Women's Health Matters

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Activity and Exercise

There is no specific exercise regimen for those with environmental sensitivities (ES); however, regular physical activity has several health benefits for people with ES. Cardiovascular exercise can increase your energy, and help your heart, lungs and circulatory system stay healthy. Healthy circulation may help your body’s natural detoxification systems to work more effectively, and get rid of toxins. Flexibility or stretching exercises help relax your muscles and keep your joints mobile. Strengthening exercises help strengthen your bones and muscles.

Canada’s Physical Activity Guide to Healthy Living recommends engaging in moderate activity, such as brisk walking, for at least 30 minutes four times a week, as well as regular stretching and strengthening exercises.

If you are unable to go outside because of high pollution levels, put on a favourite CD and dance or exercise to the music at home. There are also many exercise DVDs available.

If you also experience symptoms of fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis, such as pain, fatigue or both, you will need to start slowly. Start doing as little as five minutes of light activity daily and increase by 10 percent weekly, or as tolerated without “crashing” (becoming incapacitated with a prolonged recovery time of more than 24 hours). Aim to gradually build up to doing 30 minutes of moderate activity four times a week or more.

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Environmental Sensitivities

Medical description


Living with ES

Activity and exercise





Coping emotionally

Discussion Groups

Share knowledge and talk about your environmental health-related experiences with other women.

Environmental Health Discussion Forum

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