Living Daily with Chronic Invisible Illness

Exercise and Fibromyalgia

Exercise is a daunting task, even for a normal person with no daily pain.

But for a person with Fibromyalgia, it can be excruciating. Waking up in the morning is a challenge in itself. We have to will ourselves out of bed because we feel broken, battered and bruised before our feet hit the floor. 

Okay, so for the past 4 months, I have (successfully) exercised 6 out of 7 days a week. This is a MAJOR mind-over-matter daily event. The exercising isn’t the problem. It is the thought of exercising that is cumbersome. The thought of putting on exercise clothes, foot compression wraps, pulling your hair up…then, if your exercise area is downstairs (mine is) just thinking about walking down the stairs can be rough and make you want to stay in bed.

But now exercise is my daily routine. I’ve turned the thought into my reality.

Once I’m down there, I begin streaming an all-Gospel exercise music list that I created. Each song was chosen for warm-up to cool-down, with faster paced in-between for the cardio portion. 

I have researched exercises for many arthritis-type conditions and found the ones that work for me and chose the songs that will allow for each exercise to be done to the rhythm of that song. 

A 26″ exercise ball, 9″ exercise ball, rubber bands, 1-pound to 5-pound weights, and over-the-door stretchy bands, were all purchased off Amazon to help aid in this. (Some of these items will have links below)

Exercising to Gospel music is very inspiring for me and helps me to lean on God in my efforts to improve my quality of life and lean on Him for the strength and endurance I need to get through the routine. 

Stretching first is vital and (I believe) the hardest part of the routine, due in part to the morning stiffness and trying to get motivated. Prayer is essential to conquer this. When I sit down on the mat with my legs in a “V,” I can never reach my toes at this point. However, when I am done with my routine, I can reach well beyond my toes when stretching in the cool-down part!! This is a glorious feeling!! 

Starting any new routine is the hardest part. Continuing is also hard. I’ve read it takes 6 weeks to get into a new routine and stick to it. Since I am going on 13 weeks, I feel this can be shared as a positive thing for others to begin.

Has it helped with my Fibro pain? 

Not really, but the way I see it, I’m going to be in pain anyway, so why not exercise and help my heart and strengthen my muscles? My joints and ligaments will still hurt. (Thanks Fibro!) Exercising hasn’t really helped with that, unfortunately. However, I feel better mentally and now have more strength in my shoulders and legs than before. One positive thing I have noticed is I can go longer into my day without as much pain and I feel that is due to the exercises and strengthening of the muscles that surround my joints. Perhaps in another few months I will find the pain is better…or maybe not. Bottom line, I know it is helping my body is so many other ways. That makes me want to continue. My joints “feel” a bit more lubricated after I exercise, and I can get through the day a bit better without having to rest as much. These are all positive things. 

So, grab a protein bar and a large cup of water, don your exercise apparel and get going! You’ve got nothing to lose and a better body to gain.

Pain or no-pain…well, for us Fibro sufferers, pain…but the gain is better than no gain. 

*Please note that before you start any new exercise regimen to speak with your healthcare provider and to take things slow; never exercise to the point of pain and should you feel pain that is not normal, stop that exercise and move to another one. Keep a journal of what exercises work for you and what doesn’t. Perhaps an exercise bike or treadmill would be a better place for you to start? Perhaps just the large ball for sitting and doing “chair aerobics” would be best for you? You could join a gym, too. However, working out in your home allows for peace and solitude without a lot of up-front costs and the need to drive there.  Working out in my home is my preferred method. 

Another suggestion to consider is taking your measurements before you begin. That was one of the things I did and I was surprised and encouraged to learn that I have lost 2″ all over my body in these past 4 months and firmed up some “saggy” spots! So, even with my daily pains, this was enough to keep me going!! 

May the Lord bless you on your new decision to exercise! In another post I will be sharing some of what my exercises are! Stay tuned!

Prayers for you-The Fibro-Lupus Butterfly

Helpful links (I do not get any kickbacks for these links. They are here for shopping suggestions only).

Large exercise ball

Exercise bands

Door bands


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