What type of exercise should I do?

Appropriate exercises include low-impact aerobic activities, such as walking, swimming, biking and water aerobics. A physical therapist familiar with fibromyalgia can help you develop a home exercise program. This is especially important if you've become significantly deconditioned. A good goal is to work up to at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise three times a week.

Strength training, also called resistance training, may be helpful but hasn't been as extensively researched. Resistance training is a type of exercise that may involve lifting weights, using resistance machines or using elastic resistance bands. Strengthening exercise also appears to reduce pain and improve quality of life and muscle strength.

What are some other options?

Although less studied, mind-body practices may help improve symptoms and overall well-being. Yoga and tai chi are practices that combine meditation, slow movements, deep breathing and relaxation. Both have been found to be helpful in controlling fibromyalgia symptoms.

Apr. 28, 2014 See more In-depth