How Housebound CFS Patients Can Stay Fit And Healthy At Home
When you’re tackling the severe tiredness that comes with ME and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, you’re unlikely to want to put your gym gear on and workout. However, research has shown that exercising can improve the condition. The Institute of Medicine reports that as many as 2.5 million Americans have ME or CFS. Meanwhile, one study revealed that 25% of ME/CFS patients are housebound. Even though your illness might prevent you from maintaining a regular fitness routine, there are steps you can take to improve your overall health and fitness in the comfort of your own home.
Why exercise is important
Most people with CFS limit their physical activity for fear that it will tire them out more and make their muscles and joints achier. As a result, those with the condition tend to gain weight which puts more pressure on the muscles and joints. When such body parts are unused for significant periods of time, they will weaken and other conditions may surface, such as arthritis. Stretching is a great exercise for people with CFS as it can be done sitting up or lying down and it shouldn’t overexert you, either. Best of all, stretching improves flexibility and mobility levels.
The National Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain Association states that the average person will put on 32 pounds after their diagnosis. Therefore, it’s important you eat the right foods to prevent your weight from creeping into the overweight or obese categories. Eating well is also essential as you want to fill your body with foods that restore your energy levels and encourage you to get up on your feet and moving, even if it’s just for a few minutes. Starchy foods which have a slow release GI index are ideal, so opt for plenty of wholegrain foods, as well as potatoes. Of course, you mustn’t forgo fruit and vegetables, either. When you’re housebound it can be difficult getting hold of fresh produce, so consider subscription boxes to ensure you’ve always got a wide range of food in your home.
Work your way up
Simply starting off with an additional daily activity within your home such as making the beds or cleaning the bathroom is enough to kick- start your exercise regime. From there set yourself goals so that you can build your fitness levels up. Consider ordering an exercise bike and increase your workout time by 30 seconds every other day. Alternatively, Tai Chi is cited as a great exercise for ME patients as it’s slow and gentle, but effective. It also reduces stress awhich is a well documented cause of the condition.
With thousands of CFS patients housebound, it’s important that they find ways to stay fit and healthy. Exercising is an essential part of the CFS recovery process, while, eating right will minimize weight gain and replenish dwindling energy levels. The key to getting it right when you have such an illness it to take it slow and to gradually increase the amount you move each day.