Walk Away From Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. "A lot of different circumstances can result in what we call chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS)," explains Quentin Regestein, MD. "Chronic fatigue syndrome is a fruit salad that's flavored by a million different condiments." Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is very difficult to treat. But a new study offers hope that for some CFS patients: The treatment is walking. At St. Bartholomew's and the Royal London Medical School in Britain, researchers enrolled 66 patients in a 12-week program of either aerobic exercise (five days a week) or flexibility training. By the end of the study, twice as many of the exercisers rated themselves as feeling better, compared with those in the flexibility group. The exercising group also showed more improvement on measurements of fatigue (British Medical Journal, June 7, 1997). "It's an optimistic observation," says Dr. Regestein, who studies chronic fatigue and sleep disorders at Brigham & Women's Hospital in Boston. Since the exercise program consisted mainly of light walking (at about 50% of maximum heart rate), he suggests that people who want to try this approach "begin with something you know you can do, then build up from there." Dr. Regestein notes that the benefits of exercise for CFS patients may go beyond conditioning the body to fight fatigue. "It is very likely that just getting up and getting out into the daylight regularly helps to keep you going."
Practice walking up the stairs several times a day. Walk to the end of the yard or garden several times a day. Use the exercise bicycle at very easy effort level for 2 minutes on a set five days this week; then 3 minutes next week etc. Reach 10 minutes and it will be time to alternate hard with easy days such as: Day 1: Bike 15 minutes Day 2: Bike 8 minutes Day 3: Bike 15 minutes Day 4: Rest Day 5: Bike 15 minutes Day 6: Bike 10 minutes Day 7: Rest
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