Fibromyalgia fitness program – Lose weight – Get fit – Beat pain
So after a couple of weeks eating rubbish on my sort of lets call it – a social experiment (well this is what I’m telling myself it was, any excuse to not have to admit I’m just a lazy, greedy piggy!) I have gone full steam ahead, to repair the damage I have self inflicted on myself, I have finally made the decision to get myself a trainer and dedicate some time to get my fitness levels back up.
With Fibromyalgia it is very easy to neglect fitness, and its even more easy to make up excuses to skip exercising. Even though its vital to exercise with fibro and CFS the illness does make it very hard and sometimes impossible to keep it up, especially when a flare up comes but its absolutely essential and necessary to remain as fit as you can. The hardest thing for me I find, is starting out again, it can be quite demoralising to always be in that state of newbie, embarking on a fitness regime once again. It seems to be stop… start… over and over again, but this time I have left it a whole six months and its going to be really tough. But my mind is in the right place and that I find is the first step to success, you just have to keep going.
You’ve heard it all before: You should exercise, lose weight, and do all that boring and hard stuff that most doctors constantly urge so many patients to do. But the reality is, they’re right!
Exercising and losing weight (if you’re overweight) really can help you feel better by decreasing your fibromyalgia pain, fatigue, and muscle fitness. And here’s my little secret: You don’t have to exercise to the point of exhaustion, nor do you have to lose great amounts of weight to feel better.
Fibromyalgia fitness program to relive pain
Most people associate painkilling with a variety of over-the-counter or prescribed drugs. But drugs aren’t the only means to improving your fibromyalgia symptoms. Getting physical by starting a plan of exercising can work well too, although exercising may seem like a strange way to gain pain relief. Gentle, low-stress, paced exercising can make you feel better, loosening muscles and greasing your stiff joints and possibly acting as a preventive measure to ease your pain down the road.
Some studies have indicated that people with fibromyalgia have a fitness level that’s significantly lower than levels found among people who don’t have fibromyalgia. (Not that amazing when you think about it – people with FMS generally feel pretty bad, so are less likely to be physically fit.) Regular exercise does help me to close that gap, although not in a few days or even weeks, it takes patience and you have to be persistent.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind as you gear up to exercise:
- Create a basic fitness program that suits your needs. Realise also that if you were more athletic in the past, as many people with fibro report that they were, that was then. Make a plan that works for you now.
- Set a realistic goal. Whether exercise goals are set by a doctor, a physical therapist, a personal trainer, or anyone else (including you), the goals for a person with fibro shouldn’t be the same as for a person who doesn’t have fibro, because people with FMS have a lower pain tolerance and tire faster than others. Too much exercise, too fast, can accelerate the pain. Physical expectations need to be scaled down considerably for the person with FMS.Watch out what type of exercise you perform. Research has shown that static exercise (like weight lifting) compared to dynamic exercise (like running) can cause significantly increased pain for people with FMS, although the cause is unknown. Walking and swimming are better exercise choices for people with FMS than weight lifting.
- Consult your doctor before you start a new exercise programme. Your doctor may want to check your overall fitness level with a treadmill test or other screening measures. She may also listen to your plan, nod wisely, and then give you the thumbs up, wishing you well.
- Start slowly and steadily build you way up. Start with five minutes a day, several times a week (except for walking, which can be for longer periods). Then every four or five days or so, add a minute of exercise. Keep adding minutes, until you’re up at a half-hour for three or four days per week. You can also increase the speed at which you perform your exercises, gauging how fast you go by your own comfort levels.
- Keep it simple. Consider the simple exercises like walking and swimming that you can do at home or locally which can help you build up strength and cut back your pain level without breaking the bank on expensive gym memberships.
- Don’t overdo it!. Now isn’t the time to adopt “No pain, no gain!” as your motto. it simply doesn’t work for people with fibromyalgia. A little discomfort is okay and sweating is good. But actual pain? Forget it.
Prepare for exercising by drinking plenty of fluids and making sure that you dress comfortable and appropriately. Skip the spandex pants and tight T-shirts. Wear something loose fitting. Wear good, comfortable walking shoes. Don’t worry about the fashion police. Assume that they’ve taken the day off.
Remember to enjoy what you are doing, face the sun and get some vitamin D and smile!