What is GET?

If you’re new to exercise or returning to it after a long-term injury or illness, you might benefit from trying GET or graded exercise therapy.

Although commonly used for people suffering from diagnosed conditions chronic fatigue syndrome, GET is also an effective therapy for anyone who’s feeling too stressed, exhausted and rundown to do regular exercise. If you’ve been inactive for a long time, you need to start slowly and gradually build your way back up to regular training. The premise of GET is simple as it establishes a baseline of achievable exercise before gradually beginning to make small, incremental increases in physical activity.

Whether you’re working with a professional or using the GET guidelines as a basis for your own routine, it’s a good idea to start off with some gentle stretching for around 5 minutes a day. If you’ve been out for a significant period with an injury especially, this is especially important in helping to wake the muscles up again. As you begin to gain strength, it’s then time to gently increase the intensity and duration of the exercise you do, so gradually building up to a gentle 10-minute walk, before making it brisker and longer.

The key with any form of therapy like GET is to take it slowly and not overwhelm your body or push it to its limits too quickly. That means that rest and recovery is just as important as physical activity, so aim to include good periods of mandatory rest in your schedule too. Other studies have also shown that GET can be an effective form of therapy for anyone suffering from mental health issues like depression, as exercise is associated with improvements in mental health such as mood and self-esteem, which can persist for hours after the exertion.