7. Practice Yoga
Yoga is an ideal form of exercise if you struggle with fibromyalgia symptoms as it’s relatively gentle, helps to improve muscle strength, posture and flexibility and is extremely relaxing. It also teaches you how to be more mindful and present, with breathing methods that can help you control painful episodes.
The jury is still out on whether or not yoga directly helps with pain management, with some studies suggesting it does, and other concluding that the benefits are minimal. This has led some researchers to suggest that fibromyalgia specific yoga is needed in order to truly be of benefit. One positive study did also find that yoga appeared to reduce pain and muscle fatigue and improve sleep and day time fatigue.
Studies continue, but one thing remains clear – meditative movement such as yoga helps to improve disturbed sleep, fatigue and depression. So even if yoga doesn’t help with pain management, it can help the other major symptoms of fibromyalgia.
If you’re new to yoga, start slowly with a beginner’s class either face to face or online. Take time to master the basics and never push yourself beyond your limits. Aim to practice one or twice a week for a few months to assess whether or not it’s working for you.