare-up, but the key is starting slowly, with simple exercises for low durations. You’re likely to find that the overall effect is that you have more good days than bad. Starting slow and working up to more challenging exercise is critical; at the beginning, you may only walk for two minutes a day but you can (slowly and safely) build up to walking for half an hour twice a week.

If an exercise causes you pain for any reason, it’s okay and important to take a step back and reduce the amount of time you’re doing it for or the intensity. It’s even okay to remove exercises from your routine if they’re causing problems for you. Your health is the most important thing.

Related: How to Get Through a Fibromyalgia Flare-Up

What’s the Best Exercise for Fibromyalgia? 

Trying different exercises allows you to figure out where your difficulties are what works best for you. Each kind of exercise will target a different part of your health.

Flexibility Exercise

Stretching exercises are a great place to start easing into a fitness routine. They reduce the amount of stiffness in your joints and improve your range of motion so you can move more freely.

Strengthening Exercise

The stronger your muscles are, the more capable they are of supporting your joints and the longer they will take to become fatigued. The best, most uncomplicated way to strengthen your muscles is to push or pull, which you can do using light weights or elastic workout bands.

Aerobic Exercise

Aerobic exercises are exercises that get your heart rate up and make you breathe harder. They are designed to increase your stamina. For people with fibromyalgia, low-impact aerobic exercises, like fast walking, swimming, and biking, seem to help the most. 

Water Exercise

Exercising in the water can be a great way to start exercising because it tends to be easier on the joints, as the water reduces any weight-bearing stress. It can help improve your balance and increase your strength as well. Water aerobic exercises have been especially good for people living with fibromyalgia because the water reduces the stress on your body while still giving you a healthy workout.

Mind-Body Exercise

While there is less research behind mind-body practices, they may also help reduce the symptoms of fibromyalgia. Both yoga and tai chi, for example, have been found to help because they combine deep breathing and slow, controlled movements with meditation and relaxation.

3 Tips for Exercising With Fibromyalgia Symptoms

Pace Yourself and Be Gradual

If you have fibromyalgia, you already know that there are many days where you’re not full of energy to begin with, and movement can be tough. Fibromyalgia is hard enough on your body, so you want to make sure to be gentle with yourself. One of the best tips we can give is to start slowly, do short bursts of low-intensity workouts, and then slowly pay attention to your body and increase both the intensity and duration over time. 

Always Remember to Stretch

Whatever exercise you find works best for you, always remember to stretch beforehand and, if you have the time, afterward as well. It will help prevent injuries and is really its own form of exercise as well. It gets your blood moving and limbers up your muscles and joints for whatever is coming next.

Expect Some Soreness and Be Prepared

You’re going to be sore. It’s a natural part of the process. While you must check in with your body and make sure you’re not doing too much, a little soreness is inevitable. It happens to everyone who begins a new exercise routine, whether they have fibromyalgia or not. 

As you build strength, you’ll find the soreness fades. That said, if you are feeling intense pain or it worsens instead of fades, you need to reassess your routine and possibly visit a doctor.

Before starting a new exercise program, make sure to check in with your doctor to ensure that you are physically able to exercise without risking your health.

Related: How To Beat Fibromyalgia Pain | Top 5 Home Treatments

There are many options out there and no single best exercise for fibromyalgia. What works for you will depend on your body — listen to it! Start slow, and as you build up your routine you’ll be feeling stronger, faster, and reducing your pain.

What Is the Best Exercise for Fibromyalgia Symptoms? | Quit Chronic Fatigue

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