Exercise & Chronic Fatigue Syndrome / M.E.
Exercise - Should You? And How Much?
Should you exercise or not? That is the question when you have
ME/ Chronic Fatigue Syndrome...
Please note: Post Viral Fatigue Syndrome, Myalgic Encephalomyelitis,
and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome are believed to fall under the umbrella
term 'ME/CFS'. To make it easier for you to read through this page,
Sleepydust will use the term 'ME/CFS' to
refer to them collectively. But it's worth bearing in mind
that each of these separate terms have overlapping but different
Exercise & ME/ Chronic Fatigue Syndrome...
Exercise is a tricky subject when it comes to managing ME/ Chronic
Fatigue Syndrome. This is because most ME/CFS sufferers respond
badly to physical exertion, which tends to worsens symptoms.
So if you have ME/CFS - where do you stand when it comes to exercise?
Well, for one, doctors do not advise 'forced activity' to people
who are in the early stages of ME/CFS.
But if you've had ME/CFS for longer, what should you do?
Listen To Your Body...
Some ME/CFS sufferers respond well to gradual exercise and do
see an improvement.
On the other hand, there are some ME/CFS sufferers who have had
the illness for years, and who still don't respond well
to gradual exercise. If this sounds familiar, then it's still
important to try moving around every day, even if it's a little.
Listen to your body...
If you're mildly affected, you might find that taking a short walk
outside is achievable. If you're more severely affected, it might
mean just walking around the house. If your mobility is even more
limited, and you spend most of your time on one floor (for example),
then it might mean working towards being able to go downstairs to
sit in the lounge. If you're bedridden then it might mean doing
some very gentle stretching or yoga exercises that you can do in
bed. If you can't manage that, you may just want to start with
some basic breathing exercises.
Whatever your level of health, there is a level of gentle exercise
you can probably do. It shouldn't be anything too strenuous,
and it certainly shouldn't feel stressful or distressing.
It should just be something you feel able to achieve -
just a little activity that lets you use your muscles a little.
The good news is that for those ME/CFS sufferers who reach the
point where they are able to do a modest amount of exercise,
research shows that most sufferers' symptoms improve.
So if your body responds well to gradual exercise, it's well worth
a try. Just remember - don't overdo it, as this
may make your symptoms worse. Try to move around every day
if you can, even if it's just walking to another room in
your house. If you don't feel strong enough to move around, try
some gentle stretches or breathing exercises.
Find the correct balance for you between rest
and activity (and that includes a level of physical and mental activity
that's suitable for you), and try not to overdo it. Just
take it easy and build up your exercise slowly, if you can.
A great book which has been written specifically for ME/CFS sufferers
is Fiona Agombar's
Beat Fatigue With Yoga: A Step-by-Step Guide...
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Graded Exercise Therapy
If you've had ME/CFS for a while, you've probably heard about Graded
Exercise Therapy (GET). While some doctors believe it's
effective for treating ME/CFS, others say it can
be harmful and should be approached with caution.
reviews of Graded Exercise Therapy here...
Have you tried Graded Exercise Therapy? If
you've tried Graded Exercise Therapy for your ME/CFS or FMS, then
we'd love to hear from you. Whether your experiences have been good,
bad, or neutral - your experiences might well help someone else
who's considering it...
Have You Tried Graded Exercise Therapy?
Have you tried Graded Exercise Therapy (GET)? What did it involve?
Did it help you? Or was it a waste of time? Did you feel that your Graded Exercise Therapist understood ME/CFS or FMS and what you were going through?
Whether your experiences have been good or bad, we'd love to hear your verdict. Help other sufferers by sharing your own experiences. This is your chance to let rip. Rant. Rave. Tell Sleepydust what you think...
Share your experiences below...
Reviews By Other ME/ Chronic Fatigue Syndrome And Fibromyalgia Sufferers
Click below to see reviews from other sufferers...
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