7 Easy Ways To Exercise With Fibromyalgia (& Why It Helps Relieve Pain)

Exercise plays a different role in everyone’s life, but exercise with fibromyalgia can take on a more difficult part. But just because you have fibromyalgia doesn’t mean that you can’t find a way to stay active. 

7 Easy Ways To Exercise With Fibromyalgia (& Why It Helps Relieve Pain) | Quit Chronic Fatigue

What is Fibromyalgia? 

Fibromyalgia is a chronic illness that causes extreme fatigue and muscle pain. Doctors aren’t 100% sure what causes fibromyalgia, but recent research focuses on how your nervous system can affect it. 

Symptoms of fibromyalgia include: 

  • Fatigue and tiredness 
  • Depression and/or anxiety 
  • Pain and stiffness in muscles and joints 
  • Issues with concentration and memory 
  • Sleep problems 
  • Headaches and migraines 
  • Numbness in hands and feet
  • Pain in the face 
  • Digestive system issues 

Roughly four million Americans are affected by fibromyalgia, which equals 2% of the adult population. 

Why Is It Important To Be Cautious When It Comes To Exercise With Fibromyalgia?

Most people believe that fibromyalgia prohibits you from exercising because it causes more flare-ups in your symptoms. But there’s more to it!

People with fibromyalgia can absolutely exercise! You just have to find the right activity (and level of intensity) for your body’s needs. 

You need to exercise smartly and safely to avoid pain or flareups in your symptoms. One of the biggest reasons people avoid exercise with fibromyalgia is post-exertional malaise, which occurs because you don’t have the energy to handle the increased exercise effort. With your energy drained, you may feel like you got hit by a truck. 

If you are exercising safely, you can actually improve your fibromyalgia symptoms. It’s important to find a balance of low-intensity workouts that will leave you feeling the right amount of tiredness. 

Related: 5 Best Products for Fibromyalgia Relief That Will Make Your Life Easier

7 Tips To Help You Exercise With Fibromyalgia 

Finding a balance of exercise with fibromyalgia is important. Not only does it give you the freedom to be active, but it also ensures that you’re taking care of your body. These seven exercise tips will help you find the exercise that is right for you. 

1. Listen to Your Body 

Remember: your body is in charge!

You might think that you can handle an extreme workout but your body is going to tell you the opposite. Only exercise when your body tells you it’s okay. This could mean more energy or less achiness. 

If your muscles and joints are in pain, skip the exercise for the day. Focus on how you can make yourself feel better and avoid symptom flareups. 

2. Take Breaks 

Exercising with fibromyalgia doesn’t look the same for everyone. But exercising all at once can be harder for those who experience fibromyalgia symptoms. 

Don’t be afraid to take breaks in your exercise routine. Your body needs enough time to recover. 

The more recovery time you have, the less likely you’ll feel that post-exertional malaise. Adding a few five-to-ten minute exercise periods to your day should give you plenty of time to rest. 

3. Stretch Daily 

Fibromyalgia can radiate pain to your muscles and your joints. Sometimes, exercise with fibromyalgia can cause more discomfort than usual. 

That’s why it is so important to get in the habit of stretching!

Finding time to stretch daily can help alleviate any muscle pain and increase your body’s mobility. The more you stretch, the less pain you’ll be in while exercising. 

4. Avoid High-Intensity Workouts and Focus On Gentle Exercise With Fibromyalgia 

While you’re in your recovery mode, it’s important to keep it consistent. Try to avoid doing any activities that could be considered high-intensity. This includes any activity where your heart rate can go over sixty percent. 

Staying in a consistent recovery zone gives you the solid rest that you need. 

5. Move Fluidly

While you’re exercising, focus on keeping all of your movements fluid. If you’re stiff, your muscles are more likely to cramp up. 

Try to limit your range of motion depending on how your muscles feel. If you are experiencing any pain when exercising, stop immediately. Your body’s health is more important than finishing an exercise. 

6. Record Your Exercise 

One way to keep your exercise consistent is to keep a record of it. 

Recording exercises that make you feel energized and exercises that cause pain is a good way to determine your fibromyalgia activity routine. By having a set routine, you’re giving yourself a chance to listen to your body. 

7. Find Exercise You’re Passionate About 

Exercise is a way for you to let off steam. You should find enjoyment in any of the activities you do! The more you love your exercise, the less stressed you’ll feel. 

Releasing that stress from your body can help improve muscle fatigue and overall exhaustion. 

What To Do After You Exercise With Fibromyalgia 

Exercise with fibromyalgia means gradually working your way up to more intense physical activity. Moving at a slower pace allows you to gauge your body’s conditions. 

Five minutes a day is a perfect way to start including exercise in your routine. If you move too fast, too hard, you run the risk of post-exertional malaise. Light yoga, water exercises, or elliptical work are great starting point workouts. They are easy on your muscles and your joints. 

Those experiencing fibromyalgia should exercise consistently for 15 minutes a day. Remember: you should aim to feel the right kind of tired, not overly exhausted. 

Even five minutes of exercise a day can help lessen muscle fatigue and pain. Focus on low-intensity exercises that make you feel good. 


Exercise with fibromyalgia is possible for you! By keeping these seven exercise tips in mind, you’ll be able to stay active while keeping your body protected from the symptoms of fibromyalgia. 

7 Easy Ways To Exercise With Fibromyalgia (& Why It Helps Relieve Pain) | Quit Chronic Fatigue

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