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 if that's all you can manage.
Begin by doing stretching exercises in bed in the morning. This 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. I will link a youtube video (not an affiliate) that may inspire you and give you ideas of stretches to try Morning Yoga For Chronic Pain & Stiff Joints.
2. Know that it will be helpful.
Exercise is a highly effective way to reduce the pain of fibromyalgia. It also improves sleep and lessens fatigue associated with fibromyalgia. Even though exercise might feel like the last thing you should be doing, you need to trust that moving can help control your symptoms.
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 increasing exercise levels.
Try walking for five minutes every day and increase your walking time by a minute or two every week until you find yourself able to exercise for up to 20-30 minutes per day. This 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 fibromyalgia flare 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. This might mean 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.
You can start with gentle stretches in bed or a warm bath if your muscles are very stiff.
6. Be careful with strength training.
Build up slowly to lifting heavy weights to avoid a flare-up of symptoms or injury. Think about 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 to get the exercise done without wearing yourself out.
The biggest mistake you can make is to push through an exercise program when your body tells you to rest. This can lead to injury or feeling that exercise is too much for you, resulting in you wanting to give up before reaping the benefits of exercise in managing your fibromyalgia.
8. Take a hot water bath or a hot shower an hour after exercising.
Heat can help increase blood circulation, aiding recovery and ease muscle tension.
9. Be patient with yourself.
Try to pace yourself according to your pain and energy level, so exercise sessions 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.
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