By Bruce Campbell in CFIDS & Fibromyalgia Self Help.
If you have CFS, you are probably familiar with post-exertional malaise, the severe fatigue that results from doing too much. You can avoid or at least reduce malaise by staying within your limits or energy envelope. This article describes a strategy for staying within one part of the envelope: the anaerobic threshold.
The Anaerobic Threshold (AT)
The anaerobic threshold (AT) is the heart rate beyond which we draw on energy reserves we don’t have and activity creates post-exertional malaise. The threshold is often around about 60% of a person’s maximum heart rate, though each person is different and an individual’s threshold may vary from day to day or within a day.
(Note: Maximum heart rate is 220 minus your age. For a person who is 50 years old, 60% of maximum heart rate is (220 – 50) x .6 = 102 beats per minute.)
There are at least three ways to calculate the anaerobic threshold. I found mine by observing my pulse in my wrist and noting what levels triggered fatigue. People in our program have used two other methods. Some have been given a stress test on a treadmill. These tests are offered in some doctors’ offices and in many hospitals and other healthcare facilities.
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