Meet Ken Grall

Take a moment to meet one of our Horizon Fitness experts, Ken Grall!

Ken is a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) through the National Strength & Conditioning Association, as well as a Youth Fitness Specialist (YFS) through the International Youth Conditioning Association. He has trained and coached in the fitness and sports performance fields since 1992, having worked with all fitness levels from the beginning exerciser all the way up to professional athletes.

Since 2009, Ken has owned and operated Edge Fitness in the Madison, WI area where they specialize in group fitness and personal training. That same year he also became an Athletic Revolution franchisee–one of the nation’s top youth fitness and sports performance training businesses–where they have worked with hundreds of local athletes and coaches focusing on total athletic development, injury prevention and education.

We recently caught up with Ken to ask a few questions:

How long have you been doing what you do / have you been a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist?

KG: I have been in the fitness field since graduating from UW-La Crosse in 1992 and became a C.S.C.S. in 2000.  Other certifications I’ve obtained along the way include A.C.E. Personal Trainer, Nike S.P.A.R.Q., IYCA Youth Fitness Specialist, and IYCA Speed & Agility Specialist.

What is one piece of advice you’d give to someone who wants to become healthier?

KG: It’s a mind-set. You have to first want to be fit/healthier and then do the little things it takes to get you there like regular workouts (find activities you LIKE to do), eating clean (cut out the processed junk that’s everywhere and focus on protein, produce and water), and getting plenty of sleep (7-8 hours/night MINIMUM). Keep in mind that it takes time…consistency is the key!

How would you describe your coaching/training style?

KG: Looking back I can see that my training style has changed quite a bit over the years. I’ve evolved from the “hit them hard each workout” trainer into what I am today – someone who is focused more on getting people to move and feel the way they should.  I teach people to train smarter and focus more so on the quality of a workout vs. the quantity.  When everything clicks they know how to listen to their bodies and determine when to go hard, when to ease up, when to take a day or two for recovery, when to focus on mobility/flexibility/corrective exercises, etc.  I view myself more as a coach and teacher rather than a trainer.

Read a few of Ken’s most popular articles:

Reaching a Fitness Plateau

Consistency in Workouts

Flexibility vs. Mobility

Common Nutrition Myths

You can also catch up with two of our other writers, Coach Jenny Hadfield and Joli Guenther.

Ask an Expert: Nutritional Supplements

Question: I’ve read a lot about nutritional supplements lately. Are they something I should consider adding to improve my health and fitness? If so, what is the best (and safest) way to start?

I get asked at least a few times a week about different supplements and exactly what people should or shouldn’t be taking to help them reach their fitness goals. In fact, I just got a message from one of my brothers who is digging back into a regular fitness routine and wanted to know what he should be taking. This is the same brother who I can pretty much credit for me being in the fitness field. He was always into working out when we were kids, and was the one who got me hooked on being active. He was my first “trainer” in a sense as he started me out on his good old fashioned Weider cement-filled plastic weights and included me in on all kinds of outdoor activities from playing frisbee (great way to incorporate sprinting) to playing neighborhood games of football, basketball, etc.

Anyway, here’s a recap of what I not only told him, but what I also share with anyone that approaches me for advice/recommendations when it comes to nutritional supplementation: Supplements are just that — a “supplement” to what you may not be getting through your daily nutrition program.

Personally, I choose to supplement. I fill the gaps if there are any, and I do my best to make sure that there never are any. I don’t waste my money on a cupboard full of products. My staples include a quality fish oil, a decent multi-vitamin, vitamin D, and whey protein. This suits me, my eating habits and my physical lifestyle. This doesn’t mean that this won’t change down the road if I shift my goals or change my eating habits.



For instance, for the past year or so I have incorporated Intermittent Fasting (IF) as part of my nutrition routine. This IF plan I’m on involves a daily routine of 16 hours of fasting followed by an 8 hour window where I focus on a couple of good sized meals and a couple of snacks. Because periods of fasting can trick your body into utilizing muscle as a fuel source (that’s why calorie deprivation diets do not work), I have added Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAA’s) into my pre-workout routine each day to help preserve muscle. In this case, I adapted my supplementation to fit my person needs & goals.

The big problem with supplements is that many people think of them as a magic bullet. And who can blame them with all of the marketing ads that promote this pill or that powder as all you need to gaining muscle and losing fat. Sorry to break the news, but if you think supplementing is going to give you the body of your dreams you’re sure to be disappointed. Supplements are not bad, but you have to understand that they should serve some kind of purpose. A lot of people take supplements in hopes of the supplements serving the wrong purpose. Get your eating dialed in to 80% clean (at the minimum) and then evaluate how you’re feeling and how your workouts are going.

