In a recent NIH video-cast called "CC Grand Rounds" (first half of the video) Mark Mattson shared some insights he gained from basic research. Mainly that exercise is good for the brain, sedentary behavior is bad for the brain. And secondly, intermittent fasting has similar beneficial qualities for the brain. Both are "stressors" that seem to have beneficial advantages – something the Paleo Diet community has been harping about for ages (because that's what life has been in evolutionary times: you needed to move to get food, and sometimes you ended up without food for a day or two).
Does this have implications for ME/CFS patients? Well, if there is a level of low intensity exercise you can manage as patient – say going once or twice a day downstairs, rest, and then up again – then you should do it.
Obviously don't do exercise if you are crashed/relapsed. And if you crash/relapse after exercise, you are doing too much. Or the activity level of the exercise is too high.
If going once a day to the bathroom is about the exercise that you can do as an ME/CFS patient: than don't do more, but try to do it.
And if your exercise consists of (slightly) wiggling your arms and feet for 10 seconds while lying in bed, then rest half an hour, and then do 10 more second, then well, do that – but try to do at least that.
Find a low intensity level of exercise which you can maintain without crash/relapse!
And if you do something as an ME/CFS patient, do pace yourself (e.g. rest often enough).
And should you try intermittent fasting? I surely will give it a try. One thing I found helpful was that with a Paleo Diet (and no cereal grains), my hunger became much more manageable. One remark Mark Mattson made is that intermittent fasting may be hard
to start, but after two or three weeks people get used to it. I'll see.
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