If you are suffering from fibromyalgia, having muscle pain can be troublesome; and those tender points? They must be really painful with any sleep disturbances and fatigue only adding to it.
Fibromyalgia can be caused after injuries, physiological or emotional stress or sometimes without any trigger factor. The pain caused in this condition seems to be attributed to the abnormally increased pain transmitting chemicals in the brain. This causes the brain to overreact to pain signals by being oversensitive and the painful condition easily erupts with the slightest trigger. It is more common in women and in those with rheumatoid disorders.
So how do you manage fibromyalgia? It is obvious to feel the need to rest more. But the fact is that, while adequate rest is important, appropriate movement and exercise is just what you need to keep fit, reduce or maintain your weight and remain pain free.
Importance of Fitness Training in Fibromyalgia
Scientific studies have shown that most patients with fibromyalgia actually benefit from regular exercise. The most important thing is to plan an appropriate combination of different types of exercises to suit your requirements without overdoing anything.
A professional expert can guide you through this, as individual requirements may vary. Nevertheless, regular exercise has the ability to boost endorphins and serotonin levels, both of which are necessary to fight adverse effects of increased stress; especially in those with fibromyalgia.
4 Types of Exercises That Can Help Manage Fibromyalgia
Your fitness program for managing fibromyalgia should include exercises that improve range of motion, provide flexibility, strengthening and aerobic conditioning; as they are safe and necessary for your condition. Initially exercises can cause some amount of increased pain but with properly planned consistent exercise regimen, you are sure to reap more benefits with reduced pain.
1. Aerobic Exercises For Fibromyalgia– These are known as the best exercises to condition your heart as they improve blood flow to all the body parts and organs. Improved blood circulation to the muscles and tissues can help in reducing pain and proper oxygenation will nourish them well.
Choose the aerobic exercise that you can comfortably begin with like walking, jogging, cycling, swimming, aerobics, dance etc. These are recommended for at least 20 to 30 minutes for 3 to 4 days a week. You can alternate these with other types of exercise spread over an entire week. Aqua aerobics or water exercises are a best option as water reduces the feeling of your weight and pain; and this is of particular significance for overweight people.
2. Stretching Exercises For Fibromyalgia– These are performed to prevent injuries and increase your sustenance during exercises. It also helps to reduce your body pain, to lengthen the muscles and improve your flexibility and range of movement. This is very important for your daily activities and when stretches are performed regularly you can see gradual improvement in your movement.
Begin with a warm-up to increase the body heat and then move towards stretching. Include them in your daily exercises for at least 10 minutes. You can perform basic stretches of the neck, shoulders, arms, back and legs.
- Turn neck- up/down and sideways.
- Raising and rotation of shoulders, raising arms sideways and front.
- Bend back- front/back and sideways.
- Lift legs like marching, rotating ankles.
3. Strength Training For Fibromyalgia– These are the best for improving the tone and strength of your muscles so that they are well-equipped to take on your daily tasks without getting fatigued. These exercises exert a little more pressure than just stretching or make your muscles work against some resistance. These can be done daily or at least 3 times a week. Perform neck, shoulder and back exercises for 5 counts for each position to begin with and gradually increase. Using light weights is also a good option. Some strength training exercises are:
Neck Exercise for Fibromyalgia
- Press your forehead with your hand and push behind. Allow the neck to resist this push.
- Press your head with hands from behind and push forwards. Allow the neck to resist this push
- Perform the same on both sides of your head. Neck muscles work against resistance and build strength.
Back Exercise for Fibromyalgia
- Lie on your back and raise your pelvic portion as pelvic bridging; hold for few seconds and release.
- Raise your knees bent to touch your chest and release. Perform with alternate knees.
- Lie on your stomach and raise your head and chest portion upwards while bearing weight on hands.
4. Balance Exercises For Fibromyalgia– Simple balancing exercises can make wonders. It provides brain training and can also prevent falls.
- Stand on one leg without support; alternate with other leg
- Stand against the wall with your head, shoulders, back and hips touching the wall
- Stand on your raised toes.
- Walk on your heels with toes raised.
Fitness Tips For Fibromyalgia
Here Are Some Fitness Tips That Can Help You With Fibromyalgia:
- Maintain a daily routine with exclusive time for your exercise regimen,
- Plan a balanced diet that goes well with your exercise regimen,
- Drink plenty of water or fluids and include healthy snacking alternatives.
- Avoid overdoing; be it work or exercise. Understand your limits and act in moderation.
- Begin gradually with your exercises and do proper warm-ups to avoid injuries and strains.
- Learn when ice pack or warm compresses can be used to prevent soreness after exercises.
Remember that fitness management regimen should be a part of your life. This can eventually lead you to a pain free condition. So remain consistent and follow it religiously. Follow-up with your fitness expert to make necessary modifications as required.