Fibromyalgia consists of a laundry list of symptoms that make physical activity very unappealing, however, exercise is one of the best things for it.
Symptoms can take form in seemingly unexplainable body pains, muscle spasms and weakness, fatigue, anxiety, nausea, and problematic sleeping patterns, just to name a few. It is understandable why someone with the syndrome would not want to keeping working out, but exercising with fibromyalgia has many benefits:
• Fights depression that often results from frequent pain
• Produces “feel good” endorphins such as serotonin that provide natural pain relief
• Helps prevent weight gain that will only intensify symptoms
• Maintains flexibility and overall mobility that will otherwise be lost
• Helps maintain healthy blood flow and circulation
• Wards off disease associated with sedentary lifestyles (heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes...)
Fibromyalgia exercises should be low impact and have a focus on increasing range of movement. Here are a list of ideas for exercising with this condition.
• Swimming, Water Walking and Water Aerobics
• Tai Chi
• Stretching Routines
• Strength Training
When exercising with a propensity for chronic pain, it’s very important to listen to your body. It’s essential to find a balance between being disciplined enough to commit to a workout when you aren’t feeling well, and backing off when your body is really not up for the challenge. Always, always talk to your doctor and get a general health clearance before you start exercising. Avoid exercises that jar the joints and that are otherwise high impact.
Here’s a saying I heard somewhere a while ago: “Exercise is like spare change, it all ads up”. Keep this in mind when you are exercising with this condition; if you can only walk/swim/stretch/etc for 5-10 minutes at a time, it is not 5-10 minutes wasted. Do what you can in terms of exercise, and build on it when you feel you are making progress.