It’s best to have a chat with your trusted healthcare provider before altering your diet and exercise in any way, but my general supplementation suggestions for the everyday athlete are:

  • Take a daily vitamin. Consider it an insurance policy that assures you’re getting the proper amount of essential nutrients.
  • If you incorporate strength training into your workout routine, get a decent whey protein into your body immediately after working out to aid in muscle recovery and regeneration.
  • If you can’t get out in the sunlight on a regular basis, consider supplementing with vitamin D (I recommend taking this over the winter months if you live in a cold-weather location like I do.)
  • If you can’t get fish or other omega-3’s into a regular rotation in your diet, consider adding a quality fish oil supplement.

While supplements are everywhere these days and can be a great addition to a well-rounded fitness and nutrition program, always remember that a supplement is just that — a supplement to working hard and eating right!


Ken Grall a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) through the National Strength & Conditioning Association, as well as a Youth Fitness Specialist (YFS) through the International Youth Conditioning Association. Learn more on the Meet Our Writers page.


Strength Training at Home

As a beginner, getting started on strength training can be overwhelming, especially if you’d like to do it without joining a gym. The good news is strength training at home doesn’t need to take a lot of time or equipment, and can be easily added to your current cardio workouts.

Bodyweight strength training uses your own body as resistance and requires little to no equipment. The basic exercises that can be included in a bodyweight program are squats, pushups, pull-ups, planks and sit-ups. Variations of these exercises, such as lunges, chin-ups, and tricep/military push-ups can also be included to increase the intensity and to specifically target smaller muscle groups, such as biceps and triceps.

While bodyweight strength training is approachable for a beginner, by altering the intensity, range of motion, and variations of the basic exercises, you can continue to progress with bodyweight training for as long as you continue to strength train. These programs have the additional benefit of being extremely portable. You may need to seek out a bar for pull-ups (try your local park or playground) or have a band available to strength train the same muscles targeted by the pull-up, but beyond that, a basic bodyweight program is available to you at any time and in any place, making it extremely travel and schedule friendly.




Ready to get started? Start with a program that includes the basic bodyweight exercises: squats for your legs, push-ups for your chest and shoulders, pull ups (with a resistance band to assist you if needed), and sit-ups. If you do not have access to a chin-up bar, you can substitute another exercise for your back, such as the Superman or Contralateral described here.

Once you’ve chosen your strength training exercises, start with either a reps or time based approach. In a reps based approach, you set a goal to complete a specific number of reps and take as much time as you need to in order to complete the reps. In a time based approach, you give yourself a set amount of time for each exercise and complete as many reps as you are able to within that time period. Both approaches are great for new strength trainers. If you are using the reps approach, start with 10-20 reps of each exercise. For time, give yourself one to two minutes per station. Complete one set of each exercise (either for time or repetitions). If you have time, you can complete one or more additional circuits to increase the intensity, calorie burn, and benefits.

The benefits of adding strength training in to your home fitness routine are tremendous. By gaining muscle mass, you’ll improve your body composition and metabolic response, improve your function in daily and athletic activities, and reduce your risks of injury. As you become stronger, try adding in more reps or additional circuits and increasing the difficulty of the exercises, by adding inclines, different hand or foot positions, or resistance.

About the writer: Joli Guenther is a certified personal trainer, yoga instructor and clinical social worker practicing in and around Madison, Wisconsin. Learn more on the Meet Our Writers page.

Training with Kettlebells and Sandbags

Functional athletic training with little or no equipment has been making serious leaps in popularity recently. Whether you’re training with your own bodyweight, hefting around a heavy sandbag, or swinging a kettlebell, these workouts combine strength training with flexibility and cardio for killer core workouts that improve your power and performance.  They let you train healthy movement patterns across multiple planes for a functional stability and strength that will see you through your favorite athletic pursuits. Since you’re training movement patterns, there are a few things to keep in mind to avoid injury and to get the most out of your session.

Safely. Setting up a safe environment is key when you’re working with kettlebells. Keep a good amount of space between you and you any training partners (including pets!) and make sure you have a flat, stable floor to work on. Hopefully you won’t lose control of your kettlebell, but it happens…so avoid injury and risk by training in a safe, forgiving space. You should also pay extra attention to picking up your bell or bag with good form. Avoid rounding your back and focus on bending your knees to pick up from a low position. You’ll want to continue this action of lifting low and engaging your core throughout your workout.

