Select Page

McArdle Disease (GSD5)

Activity & Exercise

It is vital to keep active in everyday life and take regular aerobic exercise. We offer opportunities to learn practical techniques in an understanding and supportive atmosphere.

Take a walking course

Learning the necessary techniques, getting motivated and extending your boundaries can be safely enjoyed on a “Walking with McArdle’s” course.

See the dedicated tab on this page.

Build aerobic activity into your life

Exercising 3 to 5 times a week, for at least 30 to 45 minutes is ideal. It can be difficult to build this into our busy modern lives, so to help with that it is good to try to build some activity into our normal lives.

  • Perhaps we can park a little further away and walk to our workplace?
  • Walk the children to school instead of driving them?
  • Climb one flight of stairs and then take the lift the rest of the way?

Take care with anaerobic activity

It is essential to be very wary of anaerobic activity (such as: lifting heavy weights, sprinting or just opening a new jam jar that is stuck). This is because maximal anaerobic activity beyond about 6 to 10 seconds needs a supply of energy from glycogen stored in the muscle, but that is not available to us in McArdle’s. Without that energy supply the muscle is quickly damaged causing pain and cramping.

101 Tips for a Good Life with McArdle Disease

The “101 Tips” book helps us to learn how to adjust, adapt, or avoid certain activities and thus can help us to protect ourselves.

Take plenty of aerobic exercise

Aerobic activity (such as walking) is highly beneficial. People with McArdle’s need to learn how to safely get into “second wind”, which takes about 7 to 10 minutes. They also need to learn techniques to help them in slightly more challenging situations such as inclines, stairs, soft ground, etc.

There is a lot of information available to help people with McArdle’s to learn to keep active safely. Publications such as the “Improving life with McArdle’s” booklet are a great help in starting to exercise and keep active, but there is also information available free online on the IAMGSD web site.

Build aerobic activity into your life

Exercising 3 to 5 times a week, for at least 30 to 45 minutes is ideal. It can be difficult to build this into our busy modern lives, so to help with that it is good to try to build some activity into our normal lives. Perhaps we can park a little further away and walk to our workplace? Walk the children to school instead of driving them? Climb one flight of stairs and then take the lift the rest of the way?