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Listen to Your Body

Fibromyalgia pain and weakness can make it tougher to exercise as hard as you'd like. But you don't have to quit. Instead, take it slowly. Listen to your body, take breaks when you need to, and give yourself time to recover after you exercise.

Get Back in Shape

If pain and stiffness have kept you from exercising for a few months -- or longer -- it might take a while to get back in shape. Take it slowly, do only as much exercise as you can handle, and rest in between sessions. Your muscles may be a little sore after you exercise, but that should pass in a day or two. If your pain gets worse, then back off and just continue with gentle stretching and range of motion exercises for a few days. Then check with your doctor before starting up again. A physical therapist or exercise therapist can also help to develop a good exercise schedule for you.

Stop and Rest

Don't try to push yourself too hard when you exercise. You'll only end up making your pain worse, or dropping out of your program because it's too hard. Go at a pace that feels comfortable to you. Stop and rest whenever you need to -- even if it's every few minutes. If you have a flare, it's OK to take few days off. The important thing is to stick with your program and keep moving.

Rewards for Exercise

Take good care of yourself after each workout. Soothe sore muscles by taking a warm shower or bath. Reward yourself for achieving your fitness goals! Buy something special, get a massage, or watch a movie with friends. Feeling better in the long run will be the best reward.

Try a New Routine

Whether or not you exercised before you got fibromyalgia, you may not be able to work out now as often or as vigorously as someone who doesn't have fibro. And that's OK.  It doesn't mean you have to give up your fitness goals. Ask your doctor to help you adapt exercises to your new abilities. Over time you'll start to learn what you can and can't do. Go slowly, and gradually your fitness level will improve.

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