Stability. Kettlebell and sandbag training sessions challenge your stability from your ankles up by taking you through a large range of motion with a shifting load. That’s the reason some athletes tackle these sessions barefoot. Avoid highly cushioned shoes or those with elevated heels, which will add instability to your form and reduce the power of your actions. A minimalist shoe designed for weightlifting or cross training is a better bet and will let you use your feet to power through the movement.

Posture. Putting most of the load into your shoulders and upper back is a common mistake made by newcomers. Success in these training techniques requires more action in the lower body. Start with a lighter weight and work into a deeper squat, using the power of your legs and glutes to lift the weight. Press into your heels to lift your hips and focus on stabilizing the weight with your hips and low core as you move the weight to your shoulders (or higher). The kettlebell swing is a good movement to start with as you practice this sequence of actions. As the weight comes low, you should be bending the knees and shifting your weight back into your heels. As you swing the weight back up, you should reverse the process by pressing into your heels to lift your hips, powering the swing from your lower body and core. At this point, shift your weight forward and lift the kettlebell higher.

Finally, there are two are two basic approaches to choosing your swing height. Bringing the kettlebell to shoulder height works your core stability and ensures that you have control of the kettlebell. It’s generally considered to be the safer approach. If your shoulders are healthy and your core strength is good, you can work into overhead swings.This is a bigger cardiovascular and strength challenge, and gives you the opportunity to work in additional movements (such as squats or twists) at the top of the swing. For more training ideas on how to use your kettlebells, offers a great overview of ways to train and tips for getting the most from your training sessions.

In addition to kettlebells, sandbags are another versatile, low equipment option for strength training. A good bag should come with several, well secured handles, allowing you to work even more movement patterns than is convenient with a kettlebell. Men’s Fitness has a nice starting workout, as well as tips for setting up your sandbag. Because of their shifting weight load, sandbags seriously challenge your stability. You can optimize this challenge by including (well-sealed) bags of water in your sandbag, or using a not-quite full bag. Both kettlebells and sandbags can be combined with bodyweight exercises and your favorite Vision Home Fitness equipment to add a bigger challenge to your movement patterns and increase your strength training load, preparing you for nearly anything.

Related Articles

Ask an expert: When should I strength train?

I know I should incorporate more strength training into my exercise routine.  Is it better to do it before or after my cardio activity? -Stacey

You’re right, it is important to include strength training into your regular exercise routine.  It will aid in balancing the strength and mobility in your muscles and joints, improve metabolism by increasing active lean muscle tissue and even help improve your cardiovascular performance.  That being said, here are three answers to your question.

When you perform strength exercises, the goal is to break down the muscle tissue by repeating the exercise until you’ve reached momentary muscular failure.  That sounds scary, but all it really means is that your muscles get activated and then fatigued by the repetitive resistance of the exercise.  That breaking down of the muscles is what encourages growth and development through rest.




Performing the strength exercises before the cardio activity will allow you to perform the strengthening exercises on fresh muscles as you won’t be tired from the cardio activity.  This is especially important if you’re new to strength training and learning how to perform each exercise.  However, it’s important to make sure your muscles are warmed up ahead of time, so you could include a short 5 minute cardio warm up, then strength train and follow with the rest of your cardio routine.

On the other hand, if your cardio is primary – say, if you’re training for a triathlon or running event and you need to get in a solid workout – then getting in the cardio workout first and then following up with the strength training will be a better option.

Finally, to toss in another option, you can weave it into your cardio and create what I call a “circus workout” – where you warm up on cardio, then hit a strength exercise or two, then 5 minute of cardio, then strength again, followed by cardio.  You’ll feel the excitement of being in the circus with all the movement! Plus, it’s fun and before you know it, you’ll be cooling down thinking… when can I do this again?

There are benefits to weaving in strength training into your cardio routine, the key is to try each of these to see what works best for you.

Happy Trails.
Coach Jenny Hadfield

Coach Jenny Hadfield is a published author, writer, coach, public speaker and endurance athlete. To find out more, visit our Meet Our Writers page or visit Coach Jenny’s website.

Strength And Cardio Training: Should They Mix?

Strength and cardiovascular training methods are often at odds. Many people train in strictly one or other, believing that the neglected training style will somehow hinder their progress. Gym myths and misunderstandings just add to the confusion, promoting ideas like “running burns muscle.” Other exercisers simply don’t know how to incorporate both strength and cardiovascular training into their schedule and favor the one they enjoy the most. Should these two training styles be used together? If so, how? Let’s dig in.

