Fibromyalgia is classified as an immunological disease.
According to the ACSM’s third edition of “Exercise Management for Persons with Chronic Disease and Disabilities”, “the symptoms associated with FM directly and indirectly affect the acute response to exercise.” The text further explains that “vigorous” activities are poorly tolerated” in the FM population. Hence, “low-grade cardiovascular training” is the best approach when training the population with FM.
As far as outcomes are concerned the textbook highlights that “the main goal of exercise training in this population is not to enhance cardiopulmonary fitness but rather to restore and maintain functional ability.”
The recommendations for exercise programming include warm water aquatic training as it has “demonstrated consistent improvements in physical function similar to that for land-based exercise and may have greater benefits on mood than land-based programs.”
As far as intensity, frequency and duration are concerned, the ACSM recommends the following:
1. 50-75% of HRR
2. 20-40 minutes
3. 2-3 days/week
4. Monitor pace and HR
5. Favor duration over intensity