Exercise is often a difficult topic for us to discuss. There is good reason for this. Most of us have suffered extreme and lasting setbacks as a result of exercise. Add this to the fact that many doctors and friends insist that all we need is more exercise, while ignoring the negative effects it can have. Eventually it gets to the point where many of us dont even want to hear the e word.
But there is no denying that muscle wasting is not good for us. Lying in bed without moving can lead to blood clots in the legs. So many of use look for ways to gauge how much simple movement or light exercise we can do without getting sicker. This is not easy because what works on one day might not work on the next.
Im going to offer what I think are the best resources about exercise with CFS. Remember, please, that exercise can consist of lying in bed and doing simple leg and arm movements. I did this when I was bedridden. Or if you are struggling with housework and/or a job, any additional exercise might be a bad idea. So please keep this in mind too.
Anyway, here are some resources:
Talk by Irma Rae M.D. of the University of Miami. She has clearly done her homework and gives guidelines about how to prevent yourself from pushing too hard. Keep in mind that she is addressing this to people with different levels of function, so just ignore examples that are beyond what you can do.
Talk by Nancy Klimas M.D. of the University of Miami. This one adds information that is not included in the Dr. Irma Rae talk.
After watching both of the above links I felt like I might be armed with enough information to design an exercise program for me that goes beyond the one I was taught while bedridden.
Additionally, any exercise or movement program must be taken in context of other activities and stresses on ones life. Bruce Campbell Ph.D. has some of the best information on this. http://www.recoveryfromcfs.org/
I am adding this after the fact. I located a forum message in which I describe the exercises I was taught. I did this following cancer treatment made worse by suffering CFS crash. At the time I was bedridden.
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Blog entry posted by Andrew, Sep 29, 2010.