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Pacing is a self-management strategy that people with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) can use to prevent or lessen the symptoms of post-exertional malaise (PEM).Pacing involves reviewing each type of exertion throughout a day (or set of days), including physical, cognitive, social and emotional aspects, to determine how much activity can be done without increasing symptoms.
Pacing is not the same as graded exercise therapy (GET). GET is not recommended for ME patients. GET is a treatment approach where physical activity is gradually increased over time, regardless of how the patient is feeling and ignoring any increased symptoms or new symptoms.
Learning to pace yourself is challenging, as ME symptoms are multiple and varied. Pacing is about doing what you can, within your energy limits.
What is pacing?
Introductions and Guides
Specific tools to support pacing
Use of heart rate monitor
Heart rate monitor program improves heart funtioning in ME/CFS
Heart Rate Monitor Factsheet
Use of heart rate variability (HRV) monitor
How heart rate variability testing can help when you're in a crash
Heart rate variability - an underused ME/CFS tool
Videos on pacing in ME/CFS:
CFIDS Pacing tutorial videos:
Activity intolerance and pacing (Dr. Bateman, Bateman Horne Center)
Rocks, pebbles, and sand metaphor
Workwell Foundation Pacing Video
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