Meet our featured member, Claire Ross, who was diagnosed with ME & CFS – here she tells us how Viavi:be is part of her exercise programme and what benefits the Viavi:be health gym approach offers her:

exercise with ME and CFS

Claire’s story – increasing energy & gaining strength

Early in 2016 I became aware of increasing tiredness (which to be honest I had really had for years and years).  I had been pushing myself for a long period of time but continued to do this.  It is what we do, isn’t it – dig deep and push ourselves – until illness visits.

Listening to what my body was trying to tell me fell on deaf ears – eventually,  however, it shouted – and almost overnight, I found myself unable to move, get out of bed and certainly not walk.  With my limbs aching and heavy, I found myself in a foreign land of being bed-bound and house bound for the following year or so.

I was diagnosed with M.E./CFS by a specialist at the John Radcliffe and it was the start of what felt like a nightmare.   Life ended as I knew it!   For those who wanted to understand why I wasn’t living life, I would try and explain that it was like having a combination of jet lag, a hangover and flu – all at once!

By summer 2018 I was beginning to be able to walk and go out although I was still debilitated by horrific fatigue.

A lifestyle gym for M.E. & CFS sufferers

Fast forward to February 2019 and a newspaper promoting the Viavi:be health gym landed on my mat.  I had seen it advertised before, but when I read all about it being a “life-style gym” and realised how holistic it was, I decided to go and have an introductory tour to see the health gym at first hand.  Getting there was a huge achievement and I liked what I saw and heard.  I just knew that this would be the next step on my recovery path, and joined immediately.

It was a huge undertaking – just driving there and parking took all my energy let alone a round of circuits!  The staff were amazingly understanding and I was given a bespoke exercise schedule.  The aim was to come, do my exercise and not spend the next day in bed. We achieved this immediately by being very careful and mindful.  The understanding from the staff of my condition was exceptional, they knew that over exertion would deplete me for days.

The benefits of exercising with M.E. & CFS

Viavi:be has HUGELY contributed to my energy gradually increasing and getting back muscle tone and gain physical strength.  I am now able to do more challenging weights and not worry that there will be a payback.  I actually feel like I am doing a workout and try to go twice a week. If someone had told me that I would able to achieve this 3 years ago I would have laughed in their face.

Viavi:be is a very special gym – I am amazed I can say to friends and family that I go to a “gym” and that I “work out”.  Wow.  Thank you.

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