Exercise – Why Do It?

You may not want to exercise because you are afraid that it will make your pain worse. But, the discomfort of exercise usually goes away within 30 minutes. Exercise strengthens your muscles, lessens fatigue, and helps lessen pain over time. Fibromyalgia pain causes muscles to shorten and tighten. A daily programme of stretching helps warm the muscles by increasing blood flow and lengthening them, protecting you from the chance of injury.

You must learn to listen to your body and let it tell you what it can handle. Remember each individual reacts differently to different types of exercise. Lack of exercise can cause tight, painful muscles; can reduce functioning capacity of your cardiovascular system; and can cause weight gain. Remember to choose activities that do not intensify your fibromyalgia symptoms.

Stretching can be your main form of exercise and should always be done before and after low-impact and aerobic forms of exercise (avoid activities involving sustained repetitive motion as they can aggravate fibromyalgia pain).

fibromyalgia and excercise

As a form of exercise, stretching should be done several minutes every day ,
Breathing and relaxation exercises are excellent complements to a stretching programme

Make sure that you warm up before starting any exercise by stretching or massaging your muscles. Also, cool down afterwards to lessen muscle soreness.

Remember, all kinds of physical activity can be considered exercise. Walking your dog, strolling through your local shopping centre, playing with children or walking up and down your staircase several times a day can all keep you physically active. Remember to just keep moving!

Avoid cold water and cold or damp air when exercising. Hydrotherapy (exercise in warm –water) exercise that takes place in a pool with a water temperature of 900 allows your muscles to relax and gives you the opportunity to move in a gravity- free environment that is less taxing on your joints and muscles

Work with caregivers to choose an exercise program that stretches your muscles and also increases your endurance over time. Endurance is the ability to exercise longer than you used to be able to. Together decide on the type and amount of exercise best for you. Choose low-impact exercise such as walking, riding a stationary bike and swimming. This kind of exercise helps the painful muscles but will also make you feel and sleep better.

Break your exercise into tolerable sessions (four 5-minute walks rather than one 20-minute walk). Slowly start to do more each day. Rest when you feel it is needed.

Stand and walk using good posture by keeping your head and shoulders up. Also, hold your abdominal (belly) muscles in.

Protect your neck and shoulders from strain

When walking heel to toe make sure that your shoulders are back and that you are standing straight.

Set yourself exercise targets for the week and reward yourself if you achieve your goals—rewards could be having a massage, taking extra time to do something you enjoy doing i.e. reading.

You should think about exercising with a friend or maybe consider joining a low impact exercise class such as dancing, this will help eliminate your feeling of isolation and increase your social interaction with other people.