Does exercise really help you with fibromyalgia?

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-13-2012
Does exercise really help you with fibromyalgia?
2
Sun, 04-14-2013 - 12:30pm

Does anyone here exercise and if so, what kind of exercising do you do? How do you motivate yourself to do it? Have you really noticed any benefits?

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-06-2000

Exercise absolutely helps!  I do yoga, the elliptical, and walking, but any exercise you enjoy and do consistently will help.  I DON'T suggest you dive into boot camp, cross fit, P90X or anything strenuous like that if you aren't already working out all the time, because you'll likely be laid up for a week or longer!  If you're starting out, walking is great.  I love yoga and have been doing it since I was a kid, long before it was trendy.  I follow along with yogamazing.com, which is a free podcast on itunes, and even has a special yoga routine for fibromyalgia.  It's easy enough for a beginner but works me enough to give me great definition in my arms and legs, so I look good, too.  Another benefit is improved balance, which is a problem for a lot of us FM peeps.  I do the majority of my cardio on the elliptical, since I bought one and it's easy on my joints.  Swimming, pilates, dance, or anything fun will help you feel better, especially once you get into better shape and have been doing it for a few weeks.  I feel a lot better when I'm able to get in 20 or 30 minutes of exercise everyday, even if it's cleaning my house and grocery shopping.  

As for how to motivate myself?  I KNOW I'll feel better, have more energy, and the stamina to get through a 12 hour day at work if I'm in good shape.  If I can do intervals for 25 minutes on the elliptical or hold a pose correctly with the little dude teaching the class, I know I'll be able to carry 40lb bags of dog food into the house, lift a heavy patient at work, run to a code, and walk on the beach for as long as anyone else without having to go lay down afterwards.  Yes, I still have to rest more than most people, and I don't always feel good, I still get flares, too, but overall, I notice a huge difference in my over all health, both physical and mental.  The key is to start slowly and build up at a slow but steady pace.  I actually started the elliptical with 5 minutes a day, adding one or 2 minutes a week until I could go for 30.  It took a while, true, but I didn't make myself sick or hurt myself, both of which will get you discouraged faster than anything.  With the yoga, there are short workouts that are about 10 minutes up to an hour, so start with a quick routine and build from there.  The great thing is if you get tired, you can rest, pause it, or do a different pose until you are strong enough to follow along.

If you have any questions, let me know.  I'll be happy to answer or find you an answer.  :-)

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-01-2014
Sat, 02-01-2014 - 1:34pm

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