Posted by: Jen | 2009/06/18

Starting exercise


I am recovering from ME (Chronic fatigue syndrome) and really need to lose some weight &  get fit again - my mood is quite low too as a result of the ME, and I think exercise could help. I am currently doing 45 - 60 minutes of yoga twice weekly, but I really need to do more. How do I get exercising without overdoing it &  landing up sick in bed for a week? I like walking, but I need to get some walking shoes - what do you suggest I look for in a walking shoe?

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Our expert says:
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HI Jen

Comfort, comfort, comfort.

For the purposes of walking maybe 4 or 5 times a week, you don't need the top of the range shoe with all the bells and whistles

So it would be six of one, half a dozen of the other in terms of choosing the best brand. They're all pretty much the same. I wouldn't even over analyse the various types of foot landing - you'll hear talk of pronating and so on, but I do think that as long as you get a good shoe (get a running shoe, by the way), that is comfortable, then you'll be fine. Try the shoes on, if you feel they're tight or narrow and bulky or too flat or too built up, then change them. Remember that if it's even slightly uncomfortable in the shop, it'll be very bad after 45 minutes of walking.

In terms of starting up, it is difficult post-ME. You'll find that it comes in waves - some weeks you'll feel great and do 5 days of one hour a day. Other weeks, you'll be tired after 20 minutes and get only 3 walks in. Accept this, it's OK. So don't force your body if you're fatigued. I think plan to start with 4 walks of 20 minutes each, and see how it goes. If you feel up to it, increase to 30 minutes each by the middle of July, and then by the endof July, you'll be up to 45 minutes. But if you feel tired and that you're battling, just cut down to 10 minutes again.

Good luck

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