Friendly exercises program for fibromyalgia
Less Pain, More Energy
Don’t let the muscle pain and fatigue of fibromyalgia keep you on the sidelines. You can — and should — get moving. A few simple tweaks to common exercises can boost your energy, ease pain and stiffness, lift your mood, and improve your sleep. Check with your doctor before you start.
Get Warmed Up:
Take time to loosen your muscles first. It will help you avoid injury. Start with your feet and work your way up. Make slow, circular motions (clockwise and counter-clockwise) with all your joints until they move easily. If it hurts, stop.
Stretch More, Hurt Less:
Daily stretches can help your joints move more smoothly. You may hear this called range of motion. Focus on the big muscle groups: calves, thighs, hips, lower back, and shoulders. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds. Stop if it hurts. Try to stretch two to three times a week.
Here’s how to do this move. Face a wall. Place your palms flat on the surface, one foot forward, and one foot back. Leave your heels on the floor and lean forward. Feel the pull in your calf and the Achilles tendon at the back of your ankle. Hold the position for 30 seconds. Switch legs and repeat. Stretch each calf three times.
This is one of the best ways to take charge of your fibromyalgia. An aerobic exercise uses your large muscles over and over for a set period of time. Walking is the easiest, and you don’t need any special tools other than a good pair of shoes. Swimming and biking are also good options. The trick is to find something you like and do it for 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week. If you need to start with 10 minutes and work your way up, do it.
Boost Your Muscles and Mood:
Strength exercises can lower your pain and help with depression. You don’t need to lift a heavy barbell. What matters here is the range of movements you take your muscles through. Before you start, get tips from a trainer at a fitness center. Ask how to use handheld weights, elastic bands, or strength-training machines the right way, so you don’t injure yourself or make your pain worse.
Isometric Chest Press:
If regular strength-training hurts, try exercises called isometrics. You’ll tense your muscle without any visible movement. Here’s how: Hold your arms at chest height. Press your palms together as hard as you can. Hold for 5 seconds, then rest for 5 seconds. Do this five times. Slowly build to holding the press for 10-15 seconds at a time. If this move is painful, ask a trainer to show you another isometric chest exercise.
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