A Beginners Guide To The Best Exercises For Managing Pain - Part 1: Fibromyalgia

This Part 1 of a 3-part guide to incorporating exercise into your day. You can also check out our exercise guides for lower back pain or rheumatoid arthritis.

Chronic pain comes in all shapes and sizes. With so many differences, finding exercises that help manage pain can be confusing! In this series of posts, I want to discuss a few common types of chronic pain, along with exercises that are known to help manage them. Though there are WAY more sources to chronic pain, this series is meant to give you some ideas on exercises that can work for you. Ultimately, though, the best exercise is the one that you’ll do regularly.

It is essential to discuss these exercises with your physician or physical therapist before trying them, in order to determine what is safe and healthy for you to do. If you haven’t exercised in a while, always start slowly and gradually increase your exercise over time. This will help to avoid discouraging you with pain and soreness, or worse, injury.

Over the course of this series of posts, we’ll add exercises for different forms of chronic pain. For this post, we’re starting with exercises that can help with fibromyalgia.


Walking is the number one recommendation for exercise when it comes to fibromyalgia. It doesn’t require a new skill or equipment, can be done indoors or outdoors, and can be done by most people.

Pool exercises are easier on the joints and can be done in a group setting. Getting to a class at a gym or simply practicing at home (if you have a pool in your house or apartment complex) are great ways to engage in pool exercises. 

Light stretching exercises can provide a gentle way to start exercising without being too time-consuming – here are a few recommendations from the Mayo Clinic. They can range from relaxation exercises and breathing techniques to simply maintaining good posture.

Light strength training is a good way to decrease pain and strengthen your muscles. This requires equipment like machines or free weights, and also requires knowing how to properly use the equipment. To get started with strength training, first speak with a physical therapist or personal trainer, or join a gym with proper equipment and someone who can show you how to use that equipment.

Household chores like cleaning windows, sweeping your floors, or organizing a room can be a great way to exercise, though it is not the most obvious way! The important thing is that it gets you moving. It is also a great way to organize and reduce some clutter to ultimately reduce stress.

Have you found that some exercises work better than others to manage fibromyalgia? What conditions do you want to see more information about the best exercises? Tell us more in the comments!