If you live with fibromyalgia, exercising and making a choice to make exercise a part of your treatment plan to manage your symptoms can be helpful. But what type of exercise should you choose? Which is best? In this article, we will explore the role of exercise and the best type for you.

10 Types of Exercises for Fibromyalgia

There are many types of exercise that you may choose to use as part of your fibromyalgia treatment plan. Here is a list of ten options:

  1. Swimming

  2. Strength training

  3. Taichi

  4. Yoga

  5. Nordic walking

  6. Walking

  7. Qigong

  8. Stretching

  9. Gardening

  10. Biking

Now, let's look at how choosing one or more of these activities can be beneficial for fibromyalgia...

How Exercise can be Beneficial

Although it is true that one of the main symptoms of fibromyalgia is chronic pain throughout a person's body, it can seem counterintuitive to exercise, but doing so does have many different benefits. According to this one study, here is a list of benefits that may be experienced from making exercise a part of a fibromyalgia treatment plan:

  1. Improves physical well being

  2. Increases overall body function

  3. Decreases sensations of pain

  4. Reduces fibromyalgia symptoms overall

  5. Provides a higher quality of life

Steps to Developing an Exercise Program

According to this one study, there are a few steps that should be followed when devising a workout plan for fibromyalgia:

  1. Explore: Explore all options.

  2. Examine: Examine your health.

  3. Choose: Choose a type or types of exercise.

  4. Try: Try a type of exercise.

  5. Continue: Continue it if it is working for you and your body.

  6. Attempt: Attempt something new if the type of exercise you choose is not working out and causing you more pain.

  7. Avoid: Avoid exercise that causes pain, fatigue, and injury if possible.

Choosing the Best Type of Exercise for you

When choosing which type of exercise or combination of exercises will best serve you in the management of your fibromyalgia symptoms, you need to consider three things:

  1. Passions

  2. Pain areas

  3. Pain intensity

These three things are important to consider because what you choose will be impacted by the answers to these things.

If you are passionate about water and find enjoyment through water activities, then swimming may be best for you. Connecting a passion to one of the exercises can help you find enjoyment in what you are doing to help your body.

If you consider the areas of pain and where your personal level of pain is the greatest, you can make a choice about what exercise will be best for alleviating your pain.

Always remember, it's your body. Listen to it, and make the best choice based on the signals it is sending you.

Additional Information

Seeking additional information on fibromyalgia? Check out these other resources:

  1. What is Fibromyalgia?

  2. Acupuncture for Fibromyalgia

  3. What are the Tender Points of Fibromyalgia?


Busch, A. J., Webber, S. C., Brachaniec, M., Bidonde, J., Bello-Haas, V. D., Danyliw, A. D., ... Schachter, C. L. (2011). Exercise therapy for fibromyalgia. Current pain and headache reports, 15(5), 358-367. doi:10.1007/s11916-011-0214-2. Retrieved April 2, 2019, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3165132/