How to Fight Fibromyalgia

February 2, 2017

 

Fibromyalgia.

 

Those who suffer from it know just how can affect a person's life.

Here, I will fill in those who don't, as well as explain how having this condition does NOT make fitness unattainable.

 

Fibromyalgia is a chronic disorder characterized by widespread muscle pain, fatigue, and soreness.

Common areas of pain include the neck and shoulders, lower back and hips, and knees.

Common symptoms include headaches, depression, anxiety, and sleeplessness. Fibromyalgia cannot be cured, but it can be treated with pain relievers, antidepressants, and EXERCISE.

 

Typically, I advocate against medication, unless it is absolutely, medically necessary.  Any nonnatural meds come with their own potentially serious side effects, and I believe that you shouldn't learn to rely on pills to function if there's another option. 

 

However, unlike medication, side effects of exercise are POSITIVE if done correctly. Here's why:

Exercise helps produce endorphins that help reduce your brain's perception of pain.

Endorphins create a happy, pleased feeling in your body similar to that of morphine. Not only will your pain be alleviated, but your mood will be uplifted, and the increased blood flow throughout your body will help move synovial fluid into your joints. This will help lubricate your joints as well as accelerate recovery from exercise.

It's a win, win, WIN!

 

If you suffer from fibromyalgia, take these training tips and incorporate them into your routine:

 

 Start From the Bottom Up

Start with your feet and work your way up. Make circular motions with all your joints until they move easily. If you feel pain, stop.

 

 

Stretch! 

Stretching will help your joints move more smoothly.

 Focus on big muscle groups like your back, legs, chest, and calves.

Hold each stretch for 30 seconds.

Focus on meditating and breathing during your stretches. This will help clear your mind and rid it of what I like to call "fibro-fog."

Try this for a week and see how you feel.

 

Aerobic Exercise

 Aerobic exercise will increase your body temperature, your heart rate, and your blood flow.

The increase in movement creates excess body heat, which will warm up your muscles and joints.

The increased heart rate and blood flow will help "push out" any aches by rushing blood to your muscles and synovial fluid to your joints.

Aim for 20-30 minutes of aerobic exercise everyday.

 

Strength Training

Strength training will lessen your pain and help with depression.

 Something I've learned from my experience with people with fibromyalgia is that they should ALWAYS start with a trainer.

You don't have to lift heavy. A trainer will show you how to use bands, cables, and machines to effectively work your muscles without causing any pain.

 

Heat and Ice

I tell all my clients, "Take a cold shower and a hot bath if you can."

This is especially important for clients with fibromyalgia.

You can use heat pads or pillows before and after a workout to ease any swelling. Ice can be used to alleviate any soreness resulting from muscle use during the workout.

Don't let your health deteriorate because of pain.

There are ways to combat fibromyalgia, and exercise is the most important!

 

Get up and get moving, but don't forget about your diet.

Drink plenty of water, and eat more fruits and vegetables than meat.

You can fight your pain, you just have to be willing to put in the effort.

 

If you or someone you know suffering from fibromyalgia, feel free to contact me at benperezfitness@gmail.com for tips, training, and nutrition plans.

 

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