For fibromyalgia sufferers, exercise can be daunting. However, doctors agree that exercise is crucial in reducing pain and stress, keeping weight in check and strengthening your muscles. Gentle movements can ease chronic pain and strengthen muscles without causing as much fatigue as traditional exercise.
Fibromyalgia and Exercise
Fibromyalgia sufferers may believe exercise is impossible. Tired, always aching muscles, morning stiffness and relentless fatigue can all occur without exercise. Yet, doctors agree that for most fibromyalgia suffers, exercise can be the key to reducing pain. Web MD’s Fibromyalgia Health Center experts discuss the importance of exercise for:
- Controlling Weight – which can lessen symptoms.
- Improving Sleep – a major issue for those with fibromyalgia.
- Increasing Energy – and improving muscle strength.
- Reducing Anxiety – and feeling a better sense of well being.
And these are only a few of the many benefits.
Still, exercise for those with fibromyalgia may be a bit different than it is for those without. In fact, gentle movements and exercises are often recommended to start out with.
Patients often complain about fibromyalgia’s nasty cycle. Sufferers already feel fatigue and muscle pain, which limits exercise, which increases pain and on and on. However, adding even just 20 minutes of gentle movements as part of a general health wellness plan can reduce the pain of chronic pain, which can in turn give energy to sufferers, which can in turn reduce anxiety and on and on.
But where to start? First, always consult with your physician before attempting a new exercise regimen. Then, check out the following techniques to fit gentle movements into your day:
Chronic pain is often a deterrent to regular exercise. With fibromyalgia, movement is often limited. Luckily, exercises designed for people limited to a wheelchair offer just the right amount of strength training and gentle movements for those with fibromyalgia.
Many wheelchair exercises and gentle movements rely on an exercise technique called isometrics. This exercise technique is all about gentle presses and holds to increase muscle strength. A great book for gentle movements is 8 Minutes in the Morning: Real Shapes Real Sizes by expert guru Jorge Cruise (Jorge Cruise Inc.).
Cruise designed these simple exercises, such as pressing the palm of your hands gently down on a flat table surface while seated and holding, for those with very limited movement. Additionally, this helpful manual is full of illustrations, a suggested eating plan and is intended for those looking to lose more than 30 pounds.
Gentle yoga can be a fantastic way to warm up. Try a beginning yoga class or a gentle yoga DVD. Other stretching exercises could include Nia, a gentle body movement technique and Tai Chi. Each technique pays special attention to breathing, gentle stretching, relaxation and reflection.
Breaking the Cycle of Chronic Pain
Fibromyalgia sufferers can improve their pain, fatigue, strength and energy with just a few minutes of exercise per day. For those just starting out, the key is to choose gentle exercises and movements, such as those found in isometric exercises and yoga. A pre-exercise warm up to loosen the muscles is always recommended.
Fitting in exercise can be as simple as parking the car farther away at the shops, riding a recumbent bike while watching a favorite twenty-minute long television program, or even getting your kids involved in a simple yoga routine.