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09 Feb 2003

Excercise for fibromyalgia
What is the best excercise for FMS sufferers. I used to do weights, but know I can only lift the smallest weight (and with difficulty). I want to prevent further loss of strength and muscle mass. The other problem is fatigue. If I walk up a gentle slope, I have to stop. Not that I am breathless, just run out of fuel. Do you think a Biokentician could help? I also believe if I could have guided exercise it may help my very ailing energy levels but there are others with FMS who say exhaustion sppeds up the progression of FMS. Please advise. Thanks for your fabulous "page". it is so relevant to all of us!
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Expert
FitnessDoc
fitnessdoc

01 Jan 0001


HI there

This isn’t my area of expertise but I drew some good information off the net, which I have read carefully and agree with and made small adjustments where necessary.
Whilst exercise may seem to be out of the question, it can definitely help!
It may help to relieve some of your symptoms of fibromyalgia as well as providing you with a host of other benefits as well.

I hope this is helpful.

Best wishes

Stretching: Stretching daily can be very relaxing and may help reduce muscular pain or soreness. If you’ve had an active day, end it with a 30-minute stretching routine that may help you relax and even fall asleep. Be sure to stretch all major muscle groups and stretch very gently, to the point of tension but not pain. Hold each stretch for 20 to 30 seconds and repeat each stretch 2 or 3 times. Another option may be participating in a beginning yoga class which will incorporate strengthening moves with the stretching. Be very cautious and careful not to overdo it.
Cardiovascular/Aerobic Conditioning: The key to choosing the "right" aerobic exercise program is choosing the activity you most enjoy. However, your symptoms may limit you to certain activities.

· Water exercise is very popular, but it may be hard to find a pool with a comfortable water temperature. If water exercise is chosen, there are options to choose from including swimming, deep water exercise, and shallow water exercise.

· Walking is another excellent choice because it is low-impact, doesn’t require special equipment and can easily be fit into your schedule.

· Many fitness centers offer low-impact aerobic group exercise classes and there is a variety of low- to no-impact exercise equipment such as stair-machines, ski-machines and cross-trainers.

When feeling up to it, try doing aerobic exercise at least 3 days per week (no more than 5 is necessary) for approximately 30 minutes at a moderate intensity. Exercising at higher intensities may feel fine during the workout, but may leave you with intense muscle soreness within a few hours.

Muscular Strength and Endurance: Muscle strength, endurance and toning can be done with a number of different types of exercises. Push-ups and curl-ups, using rubber tubing or bands while doing calisthenics, using dumbbells or barbells, or using machines such as a stationery bike will all result in improving muscular strength and/or endurance No matter which method you choose, begin with a low-dose such as 1 set of up to 10 or 12 repetitions using the major muscle groups, and repeating this 2 or 3 non-consecutive days per week. Just as with the aerobic exercise, it is important to begin with low intensity and progress very gradually to moderate intensity. High intensity and high volume (increasing to 2 or 3 sets and increasing the repetitions beyond 12) is not necessary and will likely result in more intense muscle soreness.

Things to remember: You will respond to exercise differently than anyone else, so pay attention to your symptoms and adjust your exercise routine as necessary. At least one day per week should be designated as a rest day. You may always have pain or soreness, but hopefully the regular, consistent exercise will help you cope with the discomfort and enjoy other aspects of your life!
They suggest you check out these web sites for further info:

www.fmnetnews.com/ and
www.quackwatch.com/03HealthPromotion/fibromyalgia/fms00.html

Good luck!
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