Exercises For People In Pain
Adding additional movement or aerobic workouts to your schedule when you are already facing a chronic, debilitating level of pain and fatigue might sound like a terrible joke, but it isn’t! Staying active, when diagnosed with fibromyalgia, may be the key to reducing the intensity of symptoms and creating a more comfortable day-to-day routine.
What Workout’s Work?
There are obviously some activities that should be avoided, such as heavy lifting or high impact events that put you at a greater risk of injury. However, these seven exercises could be easily incorporated into your lifestyle and make living with fibromyalgia a little easier.
- Walking – Participating in this low-impact exercise not only benefits muscle strength and growth, but it improves cardiovascular health, as well. Walking can be performed outdoors, where the fresh air and quiet surroundings may work to reduce stress levels and in turn alleviate fibromyalgia pain.
- Stretching – Simple stretching is a wonderful way to keep muscles engaged and lose. Stretching can be performed anywhere – home, work, or at the gym. Take time from your busy schedule to engage each muscle group with simple stretches. This doesn’t require breaking a sweat, but will help reduce muscle stress and tension that could be adding to your level of discomfort.
- Light Strength Training – strengthening your muscles is never a bad thing, especially when one symptom of fibromyalgia is weakening muscles. The key to this exercise program is to keep the amount of weight low and the repetitions at a normal range. You are simply looking to create strong and lean muscles, not bulk up like a body builder.
- Yoga/Tai Chi – Both of these activities focus on mental clarity and relaxation. With yoga, you perform simple poses to stretch muscles while using deep and calming breathing techniques. Tai Chi is a wonderful program, as only little movement is required, but the results are numerous. Tai Chi works to improve balance, endurance, stretch, and mental clarity.
- Sex – This is not a joke and YES it does count as exercise! Sex provides two benefits to your battle against pain: cardiovascular workout and stress reducer. Having a personal connection with your partner provides you with a feeling of connection and partnership that reduces feelings of isolation and depression many sufferers experience. Unlike the other exercises mentioned, this one isn’t as easy to suggest or mandate as part of a treatment plan.
- Swimming – Whether participating in water aerobics or simply swimming some laps in the pool, this form of exercise is wonderful for fibromyalgia sufferers. The water provides no impact to those achy muscles and joints and leaves you weightless in the water. Additionally, the presence of warm water while working out can reduce level of stress and tension in the body and muscles.
- Everyday Household Activities – As simple as this may sound, performing your daily tasks like sweeping, playing with the kids, laundry and buying groceries may help to reduce number and intensity of symptoms. Creating a daily schedule and spreading out these chores across your day will provide some physical activity from morning to night. Try to complete your most challenging tasks in the morning, when you are at your strongest, leaving the lighter or easier tasks for the evening time. This provides your body with the level of activity it needs and marks off some things on your ever-growing to-do list!
Making It Count
When introducing any type of exercise program into your routine, it is important to make a schedule and stick to it. To receive the most benefit, you should exercise for 30-45 minutes at least three times a week. If you are able to workout more, just go at your own pace, but be sure not to overdue yourself. Listen to your body and let it guide whether your workout is too intense. Whatever activities you may choose, always share changes in your routine with your doctor prior to making them, to ensure that your body is ready and healthy enough for them. At any time, should your symptoms worsen, stop the exercise program and schedule a visit with your physician. The goal of your workout program is to reduce fibromyalgia symptoms, not create new stresses or points of pain.