Myths and Misunderstandings About Mixing Strength And Cardio

Usually, people practice cardio because they want to lose weight and lift weights because they want to gain muscle. However, two persistent— and incorrect — ideas have pervaded gyms around the world, deepening the divide between strength training and cardio workouts.

Some people who hope to slim down avoid lifting weights, because they are afraid it will make them too bulky. The truth is that muscle growth is a very slow process, and it requires a well designed program of diet and exercise to be followed for years before you appear “bulky.” On the contrary, proper weight training will increase the strength and endurance of your muscles, which will improve your cardiovascular efficiency and burn more calories and fat in the process.

On the other hand, weightlifters who are looking for bulk tend to fear that cardio burns muscle. This one is more of an oversimplification than an outright myth. It is true that in extreme cases of over-training your body will begin to use muscle for fuel. However, your body will only go catabolic when you exercise at a high intensity for more than 45 minutes, exercise every day, or exercise on an empty stomach. Put simply, cardio will only burn muscle when you give it no other choice. Balance in your training and in your diet will prevent muscle loss.


A healthy combination of strength and cardio training will allow your body to perform at its best, letting the two systems complement each other rather than compete.

How to Mix Strength And Cardio The Right Way

Understanding that cardio and strength training don’t cancel each other out is only half the battle: now you have to balance the two properly. Mixing cardio and strength training requires a highly individualized approach based on your goals, body type and chosen sport.

First, you should decide whether your focus is to lose weight or gain muscle. Trying to do both at the same time will most likely slow your progress and frustrate you, and may even lead to over-training injuries. Again, this does not mean that you are choosing one training method over the other; the key is to make them work together.

If your primary goal is to gain muscle, then you should lift three times per week, with two moderate-intensity cardio sessions of about 20 to 30 minutes each on your off days. Lifting and running on the same day not only takes more time, it increases your risk of overworking your muscles, which is exactly what you want to avoid.

Next, you need to consider your body type. Is it easy for you to lose weight or does it feel like a constant struggle? Are you naturally muscular? Your body’s natural tendencies will have a strong bearing on your workout plan. For example, an endomorph —  someone who is natural heavy-set — will need to schedule more cardio days to lose weight, but will likely find it easy to gain muscle with plenty of stored fuel in the body.

Lastly, we need to consider your sport. An endurance athlete (such as a marathon runner) will need a completely different skill-set than a football player. While both of these examples lean towards either cardio or strength, these athletes can still benefit from both modes of training.

As is the case with many aspects of fitness, balance is the key to mixing both cardio and strength training into your routine. While these two modes of exercise are frequently considered incompatible, when scheduled properly, they will work together to help you reach your fitness goals.

Have any tips on mixing strength and cardio training? Please share them in the comments!




Related Content

Getting fit is hard, choosing the right equipment shouldn’t be. Whether you’re starting a fitness program for rehabilitation, to improve your health or to compete in local races, a treadmill is a great piece of cardio exercise equipment. But how do you spot a good one? With the range of treadmills on the market, it’s good to know what to look for. Read more.

Adding Strength Training Into Your Cardio Routine: Part 2

If you’re seeking to gain greater muscle definition, visible strength, or want to better address muscle imbalances, there’s no need to add expensive equipment to your strength training workouts. Incorporating a few dumbbells and resistance bands isn’t a big investment in time or space and you can even tuck some into an ottoman or under a bookshelf if you don’t have a lot of space to store equipment. As a continuation of our circuit-style strength training article, here are a two inexpensive ways to increase your strength training options.

Add a few free-weights. Dumbbells will give you options for targeting your biceps and back muscles, which tend to be areas we want more growth and definition than can be easily reached through bodyweight training. You can also start adding resistance to your lower body and core work by combining upper body dumbbell work with a lower body or core movement such as a lunging bicep curl or a chest press using a fitness ball.

Adding dumbbells is generally something you want to do if you’re seeking muscle growth and more power, which means you want to stick to low or moderate reps (not more than ten) over the three sets you perform. For most women, start with about 10 pounds for working the arms and 15 pounds for the back. Men can generally add five pounds to those numbers as a starting point and build from there. To get started with basic dumbbell exercises, this website provides a way of targeting almost any body part using these simple weights.

