Living With Fibromyalgia - Online Support Group

Exercise and fibro question

I have a question for everyone. do you feel that exercise makes fibromyalgia better or do you think that it’s feeling better that allows us to exercise? i’m curious at the responses.

Kinda both, exercise can help us , as long as we do not push too hard at once…it can take a very gradual build up to good levels…too much at once can makes us hurt. So its a delicate issue…

If we are too inactive , we can feel much worse.

I like topical pain relievers to aid with muscle pain

I over did it today, so tonight is ouchy…


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H Jenni! That’s a really individual question, I think. My fibro has progressed so much I can barely get myself ready for appointments, using a wheelchair whenever I go out, and I will need at least a day maybe 2 to recover afterwards. I would give anything to dance once more, or talk a long walk. Accomplishing something everyday, even a small thing, gives me a psychological boost so I try really hard to do that. :slightly_smiling_face:

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Everyone says excercise helps, but honestly I feel worse when I excercise. I would have to say that I am more active when I have a good day, not the other way around.


I too feel that i’m active when I feel better but when i’m down I feel I can’t. winter hit me hard last year. I was walking and getting out a little and keeping up on the house. but it all changed overnight and I haven’t been able to get myself back. I just wanted to see how everyone else feels about it since we are told by everyone to exercise and we’ll get better.

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Hi Jenni,

Being active I think is always better but I will agree with you that when I feel down it’s so hard for me to get back up again. Winter was also a struggle and it seems harder each year. The warmer weather is here and I am trying to make a conscious effort to get out and walk. Once I’m out there I’m good. It’s the mindset that gets me every time.


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Being active is my lifeline.
It is definitely harder in the winter but I try to do something every day. I bike, walk, swim, step, and lift weights as I can…and stretch. Yoga, esp. Yin, is wonderful…and really something I should do more often.
I figure I am in pain anyway and I need to look after my body. If I am too inactive I am in worse pain, too active worse pain - always trying to find that balance.
Sleep strategies are also important, and good diet.
Definitely not perfect at it but I keep trying. Rest is also huge - my exercise is usually done an hour or so after I wake up & have coffee - my energy levels steadily plummet as the day goes on.

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In my case I day hike at least 3 days a week. This is good for me psychologically and physically. A couple of times I had to take Tramadol in order to get off a mountain but I keep the medicine with me at all times and very rarely use it. To get outside of ones body and be in the moment is what I find on my walks. Although my wife keeps asking me how I feel and can I do it. Also we take cameras and photograph everything. But one doesn’t need to go to the lengths I do. Just walking in the neighborhood or park taking pictures of interesting things can accomplish the same effect. That way you will not overdo. Also I find, when I don’t feel good at home, just exercising by stretching and very light weight lifting I can lift myself out of the misery. Remember, “Suffering is life. Misery is optional.”

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Everyone is on a different level with their fibromyalgia. Listen to advice but make decisions that are best for your condition, both mental and physical.

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Hi Jenni!

For the first few years of my diagnosed I strayed away from any sort of exercise. Just getting out of the chair hurt so bad so I knew any sort of exercising was going to be brutal. However, I was referred for water therapy due to how inactive I was and how much pain I was enduring. I got to say, water therapy truly saved me! My physical therapist said that she has numerous patients of all ages who have fibromyalgia and has found so much relieve with water aerobics. I gained strength by the time my sessions were done and my husband saw the huge improvement in my life that he actually bought me my own pool to use at my leisure for my pain.
I have noticed it is all about moderation. Some days a simple walk is all I am able to do. A few months ago I started using therapy bands for simple stretching and it was so painful at first, but I pushed through the pain and it actually began relieving some of my fibromyalgia pain. Since then I have moved to very small 5lb weights that I do simple (and I mean very simple) exercises with a few times a week and I can already tell I am getting stronger and will need to upgrade my weights soon.
I understand this all pertains to the individual as fibromyalgia seems to be just a little different with each person. But I am so glad I pushed through the pain when I first begin “exercising” because I have grown stronger and have been able to manage my pain a lot better than when I started.
It can be a little discouraging because all siblings workout with huge weights and quickly move onto heavier weights and more intense workouts while it takes me MONTHS to work up to just adding three more reps to whatever I am currently doing. But my feeling of accomplishment makes it all so worth it!!

