Are you one of the many people with fibromyalgia who struggles to stay active?
If so, don't worry – you're not alone.
Exercise can be more than a little tough when dealing with chronic pain, but it's important to make an effort whenever possible.
Here are 10 tips to help start an exercise routine for fibromyalgia, stay motivated and keep progressing!
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It can be challenging to do any exercise when you live with fibromyalgia; however, many studies and empirical evidence have shown that the right kind of exercise can reduce fibromyalgia pain and help control other fibromyalgia symptoms.
Here are some simple tips to help you begin to exercise to find some relief from your symptoms:
1. START EXERCISING IN BED
Begin by doing stretching exercises in bed in the morning if that is all you can manage. Gentle stretching will loosen up the muscles and help train your body to move better.
Take your time and spend about a half-hour slowly stretching, giving your body a chance to rest in between different stretches.
2. KNOW THAT IT WILL BE HELPFUL
Even though exercise might feel like the last thing you should be doing, you need to trust that moving can help control your symptoms.
Exercise is a highly effective way to reduce the pain of fibromyalgia. It also improves sleep and lessens fatigue associated with fibromyalgia.
3. BEGIN THE PROCESS SLOWLY
When it comes to exercise, even if you don't have fibromyalgia, the key is to begin slowly and work your way up to increased exercise levels.
Try walking for five minutes every day and increase your walking time by a minute or two every week until you find you're able to exercise for up to 20-30 minutes per day. This process may take several months, but gradually, you will find the exercise a little easier.
If the idea of "exercise" seems too hard, do things that increase the body's activity, such as moving around more in your home and light stretching. Aim for one minute of activity followed by three minutes of rest. You don't have to begin a formal exercise program to be more active.
4. PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR BODY
Listen to your body and tailor your exercise so that you don't overdo it. Some people try to do too much and become injured or get fibromyalgia flares and give up too soon.
Even if you were accustomed to being athletic before the diagnosis of fibromyalgia, things have changed, and you have to recognize that something you could do before may currently be out of your reach.
Practice different exercise levels until you find something that feels good to your body but does not injure or worsen your pain.
5. MAKE MODIFICATIONS TO YOUR WORKOUT
As someone with fibromyalgia, you need to take steps to avoid worsening your pain or becoming injured. Safe exercise for fibromyalgia includes planning your exercise to occur when your body feels at its best, usually between 10:00 am and 3:00 pm in people with fibromyalgia.
Be sure to stretch out before doing anything strenuous so you don't injure your muscles. If your muscles feel too stiff to stretch out properly, then start with gentle stretches in bed or a warm bath.
Explore Restorative Yoga to learn about using gentle stretching to relieve muscle stiffness.
6. BE CAREFUL WITH STRENGTH TRAINING
Build up slowly to lift heavy weights to avoid a flare-up of symptoms or injury. Consider doing strength training with elastic bands, and don't do multiple sets of the same exercise until a single set becomes easy and you have rested your muscles well between sets.
7. TAKE AS MANY BREAKS AS YOU NEED
The biggest mistake you can make is to push through an exercise program when your body tells you to rest.
Ignoring fatigue can lead to injury or the feeling that exercise is too much for you. It can lead to giving up before reaping the benefits of exercise in managing your fibromyalgia.
Instead, take as many breaks as you need to get the exercise done without wearing yourself out.
8. TAKE A HOT BATH OR SHOWER AFTER EXERCISING
The heat from a hot bath or hot shower can help increase blood circulation, aiding recovery and relieving muscle tension.
A sauna, steam room, or jacuzzi at a health club is also an excellent option if you have it available. A popular alternative is to use an Infrared Sauna Blanket.
9. BE PATIENT WITH YOURSELF
Try to pace yourself according to your pain and energy level so that your fibromyalgia workouts are a positive experience. Start exercising as slowly as you need to.
10. FOLLOW THE RESEARCH
Read about the latest research findings Short Bursts of Physical Activity To Ease Fibromyalgia Pain.