Low Impact Activities for Fibromyalgia Patients

Living with Fibromyalgia (FM) can be a difficult battle to face, especially because of some of the symptoms of the disorder. They can include constant pain, stiffness, and soreness throughout the body.  There is, however, medication and certain therapies that are used to manage and control the symptoms. Plus, there is research that has shown that incorporating low-impact exercise and activities into your day-to-day routine can significantly improve your quality of life.

Here is a list of the top FM-friendly workouts and how they can benefit you physically as well as mentally.

Benefits

Exercise should be a key component in everyone’s lives, but it’s significantly important for FM sufferers. This is because not only will it help to ease the pain of symptoms, but it can also benefit your mental well-being.

Increases serotonin in the brain

This is the feel-good hormone; Participating in exercise can give FM patients the boost they need to take on the day. FM suffers are prone to depression and this is one way that can help with their mood.

Helps to aid sleep

It’s often hard for FM patients to get a good night’s sleep. Physical activity can help increase your quality of sleep and can help suffers sleep through the night.

Helps to fight the painful symptoms of the disorder

Medication is used to treat FM pain, but did you know that continued low-impact physically activity can also help.

Low-impact exercises and activities

Below are some options of low-impact ways to exercise with FM, read through each option to see which ones could work for you. One of the most important factors when it comes to improving symptoms of the disorder is consistency. It’s recommended that you exercise three to four times every week.

1. Walking

One of the best activities someone with FM can do is walk. Take a walk, it doesn’t need to be a long or difficult walk. Find a path that works for you and aim for a 15 to 30-minute walk, but remember that it’s okay to take a break, find a bench or coffee shop to rest your legs.

2. Stretching

It’s important to stretch at least once a day. this will help with flexibility and will ease tight or stiff muscles. Stretching can also help you keep up your range of motion and help you with everyday activities such as reaching or looking over your shoulder.

3. Yoga

It doesn’t need to be intense yoga with goats and all that jazz, beginners’ yoga is perfect. The gentle combination of breathing techniques, poses, and meditation can help to foster both physical and mental health.

4. Swimming

If don’t have trouble getting in or out of a pool, then you should really consider swimming. Swimming is actually really good for FM sufferers as the buoyancy of the water can help to ease pain and decrease stress levels.

5. Strength training

This doesn’t mean to participate in heavy-lifting, you can practice strength training by using light weights (start with one pound and then work your way up). It’s important to remember to lift slowly and don’t over-exert yourself.

Studies show that strength training can greatly help with depression, a common issue for FM patients. Try to work each area — legs, chest, shoulders, arms, back, and abs — at least two to three times a week.

6. Biking

Strap on a helmet and get your bike out of storage. Biking is a low-impact activity that many FM patients find to be relaxing. In fact, the constant back and forth motions help to reduce stiffness and can help with energy levels.

7. Tai Chi

Like yoga, Tai Chi involves gentle flowing movements that can help to reduce stiffness, fatigue, and pain caused by FM. Even participating in Tai Chi two times a week can help to relax the mind and build up balance and strength.

8. Pilates

Another great exercise to FM patients can participate in is Pilates. Pilates involves a series of low-impact stretches that are designed to foster muscle strength, help with flexibility, and enhance posture.

Exercise Tips

Consult your doctor beforehand: It’s always a good idea to talk to your doctor before you start your exercise program.

Start off slow: Give it time, when you first start off don’t go all in. It’s important to work your way up, if you can only walk for 10 minutes to start, that’s fine.

Know your limit: You know your body the best, it’s okay to have limits for yourself. It’s never good to over-exert yourself as this can lead to more problems.

Take a rest day: You don’t have to participate in an activity every single day, if your body needs a rest day, take it.

Eat a balance diet: It’s best to fill your plate with a colorful array of fruits and vegetables. Limit carbohydrates and stick to an anti-inflammatory diet to help you manage your pain.

Please note that it’s best to see a doctor if your health changes and that it’s a good idea to keep track of symptoms.

Leah-Anne Thompson / Shutterstock

Jun 28, 2018