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Fitness for People With Fibromyalgia

High fitness levels are linked with benefits.

Fibromyalgia and exercise

Do you work with a client who has fibromyalgia? Here’s some good news: In a study of 466 women with fibromyalgia, researchers found that those with higher levels of overall fitness also experienced higher health-related quality of life (HRQoL). Spanish researchers from various institutions conducted the study to determine which components of fitness would be most valuable to target in people with fibromyalgia.

Investigators assessed flexibility, muscle strength, speed and agility, and cardiorespiratory fitness among women with fibromyalgia. Results showed not only that people with the highest levels of fitness enjoyed the highest HRQoL but also that muscle strength, flexibility and cardiorespiratory fitness were independent indicators of HRQoL. Only women were included in the study, since fibromyalgia primarily affects women.

The study is available in Physical Therapy (2019; doi:10.1093/ptj/pzz113).

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Shirley Archer-Eichenberger, JD, MA

Shirley Archer, JD, MA, is an internationally acknowledged integrative health and mindfulness specialist, best-selling author of 16 fitness and wellness books translated into multiple languages and sold worldwide, award-winning health journalist, contributing editor to Fitness Journal, media spokesperson, and IDEA's 2008 Fitness Instructor of the Year. She's a 25-year industry veteran and former health and fitness educator at the Stanford Prevention Research Center, who has served on multiple industry committees and co-authored trade books and manuals for ACE, ACSM and YMCA of the USA. She has appeared on TV worldwide and was a featured trainer on America's Next Top Model.

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