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With the fatigue, depression and pain associated with fibromyaglia, it must seem ludicrous that physicians are asking you to start some type of exercise program to reduce your pain. As strange as this sounds, this is actually the best thing you can do.

When patients first discover they have fibromyalgia, they may have already suffered from many chronic symptoms for some period, and these symptoms include pain, muscle stiffness, fatigue, anxiety, depression, and disturbances in bowel function [1]. Unfortunately, these conditions are nonspecific, and their treatment can be even more general. Patients must undergo a barrage of antidepressants, antipsychotics, and painkillers that can be troublesome and ineffective if you are taking these medications for an extended period of time. [2]. Supplements for fibromyalgia provide many useful options to deal with the troublesome nature of fibromyalgia and bring fibromyalgia pain reliefIn previous articles, we have discussed why compounds like melatonin and L-carnitine can be used to help manage pain, NADH can be used to boost your energy and even herbs can help treat your fibromyalgia symptoms. Supplements do have a place in short-term treatments, but exercise is the most effective long-term solution to find fibromyalgia pain relief. In this article, we determine what fibromyalgia exercise plan is the most effective at bringing fibromaylgia pain relief. 

Strength Work-Out Routines 

After you take your supplements to give you some more energy, it is time to find a more long-term solution to your fibromyalgia, which can be a tall order considering that patients with fibromyalgia may be still depressed and fatigued so exercising may not be the first thing on their minds. The most important aspect for you to do if you are in this position is to try to find the internal motivation to push yourself through this adversity. It is a long road but the more active you are, the less you will notice the symptoms. 

One study puts some science behind this claim. In this study,  219 women with fibromyalgia were placed in an exercise group to determine if strength training was an effective method to alleviate fibromyalgia pain. Exercises consisted of using free weights, exercise equipment, and body weight to provide the resistance component to this exercise regime. These training exercises lasted for five months and at the end, the well-being of the patient was assessed based on many variables. Patients first noted that their well-being had improved by 17 percent compared to those not in the strength training program. 25 percent reduced pain levels, and women were also able to lift 27 more kilograms of weight more than their counterparts as well. From this study, it is apparent that strength training exercises should definitely be a part of your fibromyalgia exercise plan. [3]

Cardio Training Exercises 

If you are worried about the "body-building" aspect of strength-training exercises, don't worry, cardio training can also be incorporated into your fibromyalgia exercise plan. After you take some Omega-3 fatty acids as another beneficial supplement for fibromyalgia, you will be teeming with energy to burn on the treadmill. The question is can cardiovascular training exercises be as effective as what we observed during our strength training investigations? 

In one study to determine the effectiveness of cardiovascular training, 27 patients with fibromyalgia were asked to participate in a 12-week exercise program to determine how it influenced the pain levels. Exercises consisted of running on treadmills, cycling, walking or swimming and they lasted on average 25 minutes. Participants were encouraged to exercise up to 50 percent of their maximum capacity. After the conclusion of the investigation, it was determined that patients who had undergone this type of exercise routine noticed significantly decreased levels of pain and fewer tender points compared to controls who were encouraged to continue their sedentary lifestyles. [4]

Now that we know a submaximal level of exercise can be beneficial, what about if we increase the intensity to determine if it could be even more effective. Once you notice an increased vigor for life after incorporating strength training and mild cardio exercises into your fibormyalgia exercise plan, you should notice a higher quality of life, reduced depression and reduced pain [5]. A type of exercise that is slightly higher in intensity but still manageable for all ages is a new trend sweeping the world: Nordic walking. Women were asked to participate in 45-minute sessions of Nordic walking weekly for a 15-week period to determine if pain levels were also improved. Pain levels substantially reduced in women compared to the control groups. [6]

If you think that a lower intensity work-out like Tai Chi, Yoga or Pilates could also improve your symptoms, I have some bad news for you. In another study to determine if a low cardio activity had any influence on your fibromyalgic discomfort, subjects practiced an exercise of their choice (in these three categories) for a 12-week period. It was determined that after this 12-week period, pain levels were reduced compared to the inactive group. After this 12-week period, even with continuous exercise, pain levels increased and returned to similar to baseline. 

A message to take home: make sure you are not taking the easy road when you are trying to find relief for your fibromyalgia. 

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