Safe exercise for CFS/ME recovery

By on April 28, 2011 in Activity, Books, Programs/Tools with 5 Comments

Have you been frustrated by your efforts to fight Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)/Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) with exercise?  Gone too hard and ended up bedridden for days, weeks or months?  Too exhausted to even contemplate exercise?  I understand.  It completely sucks, but I think I’ve found a solution!

I love exercise and totally miss all the fun and benefits of exercise.  I particularly miss outdoor activities.

Up until I found the ‘Chronic Fatigue: Your Complete Exercise Guide’ by Dr Neil F. Gordon I was taking a slow stroll for around 20-40 minutes maybe twice a week, and occasionally riding my bike.

Unfortunately cycling pretty much always results in my being unable to exercise again for a week or so and limits even the most basic activities around the house such as cooking!  Not good for my wellness plan at all!

Walking was ok but being ever so careful I would only do it when I felt reasonably ok and on most walks I would experience light headedness and thus walk at a snails’ pace.  Even though it was great to get out and about I don’t think there was much exercise value going on.

So that was the scenario until I came across Dr Gordon’s book last month.

I’ve come across heaps of advice that says CFS/ME patients should do some exercise regularly, but I hadn’t found anything specific until I found Dr Gordons’ Exercise Bible!

The book outlines the essentials for designing an exercise program to suit your own capabilities, it provides guidelines on how to exercise safely and there is even a health-point system to help build up benefits with minimal risk.  The system Dr Gordon uses has been developed at the Cooper Institute for Aerobics Research in Dallas, Texas through research with CFS/ME patients.

I’m not using the health point system yet but I’m now exercising regularly without harm to my recovery.  The big difference for me was that I use the heart rate monitoring method which means I now exercise at a harder pace than I was before, but for restricted time.

To the average exerciser it may seem pretty senseless exercising for only 10 minutes but I get great benefits for such a short time, and again, this spurs me on!  Although I have to be careful not to get carried away as I’ve got a pretty driven and enthusiastic nature.

Next week I plan to go up to 12.5 minutes per day – woohoo!.

I’ll keep you posted on my progress.

Let me know how your going with your exercise.

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There Are 5 Brilliant Comments

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  1. Eugene says:

    I have been a sufferer for thirteen years (Diagnosed). Needles to say have tried all remidies. Go to support groups and and on. I am fitness enthusiast so needless to say again, this has been a blow. Hve not read this book but I. Intend to. I lift heavy and often though aerobics is still very I do circuits. HBOT or hyperbarics is a blast. I recomend it to all. Some people have a bad reaction at first but nothing beats it.

    • Green Girl Mel says:

      Hi Eugene, Thanks for your comment. The hyperbarics is an interesting one. Is this readily available? How did you manage to come across it and how often do you do it? Love to hear more about it. Thanks. I totally sympathise re the knock to our physical life. I am really missing my outdoor activities. I have however been keeping up with some regular walking and slowly increasing it so looking forward to getting back into slightly more challenging things in the future. Let me know what you think of the exercise book.

  2. beez says:

    Hi Green Girl Mel Nice to meet you a friend showed me the way to your site ,Im Beez living In South Aust I have been diagnosed with Graves Disease & one of the drawbacks of this lovely little monster is chronic fatigue ! Your idea of exercising in small lots like ten minutes actually works I started doing this just because I did only I don’t have any exercise program to follow I mainly do yoga style based thingies lol exercising.. like some days I feel great others I feel like Im 190plus dragging a leg yeah out of breath & the lightheadedness I also get from just say walking really just annoys me so much … i used to be such a run abouta do this do that do everything 24/7 to be now sentenced to The Graves really is a whole changing of life for me presenting many challenges things most people do and take for granted … anyHows just wanted to give you a Hi and a smile and say how I think this site you have going is a really Great Idea & I wish you every bit of success with it growing & the best to you also… Im still wandering around here having a read a and look at all you have been giving doing here. Cheers beez :*))

    • Hi Beez, delighted to meet you, thanks for checking out my site! That is great to hear that doing a small amount of exercise is helping you a bit. I definitely find when I’m not doing it things start going down hill. It inspires me because its actually quite nice to get out for a walk, but it also does seem to improve the CFS somehow….just making sure I don’t get too carried away is the key or it all goes backwards. I understand how you feel being a person who liked to do loads of stuff – exercise and just general fun and activity. Its tough hey. But somehow I’ve become much calmer about where I am. I think focusing on the recovery gives me a bit to do….. Look out for the Self Help Challenge and my new forum which I’ll be launching very shortly! Thanks Beez.

    • James Dobson says:

      Hi Beez, I just saw your comment on the Ross River site and thought I’d share some stuff with you. Four years ago I was diagnosed with Graves Disease and I totally recovered. I can send you an ebook that helped me a lot if you like. I had to really focus on the disease and change my lifestyle considerably – but it absolutely worked! Drop me an email if you like and I’ll send it to you. Cheers jd

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