Studies show movement keeps muscles strong and flexible
There was a time when most doctors believed that exercise would worsen fibromyalgia pain or even fast track the disease. Doctors would advise patients that they needed rest rather than activity. Nowadays, doctors inform fibromyalgia patients that they can benefit from low impact activity and that these exercises are safe and easy.
The Benefits of Exercise
Newer studies have shown that exercise is vital to keeping muscles strong and flexible, maintaining weight and helping you to keep an active lifestyle. Moreover, exercise can help fibromyalgia patients to have some control over fibromyalgia symptoms and the amount of pain they feel.
If you are living with fibromyalgia pain, exercise is not something you want to think about. However, exercise can offer you the symptom relief you need in order to maintain control of your life and your disease. Low-impact exercises — such as walking, stretching, swimming and yoga — can help you stay fit and to manage the pain and symptoms associated with fibromyalgia.
Get Started and Stay Motivated
Where do you begin? Here some strategies to help you to get started and to help you stay motivated as you adapt exercise into your fibromyalgia treatment plan.
• Acknowledge that exercise helps, not hurts. Fibromyalgia pain can be debilitating and uncomfortable. The idea of exercising can seem daunting, but acknowledging that exercise can offer countless benefits can make getting started seem less intense. Exercise can help fibromyalgia patients to control weight, reduce pain, sleep better, and increase mobility and it can also guard against other health problems such as diabetes and high blood pressure.
• Start slowly. To keep from getting discouraged and to keep you from being overwhelmed, try a slow and gentle approach to exercise. You can change your activity level over time and as you gain results. Some low impact exercises that you can start with include walking, yoga, golf and swimming.
• Listen to your body. At first, you may experience pain and soreness after exercise. Some muscle soreness is normal but sharp pain is a sign that you have overworked muscles. Be sure to stretch and warm up before physical activity and do not overwork yourself. You may want to start exercising at a very low level such as five to 10 minutes per day. You can then increase your activity gradually until you are at about 45 to 60 minutes per day.
• Move every day. To get the most benefit from exercise, you should be active daily. The best daily options for exercising include walking and making use of exercise equipment. You can go swimming or try biking, yoga or running. It is important to find something that you actually enjoy doing. Further, you should take every opportunity to be active. Go for a walk after dinner, play a sport with your kids, or to spend the day playing golf.
• Be patient. Feeling pain may tempt you to just want to sit down, be motionless and do nothing. However, you will accomplish more and make more of a difference in the quality of your life through movement. Getting better with exercise takes time and hard work. Allow yourself the time to become active because once you do, you will find there is a lot you can actually accomplish.
Find Out What Works For You
Remember that each of us is different. Setting an exercise plan depends on your age and the severity of your symptoms and what works for one person may not necessarily work for another. Always listen to your body and find ways to fine tune your exercise routine until you find what works for you so that you continue to stay active and motivated. The end result is that you will be healthier, stronger and in less pain.
Orginally Published at Fibromyaliga Connect.