Graded Exercise Therapy: A Self-Guided Approach for People with Chronic Fatigue
One of the challenges people experiencing chronic fatigue syndrome face is maintaining fitness while avoiding post-exertional fatigue, which can exacerbate symptoms. People who try to do too much can, paradoxically, lose ground, while people who avoid exercise entirely can also find their pain and exhaustion worsening as muscles become deconditioned.
The London-based Chronic Fatigue Service at St. Leonard's Hospital (formerly at St. Bartholomew's Hospital) has been combining clinical research with patient care for the past twenty-five years. One intervention that's been particularly popular with patients (as well as with doctors and physiotherapists) has been Graded Exercise Therapy.
A patient guide to creating a Graded Exercise Therapy program is available through the Chronic Fatigue Service. The simple, clear instructions can be used to build an individualized graded exercise program, either as a solo endeavor or with the help of a physical therapist or personal trainer. People report very positive results from their programs. I've found the guide very helpful myself!