Great Workouts for People with Fibromyalgia

Dealing with the chronic stiffness and pain associated with fibromyalgia is a daily struggle. Medications and therapy are important factors in controlling symptoms, incorporating regular exercise can greatly improve quality of life. Staying active can help you sleep better, reduce the need for pain medications and improve your mood. Fibromyalgia often leads to depression, and exercising is a great way to manage these conditions.

  Here are the best workouts to ease symptoms of fibromyalgia:


Walking is a low impact exercise that provides an array of healing benefits. It provides oxygen and nutrients to your muscles, helps build stamina, increases your energy level, and reduces pain and stiffness. Biking and other light, low impact aerobics have proven to be extremely effective for fibromyalgia symptoms. Water aerobics and swimming in a heated pool help to relax the muscles while getting in a good workout are also beneficial forms of exercise.

Working out in short bursts instead of long stretches has shown to be the best strategy. Breaking a long workout up into shorter blocks is just as beneficial and usually works best for people with fibromyalgia. Working out three or four times a week on nonconsecutive days is recommended.


Attempt to stretch out once a day to increase flexibility, loosen stiff muscles and increase range of motion.

This will help to ease daily movements such as turning your head or reaching for something on top of the fridge. Stretching during your workout may make it easier to get through the activity.

The ideal time to stretch out your muscles is after a light warm-up exercise. Stretching out cold, tight muscles can cause damage.

Position yourself so that you feel a stretch in the muscle and hold your body here for one minute for maximum benefit.

Strength training

Use light weights and lift slowly and with proper form to improve muscle tone and strength. Studies show that strength training can also help treat decrease depression. Work out the arms, legs, shoulders, chest, back and abs two or three times a week with a daylong break in between. Begin with weights you can comfortably lift for eight reps, then gradually increase it up to 12 reps. Once you can lift two sessions of 12 reps in a row you can increase the weight slightly, starting over at 8 reps with this new weight

Shortening the range of motion during these exercises may help to avoid pain and discomfort. The bicep curl, for example, involves two motions: bringing the weight up to your shoulder and lowering it down to your thigh. The second part can cause problems. Bringing that weight down too far can lead to pain for people with fibromyalgia and can help to decrease muscle soreness.


Hatha yoga is a gentle style of yoga that combines postures with breathing and meditation, and is highly recommended for people with fibromyalgia. It helps to build endurance, improve sleep increase concentration. A recent study reported that women with fibromyalgia that participated in yoga experienced a decrease in physical and psychological symptoms and noted significantly less pain. Tai chi has also shown to reduce painful fibromyalgia symptoms.

If a particular position causes pain, tweak the movement to achieve the benefits without the discomfort. Some yoga positions create pressure on the wrists, which can be painful for an individual with fibromyalgia, so rest your weight on your forearms instead. Straightening the legs completely is not necessary to profit from the movements, just focus on getting into the basic position that does not cause discomfort. It is key to find an instructor that understands your needs.

Daily activities

Studies show that vacuuming, playing with the kids, gardening and other everyday activities help to increase your fitness and reduce symptoms.

Plan your daily activities out to manage your pain. Spread your chores out over the course of your day and do the more difficult ones in the morning. If you are in pain but want to play with the kids, get on the floor to avoid bending over, running around and other pain aggravating movements. When you need to rest, be sure to take a break.

Continue Reading