Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a condition characterised by persistent, medically unexplained fatigue, as well as symptoms such as musculoskeletal pain, sleep disturbance, headaches and impaired concentration and short‐term memory. Estimates of how common CFS is are somewhat rare, but the latest research from the US reports that between 0.2% and 2.0% of people are affected by CFS.1 The symptoms of CFS can cause significant disability and distress for patients, especially as there is no clear medical cause. As a result, patients often deal with a misunderstanding of their condition from family, friends and healthcare professionals.
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence recommends exercise therapy (a regimen of physical activity designed and prescribed to relieve or heal a disorder) as a possible treatment for individuals with CFS, and there is an interesting body of research to support this.2 A recent large review by a group of researchers from Norway provide a nice summary of this work.3
They found that:
Of the studies included in the review, the most effective intervention had an exercise program like this:
As the physiology behind the development of CFS is not fully understood, it is unclear which biological effects of exercise actually impact on CFS. Some psychological mechanisms such as distraction from symptoms have been demonstrated to positively influence symptom perception,4 but the effect is likely underpinned by a combination of various physiological and psychological mechanisms.
Of course, if you do wish to begin an exercise program to help with your chronic fatigue, please make sure to contact your doctor first! Also keep in mind the words of Pete McCall, Exercise Physiologist at the American Council on Exercise:
"The most important thing with starting an exercise program to combat fatigue is to establish a regular pattern of exercise.”
However, even if you do not have time in your schedule on a particular day, he recommends finding “activities, such as taking the stairs or parking in the spot farthest away from their destination, to help increase your daily activity levels."
Every little bit of activity adds up.
Hey there, I’m Alex, from Alexfergus.com. In this blog post I’m going to talk about the most important biohacks I’ve learned over the last two years.
Because this is a guest blog post, let me first tell you a little bit about myself:
I’ve been optimizing my performance for years if not decades. My journey started a couple of years ago when I was aiming to improve my sports performance.
I competed in rowing and bodybuilding, for instance. At first, I was focusing on mainstream dietary and exercise strategies to enhance my results.
I ate a low-fat diet, for instance, with lots of grains, because such diets were recommended by governments all around the world. I also trained myself into the ground, sometimes exercising several hours a day.
One day I just crashed, had no energy left in the tank, and decided to take matters into my own hands. I mean: I was doing everything correct, so I should have gotten great results with the “eat less, exercise more” paradigm, right?
Over the years, I learned that most of my previous belief were flat out wrong. I began training (much) less, included many new foods into my diet such as bone broth, grass-fed beef, full-fat milk, butter, organ meats, and shellfish.
I also began focusing on domains that I previously didn’t have a second thought about such as sleep quality.
Today I wear blue-blocking glasses several hours before bedtime, tape my mouth to improve my sleep quality at night, sleep on the ultimate Samina mattress, and use red light therapy to push my sleep over the edge.
And yet, throughout the years, I’ve also learned that I never stop learning.
In this blog post, I’ll therefore cover the cutting-edge biohacks that I’ve become acquainted with in the last few years.