For my Fibro Peeps: Why exercise really CAN help you feel better!

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by satchya, Jul 21, 2009.

  1. satchya

    satchya New Member

    You guys know I'm studying for my AFAA group exercise fitness instructor certification exam in September. I'm going to teach kids cardio dance classes. I've been learning so much about how the body works, muscles, joints, energy systems, cardiorespiratory system, etc. It's not only fascinating, but it's really helping me sort through and make sense of what is happening in my body with having fibromyalgia.

    I've been reading a lot on here about dopamine and pain and I know that the most recent research about fibro really points in the direction of dopamine issues playing a large role in why we cannot regulate pain sensations correctly in our bodies. I know that for me this makes a great deal of sense because over the past couple of years I have felt like I was "addicted" to going to the gym, even when I knew I would be very sore later because while I was exercising the pain would go completely away, and for an hour or so afterwards I would feel incredible, even, dare I say, normal?? :)

    This new research makes sense to me. Here is an article I found that explains how dopamine and serotonin, etc., are effected by exercise:

    Low to moderate intensity exercise can make people like us with dopamine issues feel normal, as well as improving mood. Endorphins, serotonin, and dopamine all play a role in this.

    I have also learned a lot about what happens to your muscles, bones, and joints when you do not use them regularly, and when you do not do weight bearing activity regularly. When you do not put your joints through their complete range of motion regularly, they basically seize or freeze up. It causes a lot more pain for them to be in that state than for them not to be. You will have discomfort when you begin an exercise program again because of this, but start very slowly and with very gentle exercises and with time you will see much less pain. I promise.

    Anyway, I'm going to stop now, I just realized I sound like someone preaching with the zeal of the converted and it's probably kind of off-putting. I don't mean to be that way. I know how frustrating it is when you hurt and someone is telling you to do something that you feel/know will cause you pain. But here's the deal (IMO), we're going to hurt anyway. Isn't it worth taking a chance that you can hurt less if you get into the habit of low to moderate intensity exercise?

    JEANSKI New Member

    I agree about the exercise. Even stretching is helpful. I think what is difficult is when people act like it is going to take care of all the pain and "cure" us. Thats what can make it difficult to listen to advice. Walking is too much for me right now, so I do my stretches. Its about balance. But I agree wholeheartedly that finding the right kind of movement for your body coupled with other things like supplements and getting proper nutrition and sleep is the right thing to do. Definately makes a difference in my day! I have been dealing with this for 17 years.
  3. sorekitty

    sorekitty New Member

    inspiration! I know I need to move. I will be starting a gentle yoga class soon. I know it will help with my breathing (anxiety) and flexability.

    The only thing I do not understand is why exercise has never made me feel better. In the sense that everyone talks about. They get a "runners high" or just feel really good. I never experienced that. If I did I think it would be a nice reward that would keep me coming back for more exercise.

    I remember having to jog/run in elementary school. I would feel overheated. My face would turn red and I would sweat. It made me feel nauseated and bad.

    Later when I did do a program of cardio and weightlifting at the gym I never got that good feeling everyone talks about.

    I will just be doing it because I know it's good for my health and hopefully I will feel stronger to deal with my 7 year old son.

    Do some people never experience this runners high good thing or am I the only one?

  4. LindaJones

    LindaJones New Member
  5. loto

    loto Member

    for a little while after i exercise, also. And I know when I do keep to a nightly routine of doing at least 20 min on the Gazelle, I feel better about myself. The times I slacked off from doing it, I felt worse, and of course everything felt like jello.
  6. jole

    jole Member

    No. I've never. But then I've been sick with something FM/CFS? since childhood. Just diagnosed with FM in 2003 after being basically bedridden. Even as a child, I couldn't run without extreme fatigue for the rest of the day...and the next.

    I too wonder what it would feel like to have that "runner's high"......but am extremely happy for those who do experience it.............Jole