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Serinda Bieber

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People with fibromyalgia can try experimenting with different exercise routines to find what works best for them.

The types of exercise that may be helpful include:

Aerobic exercise, such as running or walking, can help with many symptoms of fibromyalgia. A 2017 review analyzed previous studies of aerobic exercise to treat fibromyalgia. The authors concluded that aerobic exercise could improve health-related quality of life and physical function while reducing stiffness and pain.

However, they classified the quality of evidence as low to moderate, as many of the included studies only included a small number of participants.

People concerned that aerobic exercise might place strain on their muscles or joints can opt for low impact aerobics, such as swimming.

Exercise classes can boost motivation among people with fibromyalgia, helping them stick to an exercise regimen. A person new to exercise could consider starting with a lower intensity activity, such as yoga, tai chi, or aerobics.

Some gyms and recreation centers may offer exercise classes specifically for people with fibromyalgia, chronic pain, or reduced mobility.

Tai chi is an ancient martial art that originated in China and incorporates stretching and slow movements. As it encourages mind-body awareness, it may help with both the physical and psychological symptoms of fibromyalgia.

A 2018 study in Boston, MA, found that Yang-style supervised tai chi could be as effective or more effective than aerobic exercise for managing fibromyalgia symptoms.

The participants in the study got the most relief when they attended tai chi classes frequently and regularly. People who attended two classes a week for 24 weeks had the most significant improvements in their revised fibromyalgia impact questionnaire (FIQR) scores.

Among those individuals, there was an average 16.2 point reduction in symptoms, with an 8.1 point symptom reduction being clinically significant. Overall, the tai chi participants saw an average symptom improvement of 5.5 points.

Resistance training strengthens muscles and can improve symptoms of fibromyalgia. A 2015 study of 130 women aged 22–64 years with fibromyalgia found that progressive resistance training was associated with greater overall health, pain relief, and muscle strength.

A wide range of strength training routines, from group strength classes to lifting weights at home, may help.

Yoga offers gentle stretching, mind-body awareness, and a slow and steady approach to physical fitness. A 2017 study found that yoga might reduce self-perceived disability and help with many fibromyalgia symptoms, including depression and fear or avoidance of movement.

The study included eight participants with fibromyalgia, all of whom were women.

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