What is pacing?
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.
Specific tools to support pacing:
Use of heart rate monitor:
Use of heart rate variability (HRV) monitor:
Use of blood pressure monitoring: