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Exercise and Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition that causes pain in the muscles and bones, fatigue and tiredness. Many of those with this condition are less physically active than the Australian recommendations.


How to exercise with fibromyalgia 

There are no forms of exercise that will possibly benefit every individual suffering with fibromyalgia. Therefore, the type of exercise will be beneficial for an individual when it is made on a case by case basis and dependent on factors specific to the individual.


Aerobic exercise:

Now regarded as a standard treatment for fibromyalgia because of its benefits to overall wellbeing and fitness. The amount, type and intensity should be assessed by an Accredited Exercise Physiologist.


Resistance training:

Leads to strength gains, lower pain levels, reduced tenderness and greater wellbeing and functionality. Theraband exercises are a great way to start. Once more strength has developed, you can progress to standard gym machines. It’s possible that it may take 6 months to see benefits. Consult an Accredited Exercise Physiologist prior to commencing a resistance training program to avoid any onset of pain.



How much exercise should I do?

When starting your exercise program:

2-3 days per week, 10 minute intervals over the day at a light intensity


How to progress:

Gradual progression to 30 minutes of exercise per day, 5-7 days per week, moderate intensity



Tips for exercising with fibromyalgia

  1. Listen to your body and reduce intensity when needed
  2. Understand that pain will not cause any further damage
  3. Muscles and ligaments love movement
  4. When you first start exercise, be sure to exercise on non-consecutive days to allow time for rest



References

Exercise Right. 2022. Fibromyalgia & Exercise - What you need to know!. [online] Available at: <https://exerciseright.com.au/fibromyalgia/>