Snap to it with resistance bands. If you want to see improvement in performance and function, as well as long, lean muscle, resistance tubing is a great alternative to free weights. Tubing also travels well, making it a great way to stick to your workouts on the road. You can begin by adding in lower body challenges or use tubing to target your entire body and core. If you’re looking for inspiration, these resistance band exercises will give you plenty of ways to step up the intensity of your intervals, and increase your power and performance both on and off the sports field this spring.

Overall, adding in strength and bodyweight circuits into your cardio routine is a great way to keep your heart rate up so you don’t have to choose between strength training and cardio when time is short.

Do you have a favorite bodyweight or strength circuit? Share in the comments below.

Adding Strength Training Into Your Cardio Routine


Are tight schedules and a lack of equipment keeping you from getting the benefits of strength training? If you find yourself making excuses rather than making your workouts, it’s time to develop a program that works with you and your schedule. Low equipment and no equipment forms of strength training are excellent ways to build muscle and improve your functional movements. Plus, adding in circuit-style strength training to your cardio workouts at home can keep your heart rate up so you don’t have to choose between strength training and cardio when time is short.

From burpees to tuck jumps, there are plenty of equipment-free ways to keep your heart pumping while you build muscle. If adding impact to your workouts seems a bit extreme, you can choose no-impact options such as planks and squats. Bodyweight strength training will increase your functional capacity, making you stronger for the movements you do (or should be doing) every day.

A great program might start with a warm-up on your Vision treadmill, indoor bike or elliptical, followed by five stations of exercises targeting the chest and/or back, lower body, core, arms, or entire body at once. Spend one minute at each station and repeat the entire circuit 2-3 times depending on your schedule. During the second and third rounds, you can increase the intensity on your fitness equipment to be sure that you keep your heart rate within your cardiovascular training zone. If you’re already in good shape, try to aim for intense intervals during your time on your fitness equipment, as well as during your lower and full body exercises.

For options that will suit everyone from beginners to athletes, this list of 50 Bodyweight Exercises you can do anywhere will give you plenty of choices to design your first circuit and keep it fresh for months to come. If you need help designing your first workout, here’s an example of a beginner workout using bodyweight exercises.

Whether you’re just getting started or want to seriously power up your workouts, low equipment and no equipment forms of strength training are excellent ways to build muscle and improve your functional movements.

Check out part two of this article on how to add in more free weight and resistance band workouts to boost your home cardio routine.

Five Simple Ways to Boost Your Heart’s Health

As we round the corner into spring, it is a great time to check-in and renew your commitment to a healthy year. A hearthealthy year. If you want to be healthy into your old age, it’s important to begin treating your heart well early on. The American Heart Association emphasizes maintaining a healthy weight, regular exercise, a healthy diet, and smoking cessation as primary steps towards preventing heart disease. Assuming you’re up to date on your most recent physical, blood work, and doctor recommendations, what are the biggest ways to impact your heart with your daily choices? Here are five simple ways to boost your heart’s health.Heart Healthy Tips

Avoid Processed Foods. Steering clear of processed foods not only limits hidden sugars, sodium, and fake ingredients that sneak into your diet, it also forces you to emphasize the foods that reduce inflammation, improve your immunity and are packed with fiber, protein and micronutrients that do everything from boost your heart health to increase your ability to recover from your last workout. Try switching your breakfast cereal to oatmeal, which can assist in lowering your LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, or building your meals around five foods that benefit your heart to include more produce, lean protein and healthy fats in your diet.

Get Your Workouts Started. For overall heart health, get moving at least 150 minutes per week. That can be 30 minutes every day, 10 minutes a few times each day, or an hour a few times each week. If you are new to working out regularly, or have current heart issues, this is a good zone to stay in for a few months to build up your endurance and confidence. Once these workouts become easier to accomplish and part of your everyday routine, it’s time to start making them tougher. You can start by adding in a tough workout (see below) once or twice a week.

Toughen Up your Workouts. Including tough workouts in your program is one of the best ways to help you manage your weight, as well as challenge your heart to make it stronger. Working out hard means your workouts can be shorter, accomplishing more in less time on busy days. A hard workout also means you’re challenging your heart at a higher level, increasing your cardiovascular fitness, your post workout recovery demands (calorie burn) and building muscle. If your current workouts are bringing you into your aerobic threshold (about 60-70% of your maximum heart rate) and you’re in good physical health, you can start to bring in some interval training that increases your heart rate to between 85% and 100% of your maximum heart rate for brief periods (30 seconds to 2 minutes) during your training. You can do this by increasing either the speed or the resistance on your Vision home fitness equipment, or by using the interval setting provided on most machines.

