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Dr. Pellegrino's advice for exercising with FM

Stretches can be demonstrated by a knowledgeable health professional but the individual needs to develop a home programme on a regular and consistent basis. When beginning stretching, one should only do a few stretches a day. No more than three seconds hold at a time, but gradually work over several weeks to where one is able to perform up to ten repetitions per stretch, two or three times a day as needed.

A light conditioning programme means enough exercise to stimulate the cardiovascular system and strengthen the muscles without overworking or exhausting them and increasing pain. A light conditioning programme should not be started until an individual is comfortable with a regular daily stretching programme. Light conditioning does not mean intensive aerobic activity. Usually the activity involves periods of stretching, strengthening, relaxation and conditioning of muscles. This alternating strategy usually works best for fibromyalgia muscles. A proper warm up, good breathing techniques, proper postures, awareness of the body’s response to the exercise programme and cool down period are all necessary components of a light conditioning programme.

Examples of light conditioning exercises could include walking, cycling, aquatics, dancing and low impact aerobics. As a rule, one should try to perform light conditioning exercises at least three times a week for 20-30 minutes. Also, I recommend that one take off every other day with a light conditioning programme to allow the body a chance to rest and recuperate, although different individuals can perform a daily exercise programme depending on the body’s abilities and needs. When starting out, it is best to perform about 10 minutes per session for the first week until at least 30 minutes three times a week is reached.






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