Q & A – Is exercise bad for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Learn the in’s and outs of exercise with M.E/CFS. When you should and when you shouldn’t exercise. In this video you will understand why most people over do it, push and crash and give up on exercise. And the importance of progressive movement to rebuild and restore strength and condition overtime. More info go to www.cfsheath.com

34 Replies to “Q & A – Is exercise bad for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome”

  1. Diagnosed 1999 with CFS, exercise intolerant.  Over many years, less active and more winded.  Heart attacks beginning May 2014, simultaneous COPD diagnosis.  The thing that has saved me is rehab including physical therapist intervention.  December 2014 I could barely stand, let alone walk.  The PT made all the difference.  WALKING was key, and supervised intervention was critical.   Moving is critical to combat the deconditioning.

  2. I can totally relate to the push and crash. I had to learn with physical therapy to do a few minutes exercise at a time, and very slowly build up.  By the way, along with the exercise intolerance I have orthostatic intolerance. :(

  3. Thank you for making this video. I was diagnosed with CFS and Fibromyalgia in 1997. I never thought I would become mostly bedbound because I took supplements, ate healthy, exercised when able, and stayed informed via support groups. However, having a support system is the most important thing. If you can't get food, water, and supplements on a regular basis you will die. No one seems to take this dreadful disease serious. I am giving up hope due to the lack of continuous support needed for survival.

  4. Hi, The crash comes to me after a few weeks of training (interval jogging program to 5 Km) when it first looks likes im getting fitter and better with more energy. That why it is hard to tel when i'm crossing my "line" 
    How can i see the crash coming?

  5. I hate this disease.  I exercised too much for 6 weeks and now have been in bed for 3 and sick as hell.  Thank you for this video.

  6. thank you so much for your video my son is 17 and had his legs recontructed and is having a hell of a time with chronic fatigue and his legs are so skinny now. Been taking him to the mall and he likes that ..he walks as much as he can but the dr tells me not to do that and just to take him swimming. only allow him to walk on grass. etc.

  7. Well I've just laughed my way through this video because it may aswell have been titled "JAC…STOP!!!" lol! I'm a bugga for thinking "Ooooohhh energy, lets go do something"…. I've never learnt the art of pacing!…hhhmm! I am boss lady at a Centre for people with learning disabilities and we have been manic with one thing or another this last month. I'v decided I'm going to take next week off to concentrate on little old me….I will admit I have a mega party to got o next weekend and want to be well enough to go, but my compromise is, rest all week :-D

  8. Thank you so much! I have really severe chronic fatigue and am currently lying in bed with bad brain fog and complete exhaustion. everything makes it worse and makes me nauseous. so it's great to have someone who truly understands and is willing to share their support :)

  9. Toby – Do you do one-one-one Skype sessions?
    I'm based in the UK but would love to have some coaching through my own journey.

    Quick question…

    I'm currently working full-time and have been throughout the last 10 years (for the most part).
    Do you think I can recover while working a full-time job?
    I am really struggling and although I can get through some days okay, I have others where I can hardly function at all.

    Thank you in advance.

  10. Unluckily, I have so many responsibilities that suck up my energy that I am never really out of a crash state. Damned disease and 20 years of my life lost.

  11. Very informative and motivational, thanks. I always do the push and crash due to 30 years in the Martial Arts and I find it near impossible to take exercise slowly. I go out to do light weights and end up hitting the bag, doing burpees against the clock and then after one or two sessions I have a massive crash. I need to learn now I am ill to slow down.

  12. I am starting to wonder if excessive exercise somehow causes ME. It seems a lot of people with ME have actually had a really active lifestyle before the onset of this illness.

  13. Thank you so much, Toby. Your videos gives me so much hope for the future, and make me believe that I will become healthy again. I'm 18 and have had CFS in 2 years, I hope to do whatever I want to do some day. Do you have faith in me, that I can do it?

  14. Thankyou Toby… I don't have CFS but have severe depression & anxiety… Some days I just can't get out of bed and am just dizzy, headaches, body aches, so so tired, sick, sore chest, panic attacks and the list goes on but this video has made sense to me!!! I have had a couple of good days and yes, do everything!!! Then you guessed it – crash!!! I follow all your videos and emails as the give me help with myself… I would love to come and see you one day but am just awfully afraid… My life turned upside down completely… I was the fun, outgoing, friend to all, hard worker now just messed up… Keep doing what you're doing… It helps more people than you realise… One day I will get the courage…

  15. Everything you say in this video and other videos makes absolute sense but how do you start. I have CFS and Fibromyalgia and have had it for 12 years, I have had CBT and that help me to come to terms with this horrible illness. I am thankful that I am able to still function to a level but always in pain. I do attend Aqua aerobics and it helps but when I am tired I struggle to find the motivation to go. I want to stop taking the amitriptyline, co-codamol which help me to sleep but doesn't take the pain away completely. I actually describe how I feel by saying you go to the gym for the first time, you work really hard and the next day you can't move, well I feel like that everyday.
    I really need help but scared, too may other people want to cure me but want thousands of pounds for programmes, they call it investment in yourself. I cannot justify spending that money. I watch your videos and read your emails everyday and think why can doctors suggest things like you do?

