Everyone knows that exercise has many benefits for both health and fitness, but for fibromyalgia sufferers coping with extreme joint and muscle pain it’s not an easy solution. The muscles of people with fibromyalgia tend to be more tense which makes them more vulnerable to injuries from exercising. Many people with this condition are nervous to exercise and potentially cause themselves damage. Some people lack the confidence to undertake activity that they feel their body cannot physically cope with. However, research has shown that aerobic exercise reduces pain and fatigue in fibromyalgia sufferers.
Is Exercise Always Good For You?
You have to be realistic when you start an exercise program. It is better to build up slowly, gradually increasing the length and intensity of the exercise activity. Each fibromyalgia patient has to find the exercise that is right for them. You need to create a balance between effective exercising but without causing lasting pain. Exercise, and in particular swimming, will improve fitness, flexibility and stamina which are crucial for fibromyalgia sufferers who often lack mobility due to long term muscle pain.
Why Choose Swimming?
The latest research has shown that swimming can significantly reduce the chronic pain of fibromyalgia. A study was completed with 33 women suffering from fibromyalgia. One group exercised in warm water at least three times a week for an hour at a time. The other group did no water therapy. The study lasted eight months and showed that the women who swam had a noticeable decrease in their pain levels which then helped to improve their quality of life.
How Does Swimming Help?
Swimming uses all the major muscle groups, has cardiovascular benefits and strength building effects. However, swimming is much easier for fibromyalgia sufferers than other weight-bearing, land based activities. The natural buoyancy in water helps sufferers to feel more mobile and avoid the sudden jarring movements that can lead to injury. The easy movement in the water helps to keep joints flexible especially the neck, shoulders, hips and groin. In water, you are about a tenth of your normal weight, giving fibromyalgia sufferers an expanded range of motion. In addition, the water offers resistance and the swimmer has to move their arms and legs quickly to make progress.
Swimming is a great activity for fibromyalgia patients of all ages and all levels of fitness. You shouldn’t worry about the speed of those swimming around you. Just enjoy the feeling of freedom of weightlessness that the water brings alongside the exercise benefits. But as with all new exercise programs, you should consult with your doctor before you start.