Exercise for CFS?

Posted , 5 users are following.


I have recently been diagnosed with CFS. I used to be very active at the gym - especially cycling and swimming, I tried swimming a couple of times this week - just half a mile a time, which is a fraction of what I used to do, and it has completely wiped me out. Does anyone have a good phased exercise plan?

Thanks x

0 likes, 7 replies

7 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Jengus123

    If you have a diagnosis of CFS has your doctor referred you to a ME/CFS clinic?!

    Graded Exercise Therapy(GET) has been used to treat people with CFS with very mixed results, with many patients getting worse rather than better.

    Exercise that wipes you out will probably make your symptoms worse and you will relapse.

    you need to read up on "Pacing" the term is used to describe how to pace yourself

    without making your symptoms worse.

    This can be a really difficult process to get your head around especially when you have always been so athletic.

    If you have been fortunate enough to be diagnosed early, i.e. within 6months of your first symptoms and you rest for long periods and cut back on exercise you may recover.

    The major problem with this condition is if you push yourself too hard you can get stuck in a cycle of relapsing!

    Research CFS on the internet there are various associations with good info

    and good luck

  • Posted

    why not enrol at a gym and get a fitness program to suit your illness


  • Posted

    Personally, I would avoid trying to work out a plan, and instead just experiment with what goes best for you. Everyone with CFS is so different that guidance from others can easily cause people problems. As sunshine mentioned, there have been problems with people making money from GET guiding people into particular approaches, often based on spun evidence.

    The trouble with things like swimming is that just getting there/getting changed/etc can take a lot of energy. Exercises at home can be easier to do in small bursts and let you avoid muscles you've already been using more than normal. Walking can be fitted into people's days easily. Good luck finding what works best for you.

  • Posted

    Be very very careful about exercise. Even the mildest exercise through me into a very bad relapse. I was not even able to do a graded exercise program. 
  • Posted

    Hi Jengus, i'd say forget exercise like you were used to. Walking only. I'm 11 months into my initial PVF which is now CFS. Relapsed badly this week, I was a super fit triathlete. I fought it all very hard in the beginning and it only made me ten times worse. I still feel a long way off to living a normal life, i am housebound for most of the day, a good day i can manage 30misn walking.

    Exercise is important but ALWAYS do a minimal amount, NEVER over exert yourself.

  • Posted

    Thank you so much for all the responses, I think it is fair to say I over did it with the swimming ... I will try walking for 15 mins a day, and will read up on Pacing. Thanks all xx
  • Posted

    I try and go on my bike everyday if nothing else it clears my head, but mostly it exhuasts me, so I suppose that is not much help.

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