I am to the point right now that when I’ve been slacking on my simple little exercises that I actually get pain from my inactivity and as soon as I do my small exercises it seems to calm down my pain.


Hi Jenni. A programme of walking definitely made me a lot better. I started only able to walk for 5 mins but can now walk easily for 30 mins every other day. It has made a huge difference to how I feel and the pain level. It has taken a long time to get to 30 mins a day but so worth it. Persistence and pain killers are everything. Libby


I notice that I feel worse with CERTAIN types of physical exercise, too. The mainstay physical activity for me is walking. I’d be bedridden, I think if I didn’t do that EVERY single day

Hello Shandalear you and I seem to be in the same situation I never seem to get a day that I am not in severe pain mainly in my back I like you can only go out in a wheelchair I was always an active person I am a retired nurse and know what to do to try to help myself but nothing seems to help I was a ballroom dancer and loved walking I have not been out since January and I am trying hard not to get depressed I keep praying that I could get one day without so much pain.Hope you are feeling a bit better.

well it seems that everyone is different. I have had fibro for about ten years now and I know it’s definitely gotten worse. i’m totally out of shape and I hate it but I don’t feel up to walking most of the time. it’s always something. too many bathroom trips, sick to my stomach, muscles hurt, tired, and/or dizziness. I don’t know if my dizziness has to do with the fibro but i’m guessing that it does. I just started having this symptom this year. I pray for all of you to feel better. I tried water therapy but I didn’t stick with it. getting out was worse than the therapy at first and then the therapy began to be harder. hopefully I will get out and walk soon. I have a 9 year old daughter who would love to go for walks with me but I just haven’t been able to yet. God bless all of you and take care.

Everyone ‘s Fibro is different. What works for me may not work for someone else. Having said that, sometimes MODERATE exercise can lift my spirits and ease some of my pain. Find something that you used to enjoy. I found swimming again. It’s cool exercise. I can’t deal with the heat anymore. Even if I don’t do anything physical fresh air for me is soothing and an emotional lift. Peace be with you on your journey :slightly_smiling_face:

Hello Jenni,

I’ve found that exercise helps quite a bit. Of course as it’s been mentioned multiples times here everyone is different, for some people it helps, for others it won’t and the types of exercise that help will change as well.

Overall the types of exercise I can do hasn’t really changed, but the amount certainly has. Someone once explained having Fibromyalgia as having a smaller battery than other people, and this already comparatively smaller battery drains faster as well. Pushing yourself a little can be good, but doing too much can defeat the purpose; it’s all a matter of finding your balance and your limits. All the best to you! :slightly_smiling_face:

For me walking and swimming are my exercise go to’s - I tried yoga - was supposed to be beginners yoga but by the third week I was in so much pain , so yoga is a no go for me. I have found that walking does make me feel better. This summer I have joined audible - I enjoy reading but get little time to do so with work , so now I download a book on tape to my iphone and put on earplugs and walk most evenings after work.

I have found that for myself exercise is surely a love/hate relationship. Before fibromyalgia I was very active with exercise often doing aerobic activity and eventually getting into running. Now I am no longer able to do those things like before.

I do still exercise. For me personally exercise matters and makes a difference. I just have to know when to stop - when my body is saying enough. Do I always stop? No, but I pay for it when I do not listen to my body.

Yoga has helped me tremendously. On the bad days, I can lighten the yoga sessions and still do something good for my body. I also have a treadclimber at home and use it about 3 days a week on a good week. I had to find the balance. And for me it’s a 3 day rotation usually of Yoga, treadclimber and then a rest day and repeat.

I believe it can help all of us and lessen our symptoms over time. We just have to find the right exercise and the right balance for our bodies. Good luck :slight_smile:

Hi Ariel,

I am super curious, do you have a heated pool? I have a pool that I would consider using but it’s never really warm, even in summer and I am so sensitive to cold water.

Just curious if you heat your pool and if you think it is worth it.


I’ve used a heated pool and hot tub before and they do help me but I do not have either at home. I take a lot of epson salt baths. Have you tried those?