I ran across this great three part, YouTube series by Dr. Richard Podell with Dr. Kim Jones, discussing exercise tips for those with fibromyalgia. I found this series helpful, maybe you will too.
All doctors tell their FM patients to get more exercise, but many of those doctors don’t seem to understand how difficult it actually is and why. It is not that exercise is impossible, or that we are not motivated, it is because exercise is a very slippery slope. If you push through pain, try to keep up with others or fail to recognize your limit, you end up in a flare. Too much stretching the wrong muscles, not drinking enough water, shoes without support, improper posture, etc., there are so many ways to accidentally end up in a flare. Learning that you don’t have to push yourself or compete with your former self is difficult. In our society we have this idea that you need to keep pushing, to go further, that what you did yesterday is not enough for tomorrow. And that is just not the truth, nor is it necessarily helpful when it comes to your FM.
Last month I was reading HERE, that while exercise is certainly recommended by all doctors for FM upon diagnosis, it is unlikely that patients will see significant improvement of their FM symptoms from it. It will not greatly reduce pain and fatigue or improve sleep. It may help a bit and for some, that is great. But to act like it is going to make the difference between having a disabled and normal life, is a stretch. To pretend that each time you can walk an extra 1/4 mile and not flare, you are now one step closer to recovery, is simply not true. All it means, is that now you can walk another 1/4 mile and that is great. Great for your heart, great for your waistline and great for your self-esteem….but great for your fibromyalgia, probably not.
Whatever you can manage is a wonderful thing. For me, moving in any capacity is important because I am in the most pain when I am immobile. Even when I am flaring, I need to gently move about or the stiffness seems to exasperate the pain. I like walking, the elliptical and now Tai Chi. As soon as I find a heated aqua fitness class in my area, I want to try that as well. The most significant improvement I have with exercise is a happier, more confident and relaxed mood.
How about you? Does exercise bring relief to your FM symptoms? What is your favorite type of exercise?
Oh, and here is another tip I’d like to add…if you are worried about your abilities in a classroom setting, find a class at a seniors center. They are usually more gentle and accommodating to various levels of ability and endurance. Most of these centers will welcome younger adults with physical limitations, you just have to ask.
Have a great week!