Lift Weights. To keep improving your overall health and daily functioning, considering adding in some strength training. At a minimum, shoot for two strength training sessions each week, hitting the major muscle groups of your body. If you’re looking to start building muscle and improve your performance, slowly add in a third session to help you see results. (Just be sure to give yourself a day to recover between workouts.) To get even more out of your workout and increase the cardiovascular impact, combine movements to target multiple muscle groups at once, such as stepping into a lunge with a bicep curl or doing full body planks and push-ups to strengthen nearly everything in your body. Another idea is to including strength training as a part of a circuit approach, alternating 60-90 seconds of one exercise with the same period of time on your cardio equipment. Your body will be cashing in on the body changing benefits of a weight routine in no time.

Manage Stress. By choosing regular exercise and a healthy diet, you’ve taken some important steps towards controlling the stress in your life. You can add to those steps by including mindfulness, gratitude, meditation or yoga in your fitness routine. For more suggestions, check out the American Heart Association’s resources on understanding and managing stress. These steps can all pay you back with a happier life now – and better health in the long run.

Do you have a question about general fitness, goal setting, getting the most out of your Vision Fitness equipment, etc.? Our fitness experts would love to answer your question in an upcoming blog post on Just leave your question in the comments below.


Exercise and fibromyalgia

Conditions that cause pain in your joints and muscles can lock you into a terrible loop.
Often sufferers are afraid to exercise out of concern that it will worsen their pain.
Unfortunately, the lack of exercise will usually make their condition more difficult to bear.
Fibromyalgia, which affects 5.8 million Americans, is just such an illness.

What is Fibromyalgia?

Although it is not very well understood, fibromyalgia can be a debilitating disorder that is characterized by pain in the muscles and joints, fatigue and cognitive difficulties. The exact cause of fibromyalgia is unknown but researchers suspect that it is linked to physical or psychological trauma.

The constant dull aching that is associated with fibromyalgia can make it difficult to sleep and is often experienced along with other sleep disorders like restless leg syndrome and sleep apnea.

Fibromyalgia also commonly occurs alongside depression, anxiety, endometriosis, headaches and irritable bowel syndrome.

When you consider the wide range of symptoms that accompany fibromyalgia, it is logical that people enduring it would avoid exercise. But research indicates that a properly designed fitness program could be an effective way of treating the condition.

How Exercise Can Help

One of the major concerns facing patients with fibromyalgia is deconditioning. The lack of activity will gradually make your heart, lungs and muscles function less and less efficiently. This will, in turn, cause greater difficulty in movement and increase the amount of pain in your joints and muscles.

Poor posture, tight muscles and limited range of motion are also byproducts of inactivity. Each of these factors can contribute to pain and difficulty moving.

If you struggle with fibromyalgia, the solution may be to do whatever is in your control to improve your body’s ability to move efficiently. Even light exercise can provide exactly that.

A large study that observed 170 fibromyalgia patients was funded by the National Institutes of Health in 2013 to gain further insight on the effect of exercise on the disorder. Each participant was given an exercise prescription based on their starting fitness level that gradually became more challenging, more frequent and longer over the course of the 3-month study. Throughout the study, and for six months following, they were also asked to fill out several questionnaires.

At the end of the study, it was found that they subjects who stuck to their exercise routine experienced less physical impairment and better overall well-being than those who abandoned their workouts.

One key element appears to be a steady increase in activity, which showed a corresponding decrease in pain. A rapid and short-live burst of activity didn’t produce any benefits.

Of all the participants who increased their activity levels, even beyond the length of the study, no one experienced an increase in pain.

How To Do It

Anyone, whether they have fibromyalgia or not, will experience pain if they jump in to a difficult workout too quickly. Start off gradually and incorporate both strength and endurance training.

Your strength training should consist of light weights so that you can focus on maintaining perfect form throughout the movement. Consider working with a trainer to be sure that your form is correct to help avoid injury.

Aerobic training should be your chief concern and should be performed at least three times per week. Stick to a moderate intensity, where you can comfortably have a conversation, and start at just a few minutes. Gradually increase the duration of your workouts to about 40 minutes.

Each session should begin and end with mobility training. These movements should be done slowly, emphasizing flexibility and a full range of motion.

If you experience flare-ups, when your pain is especially bad, take time off the recover. Pick up your routine again as soon as you feel better.

Do you struggle to stay active despite fibromyalgia? Please share your experience with us in the comments.