Exercises That Reduce Fibromyalgia Pain and Fatigue

I don’t have Fibromyalgia Pain and Fatigue however I came across this article and thought I pass it one maybe it will be helpful to others.

Exercises That Reduce Fibromyalgia Pain and Fatigue


Move Past the Pain


No doubt about it — physical activity can sometimes be tough when you’ve got fibromyalgia. You can’t do much on the days you’re feeling drained. And on the days you’re feeling good, you may be tempted to overdo it. But to cope better with your condition, you’ve got to exercise, even if it’s just a little bit, because grinding to a complete standstill is only likely to make your symptoms worse. But the trouble is, there’s no one-size-fits-all exercise guideline for folks with fibromyalgia. And strenuous activity may set you back. So you’ve got to be smart. But with a bit of trial and error — and guidance from your doc — you can determine what type of physical activities make sense for you, as well as how much, how often, and how intensely to do them.


Try Gentle Water-Based Workouts

Whether or not you’re a water lover, you’ll want to at least try water exercises. Numerous studies report that this form of low-impact exercise — especially when done in warm water — can help reduce pain, stiffness, fatigue, and depression in many people with fibromyalgia. And you don’t have to endure the back-and-forth monotony of swimming laps if that’s not for you. There are a variety of fun, get-wet workouts to choose from — including music-based aqua aerobics, underwater walking or jogging, strength training, stretching, and water-based relaxation therapies like yoga, tai chi, and Watsu. Heck, some spas and fitness centers even offer pool-based Zumba, hip hop, and country-western line dancing.


Aerobics for Land Lovers

If working out in water is not your thing, plug into a beginner fitness video a few nights each week. Research suggests that cardio-based aerobic exercise can be an effective way to curb pain, fatigue, anxiety, and depression in people living with fibromyalgia. Better yet, the options are endless. If you prefer group workouts, you can choose from a variety of low-impact dance-based aerobics classes, step classes, spin classes, kickboxing classes, and more. Prefer solo workouts? Try treadmill walking, elliptical training, or even roller-skating, hiking, or biking. Whatever exercise you try, check with your doctor first, and stick with low-impact aerobics done at light to moderate intensity. No aggressive workouts; you’ll just exacerbate your symptoms that way.


Strengthen Your Muscles for Relief

You don’t have to be a body builder. But lifting light weights or doing other types of resistance-based strength training might improve your symptoms. Fewer fibromyalgia studies have been done on strength training than on other exercise forms, but resistance training shows equal promise in its ability to relieve pain and fatigue, improve sleep, reduce the number of tender points, and dampen depression in people with the condition. Strength training also may prevent weakening and loss of muscle mass (atrophy) to boot.


Step Away from Pain

One of the easiest things you can do is lace up your walking shoes and hit the sidewalk. Research suggests that mildly to moderately intense walking may dial down pain and fatigue just as well as other forms of aerobic exercise do. But ask your rheumatologist or physical therapist how fast, how far, and how often you should walk when starting out. And build up your walks gradually. How much you should ultimately walk will depend on several factors, including your age, your fitness and activity levels, the severity of your fibromyalgia symptoms, and whether the activity worsens or improves your pain and fatigue. Keep in mind that it’s probably also best to do mini walks here and there rather than take one long walk.


Stretch It Out

Compared with aerobics and strength training, less research has been done on the benefits of stretching for people living with fibromyalgia. But a smattering of findings do suggest that stretching exercises, including those used in physical therapy and yoga, may help reduce overall stiffness, improve muscular flexibility, and enhance well-being in people with fibromyalgia. Consider consulting with a licensed physical therapist for prescribed stretching exercises that are safe for people with fibromyalgia.


Work with a Physical Therapist

If you’re new to exercise or just not sure what kinds are safe for you, ask your doctor or rheumatologist for a referral to a licensed physical therapist — one who is trained in working with fibromyalgia patients. This is not a fitness trainer, but a medically trained physical therapist. Working closely with this kind of expert may help prevent you from aggravating your symptoms with the wrong kind or intensity of exercise. That’s especially true if you have other physical conditions or injuries to work around. Plus, some studies do suggest that physical therapy helps improve flexibility and range of motion, emotional well-being, and muscle loss and weakness in people with fibromyalgia


Tai Chi and Chi-Gong (Qigong)

These two forms of ancient Chinese medicine combine gentle martial-arts-based movement, postural exercises, breathing exercises, and mindfulness meditation. Tai chi is one of many types of chi-gong (qigong), and both disciplines were developed centuries ago as techniques for enhancing the body’s vital life energy (or chi) as a way to heal disease and increase well-being. Both activities have received some serious attention of late from fibromyalgia researchers. More study is needed to confirm whether the exercises have a direct effect on pain, but findings do suggest they might enhance the ability to cope with it. And both exercise forms have helped relieve anxiety and depression in people with fibromyalgia. Tai chi seems to enhance balance and lower body flexibility as well.


Stick with It

The best way to ensure exercise improves your fibromyalgia? Don’t stop once you start. Getting fit and controlling symptoms does not have a beginning and an end. And being a faithful follower of your exercise program is what brings continuous results. Research suggests that the symptom-improving benefits of any exercise program may take up to 4 weeks to fully kick in, so be patient. And remember, whether you are just starting out or have been at it for a while, if exercise ever hurts or makes your symptoms worse, stop. Break it up. Exercise in small spurts. And keep it low-key. The last thing you want is to overdo it. And if you can’t find anything that works for you, check in with your doctor or physical therapist as soon as possible to find out what other treatments you might need to get back on a more active path.