Relief From Fibromyalgia Soreness

Question: I have fibromyalgia, and despite daily stiffness, I'm fairly active. I feed, care and ride my three horses. But if I don't get a good night's sleep, my muscles are tight and sore. I'm 59. Any advice?


Lebanon, Ind.

Answer: Take advantage of the days you feel well by engaging in aerobic exercise; the endorphins it releases are thought to offer pain relief and a psychological boost. Focus on low-impact exercises such as cycling, swimming or walking, aiming for three times a week, at least 20 minutes each time. Try to hit 60% to 85% of your maximum predicted heart rate.

A recent study of 34 fibromyalgia patients required them to perform either aerobic or flexibility exercises three times a week for 20 weeks. The aerobics group experienced far more pain reduction than the flexibility group.

For more information, check out the Fibromyalgia Network at


Stephanie Oakes is the fitness correspondent for Discovery Health Channel and a health/fitness consultant. Send questions by e-mail to: She cannot respond to every query.

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