Fibromyalgia: Does exercise help or hurt?

You may be reluctant to exercise for fear that it'll aggravate your symptoms, but research shows that regular moderate exercise lessens pain and improves function.

By Mayo Clinic Staff

While the pain and fatigue associated with fibromyalgia may make exercise and daily activities difficult, it is crucial to be physically active. Research has repeatedly shown that regular aerobic exercise improves pain, function and overall quality of life.

Won't exercising make my pain flare up?

You may be reluctant to try exercise for fear that it will make your pain worse. But starting low and going slow helps keep symptoms from flaring up. Consider starting with walking two minutes a day and gradually work your way up to 30 minutes two or three times a week.

It's crucial to pace yourself. If you do too much on your good days, you may have more bad days. If an exercise causes you increased pain for more than two hours, reduce the time or intensity of that exercise next time.

Nov. 11, 2016 See more In-depth