Exercise Cuts Fatigue of Lupus, MS
Low-Impact Aerobic Exercise Improves Feelings of Fatigue
Nov. 30, 2006 -- Facing fatigue from an immune system disease such as lupus,
multiple sclerosis (MS), or rheumatoid arthritis (RA)?
You're not alone. Fatigue is common with those conditions. But walking,
biking, or other low-impact aerobic exercise may reduce your fatigue,
Australian researchers report.
Jane Neill, PhD, RN, and colleagues reviewed 11 studies on exercise and
fatigue. Their review appears in the Journal of Advanced Nursing.
The studies included more than 400 patients with lupus, MS, or RA. Those are
autoimmune diseases, in which the immune system attacks the body instead of
Patients first got a thorough checkup to make sure they were healthy enough
The studies used various exercise programs for three months, on average.
Patients typically worked out for 30-60 minutes, three times per week.
Some patients took low-impact aerobics classes. Others walked, biked, or
swam on their own.
In six studies, patients' fatigue improved to a degree that likely wasn't
due to chance.
Inspired to give exercise a try for fatigue? You may want to consider these
tips from the study.
- Get your doctor's permission first.
- Consider your preferences -- would you rather exercise on your own at home
or with others at a gym?
- Start exercise early in the course of the disease or following disease
- Begin with low-intensity activities and avoid provoking symptoms.
- Combine aerobic and resistance training where possible.
- Gradually increase exercise intensity.
- Exercise at least three times weekly for 15-30 minutes as tolerated.