  16. What if you have orthostatic intolerance? When I stand or move my arms my heart beat shoots up from say 52 to over 100 in seconds not minutes.

  17. I'm usually too tired to exercise. If I have the slightest bit of energy and try to work out I start to yawn and fall asleep. So, I avoid gyms. I'm always tired. My boyfriend thinks I'm just lazy, useless and that I lack motivation. That's not true. He thinks exercise is the answer for everything. However, he's not understanding that although I want to exercise, I can't because I have no energy. I take 60mg of Adderall a day and still nap 3 times a day. This has impacted my life in a very negative way. Work, friends etc…

  18. we are ill enough we dont need to be told in a sneaky fashion, to engage in graded activity. a lot of what he is saying is mumbo jumbo, do you have the supportive evidence or research to back up your claims and your recommendation

  19. Hi Toby,
    Thank you for putting this info on youtube, I have a daughter who has just been advised that she may have CFS and certainly everything that I'm learning about it seems to fit.
    She is 12 years old and has been poorly for over 6 months, the more I learn about the condition the more I'm convinced the signs were there before although not severely enough to really impact on her activity levels.
    She in the last couple of years has been off doing long hikes in the countryside, up and down mountains in the Brecons and cycle rides up to about 12 miles with me, so it has been difficult for her not being able to carry on with that and having missed a substantial amount of school in recent months.
    We finally got to see a pediatrician who feels her chances of recovering to her previous health levels are good, so we left feeling quite positive about her future.
    I'm sure that when I show her your presentation she will find it of benefit and the advice you give is similar to what the Dr is advising. I've bought her an activity/sleep tracker and will be signing her up for an app that will work in conjunction with it to help her manage how much she does, I'm thinking the baseline etc that you mention.
    While I feel positive about her prospects, I feel for those others who suffer to a much greater degree with the debilitating consequences of CFS.
    I'm sure your presentation will help my daughter and countless others, so thanks again for posting it on youtube.
    Steve Bridger

  20. Hi Toby, I am an undergraduate in the UK, and have been getting cold like symptoms for years, especially after I exercise, and during stressful exam periods. I have had a range of blood tests which have all been clear so far, and my doctor now suggests allergy tests. However, reading some forums on bodybuilding etc the post-exercise tiredness I feel sounds a lot like CFS, and the boom and bust cycles of energy you describe in your videos feels exactly like how I feel. Just cycling to lectures makes my throat swell and I feel tired for hours after. I have mentioned this to my doctor, but I feel like I am getting nowhere. I would be really interested in any information regarding graded exercise routines etc using bodyweight exercises, as I really enjoy fitness, but spend a day or so feeling terrible the day after exertion. Thank you so much in advance. It is amazing to hear someone talk about the things I feel.

  21. Interesting video, nice to watch it. Thanks for making it 🙂
    You suggest to exercise also if i am on medication daily or in that case is exercising totally helpless?


  22. Thanks for this video. Its really interesting. But I do ask myself how you feel you go to far with exersicing/moving. Because you say after moving you should never feel worse than before the movement. The problem for me is that most of the time it doesn't feel I go to far, but the man with the hammer comes the next day or even a few days later. But at that day I move and do stuff, it can feel really nice to do all my things and it actually feels good. Also, sometimes I can do many things for a whole week or even longer without crashing and other times i crash for multiple days just after 1 day of doing a bit more. This brings me to the point that I'm never really sure what caused the next breakdown. Was it because I hat to lift some stuff? Or was it more because of mental stuff. Or was it just an add up of things. How could I handle that? Thank a lot for all your videos, they are really good and keep me motivated :)

  23. You restored my faith in "ME/CFS-gurus" (pardon the term). You are the first person ever who doesn't make me want to start lecturing about how its not nice to give people false hope. As an ME patient, CFS is only one of the symptoms but I will be the first to support continued movement. I've seen too many other patients just get worse because they gave up. Maintaining what I can do now is my mission, and even if that is just walking up and down to the supermarket every day, its a start. Giving up isn't an option. :)

  24. Thank you so SO much for this gold infomation!! I have csf and have been recently diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and was searching for exercises, more specifically, zuma or dancing exercises, all of which are high energy, high impact movements. Oh em gee! Its a good job that I stumbled across your video otherwise I am sure I would have had major payback! What you say makes so much sense and wish you were over here in England…sniffle. Thank you so much for sharing this video <3

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