1. Yoga. Easy on the joints and requiring no significant athletic ability, yoga can be ideal for those with long-lasting pain. Besides providing a decent cardio workout, yoga's stretching elements can boost flexibility and mitigate the symptoms of chronic pain caused by some conditions, including fibromyalgia. The mental side of yoga, which emphasizes meditation and mindfulness, can help relieve the psychological symptoms of chronic pain (such as anxiety). The breathing techniques practiced in yoga can also help lower stress, which can exacerbate pain.
2. Walking. Since walking is low-impact, it is great for anyone who has joint problems. Despite its gentleness, walking is also a solid aerobic workout that boosts the cardiovascular system. Walking requires the use of many different muscles, from the feet to the midsection, including many which are common problem areas for chronic pain sufferers. Since increasing blood flow to an area can help relieve pain and promote healing, this can be a good thing.
3. Strength training. Becoming stronger is often an effective way to reduce pain. This is especially true for those who have joint problems; if the muscle surrounding a joint is made stronger, the joint will be under less stress. Similarly, symptoms such as chronic back or neck pain may simply be a result of weak, underdeveloped muscles. Strengthening the muscles that support these areas can help greatly. Besides lifting weights, basic body-weight exercises can also be used to increase strength.
4. Aquatic exercises. Many forms of chronic pain are made worse by stress on the joints. That's what makes working out in a pool so valuable. Being in the water means the entire body is under far less strain than usual. Swimming can help improve cardio health and stamina while strengthening many different muscles. Water aerobics offers another form of valuable water exercise.
Exercise plays a key part in helping the human body function as it should, which is why working out can alleviate the symptoms of chronic pain. While sufferers from chronic pain may not feel inclined to engage in physical exertion, most would feel better if they were able to cultivate a habit of exercising regularly.