Friday, February 29, 2008

Exercise is essential

More and more I'm coming to recognise how powerful exercise is with regards my energy levels and mood. By the end of last week I was pretty wacked - it was my first week back after a 2 and a half week absence and I had a bit to catch up with plus all of the webstock learning to follow up on so I'd done a fairly intensive week. So I was looking forward to the 1 hour massage that I had booked. I have one of these a month and while they don't always make me feel better immediately they do help with the tightness that I get from sitting at a PC all day, all week. Anyway, I had my massage and she did some fairly deep work which felt great, but, as often happens, I felt quite spent afterwards and by the time I got home I was knackered. I did hardly anything on Sunday and when Nick said that he wasn't going to Kung Fu on Monday I was not unhappy to skip gym. I pushed myself along to a combat class on Tuesday, thinking that if it all got too much I could always leave early. It was tough - very hot and sweaty but I made it through, even though i went pretty light towards the end. But here's the thing - I didn't feel tired the next day - in fact I felt better than i had for days and this has continued to today (Friday). Now with chronic fatigue this kind of thing is not only counter intuitive, but even counter symptomatic. However studies have shown that the ONLY successful treatment includes small (but increasing) amounts of gentle (but again increasing) amounts of exercise. I had been meaning to write about the exercise effect earlier but was prompted by Russell Brown's blog post about the recently reported study showing that anti-depressants were no more effective than a placebo. The bit that caught me was this: "It did not say the drugs don't work. It did find that other ways of treating depression -- including a therapy as simple as increased exercise -- may be just as good as treatment with SSRIs for many patients." Very interesting stuff about the effectiveness of anti-depressants. Even before this recent report I had decided to reduce my drug level, partly because it stops me from being able to have a drink i.e. alcohol. So far I haven't noticed any difference so hopefully this continues.

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