Exercise and chronic fatigue


We asked the Twitterverse for their health questions and concerns so that we could provide them with informed answers from the professionals in our MedFit team. Today we answered a question regarding exercise and chronic fatigue syndrome.

@MedFitRehab do you have any suggestions for someone suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome that wants to start exercising again?

— Trish Doucette (@classytrish27) January 22, 2014

For anyone who suffers from chronic fatigue, it is important to engage in exercise as a means to managing the symptoms and possible complications associated with this condition.

Finding the right exercise formula for you requires patience, moderation and trial and error. Acquiring the support of an exercise rehabilitation specialist may assist you in creating and monitoring an individualized exercise program.

Fatigue symptoms may worsen following a bout of exercise, an effect known as post-exertion malaise. Therefore, moderation early on in an exercise program is key. Start with two to five minute periods of light, low-impact exercise- focusing on range of motion, stretching and functional activities such as grasping, sit-to-stand and overhead reaches.

Maintain exercise duration of two to five minutes for the first two weeks, making sure to monitor your body’s response to each exercise bout. You may need to decrease the duration and intensity of each exercise depending on your body’s initial response.

Do not increase your exercise duration or intensity on “good days.” Instead stick to your regular training program for the best long term results. As your body adapts to the physical demands of exercise over time, with little additional fatigue results, you are ready to gradually increase your exercise duration and intensity. Consider increasing duration by 1 to 2 minutes.

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