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Long COVID Breaks the Rules of Exercise

Lauren Shoemaker, an ecologist who experienced severe fatigue and cognitive struggle months after recovering from COVID-19, is one of many “long-haulers” battling post-exertional malaise (PEM). The condition, a hallmark of chronic fatigue syndrome, can be triggered by minor physical, mental or emotional exertion. Exercise, typically beneficial for general health, can cause severe “crashes” for those with PEM. Health professionals are struggling to strike a balance between triggering these debilitating crashes and risking muscle mass and strength loss due to lack of exercise.

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