Getting fit to help fight fibromyalgia

Living with fibromyalgia can sometimes seem almost impossible. It is a chronic disorder defined by pain and fatigue. So, you might wonder how will working out help in easing the pain of this long-term rheumatic disorder. You might doubt that you have enough strength to withstand the ache of working out, but exercising can actually help fibromyalgia. You just need to be careful not to overwork yourself, and not to hurt yourself.

Getting started

Given your condition, keep in mind that you need to pace yourself and start working out slowly and carefully, if you have been inactive for more than three months. Do not overestimate yourself thinking you can go run a mile and still be able to get up next morning. Keep in mind that you will experience soreness and increase in pain when you first start to exercise, but that will go away over time. The key here is to not give up. You shouldn’t stop and wait for your body to stop aching, but continue to be active and persistent, until you develop a habit. The most difficult thing is to start!

Consider this to help you start working out easier: don’t overwork your body, and know when to stop. Break down the exercise in 5- to 10-minute sections throughout the day, to ease the strain on your muscles. Stretch as much as you can. And don’t forget to take plenty of rest and water.

Build up strength and stamina

People with this condition have often had to quit their jobs and were unable to perform daily tasks such as housekeeping, because of their inactivity. However, increasing the fitness level helped many in going back to work, and keeping up with their chores. What limited them was their fitness lever (or lack thereof). People who moderately work out have an easier time with tasks that others see as meaningless. To be able to build strength and stamina, you need to work out. If you’re not great at going to the gym, get yourself home gym equipment to be able to actually work out when you have time, and feel good enough to do it. Working out for as little as 5 minutes five days a week will greatly benefit your condition and ease the pain. However, if you do not trust yourself enough to work out at home, consider getting a personal trainer with experience in fibromyalgia. 

Reduce stress

One of the main benefits of working out is that it is a natural stress relief. It can be empowering and give you the strength you didn’t think you had. However, you need to be careful not to guilt yourself into working out more than your body can take, because that can be counter-effective and you can end up in even more pain than if you hadn’t exercised.

Movement can give you a sense of control, knowing that you can move and not ache. But not every movement and every exercise is good for your body. One of the most significant exercises are those in water – like water aerobics, walking on the treadmill under water, and swimming. Also, yoga can be very productive, since it is not aggressive to your muscles and if you’re careful, there are minimal chances of hurting yourself.

Another benefit of working out is that you will be able to sleep easier. Tiring your body during the day, instead of just sitting and doing nothing in fear that it will hurt, will help you go to sleep with a sense of accomplishment.

Working out relieves symptoms

Until now, we have consistently seen that working out can benefit the ease of fibromyalgia symptoms. Let’s see how. There are many symptoms closely connected to fibromyalgia, like obesity, osteoporosis, and insomnia. This is generally tied to the sedentary lifestyle, where people who sit throughout the day don’t get their muscles active enough, so they start degenerating and fat takes place instead. Insomnia is caused because your body didn’t get tired enough for it to need to rest. So, working out will not only help you with the pain and soreness of the muscles, but it will also prevent some of the bigger problems down the road.


Getting started is the most difficult part. Once you push through the pain and the fatigue, you will soon start feeling better, have more energy, and have a better quality of sleep. We hope you do take the step to start working out regularly – it can only benefit you!

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