Safe Exercise? The Heart Rate Based Exercise Video Series with Dr. Klimas on ME-CFS Community …

Posted by Cort Johnson

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In collaboration with Dr. Klimas, Dan Moricoli of the ME-CFS Community and Knowledge Center has created a video series focusing on using VO2 max and heart rate measures to create a relapse free ‘exercise’ program to enhance ones health.


Part I focuses on using the VO2 max test to determine at what heart rate patients enter the danger zone – their anerobic threshold. It features a patient, Brenda, Dr. Klimas and her exercise physiologist Connie.


Parts II and III will focus on discussing what the test means and how to implement a relapse free exercise program (even for the very ill) and will be released over the next couple of weeks.

The “Anti-Exercise’ Exercise Program –A chief tenant of the heart rate based program is to kind of exercise without exercising…ie you never break a sweat…you don’t breath hard, you never allow your heart rate to get high; this program, in fact, is so different from what we think of normal exercise that it could almost be viewed as an ‘anti-exercise’ exercise program…yes, you do exercise but you do it so mildly and slowly that it doesn’t fit the healthy communities conception of exercise at all.

Nevertheless it does appear to be able to help rehabilitate parts of these patients systems. It has significantly improved the quality of life of several people I talked to. (A fuller piece will follow).

Nobody is healthy – nobody is ‘exercising’ the way healthy people exercise but several people have reported significant improvements in their quality of life and health. Dan’s rather horrific relapses – which used to occur almost daily and were punctuated by myoclonic jerks – spasmodic uncontrollable movements of his limbs – have been reduced tremendously. He is still very limited in what he can do – but he is much, much better off.

I am unable to afford the VO2 max test but I believe the series will provide ways for people like me to use a cheap heart monitor to determine their correct activity level. After that it’s a matter of the dreaded “D” word – discipline. I will report on how I do.I believe over time that this heart rate based approach will definitively prove that ME/CFS is a physiological disorder.Dan has created an Exercise Group area to display the video’s, provide resources and talk about the approach.

This is just the beginning of a series of video’s by Dan and Dr. Klimas on ways to enhance  your health and quality of life using heart-rate based activity management, yoga, pilates etc. – simple, slow, boring things that can help :).

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