Exercise like a balanced diet is good for helping recovery, but again like diet it pays not to demand too much from your body at a time when it is devoting energy to repairing itself. Although violent exercise is not usually possible or desirable, gentle exercise such as walking undoubtedly helps.

    We do simple balance exercises most mornings, which actually help the muscles, principally the leg ones which are unused in a sedentary life. Another valuable exercise is breathing. When anxious it is very easy to breath shallowly and quickly. Diaphragmatic breathing helps to overcome this, partly by distracting from the feeling. We use the 2 and 4 technique where you breathe in through your nose for 2 seconds and out through pursed lips for 4. Any form of deep breathing should help. 

    The difficulty with exercise seems to be that the amount a sufferer can do varies from day to day. People have said that one day they can walk around freely and the next they’re more or less confined to bed. Since presumably their actual physical ability doesn’t fluctuate as much as that, it means that the withdrawal process is to blame, which would make attempts to build up physical strength gradually as one would do normally are frustrated.

    Gently exercising the brain also helps partly because common symptoms include losing the ability to read or write fluently. This is clearly frustrating so any activity, such as word games, puzzles, crosswords and the like can help to reassure the sufferer that their mind is still intact. However debilitating the symptoms, the rational mind is still there, and being able to recognise it is important. In my wife’s case she was quite capable of thinking about herself as if she was an observer, and analysing rationally what was happening to her.