Posted on 09/14/2018
Most of us are aware that regular exercise can help you stay healthy and strong. This is especially true for those suffering from Multiple Sclerosis (MS) “ a long-lasting disease that can affect your brain, spinal cord, and the optic nerves in your eyes. It can cause problems with vision, balance, muscle control, and other basic body functions. The effects are often different for everyone who has the disease.”
While regular exercise is very helpful and recommended for those suffering from MS it isn’t always easy especially during flare ups and while experiencing body aches and fatigue. While your body may not always cooperate we recommend doing your best to incorporate regular movement into your daily routine.
These 9 exercise are known for alleviating symptoms of fatigue, helping improve mobility, and reducing the risks of MS related complications. They are low impact and can be modified to accommodate your changing symptoms. You can also do them on your own or with the help of a physical therapist.
We always recommend speaking to a physician before starting a new exercise routine and listening to your body to ensure you have the best possible experience.
Oregon Health and Science University found that people with MS practicing yoga feel less fatigue as compared to people with MS who doesn’t do the same. Abdominal breathing during yoga will improve your breathing in general. It will also improve your heart and respiratory health. The more and better you breathe, the easiest will be the blood circulation throughout the body.
Walking, swimming, running, cycling and biking all are good examples of aerobic exercises. It is a great way to boost your body’s defense mechanism and building stamina. It will not only improve the heartbeat rate, but cheer your mood too. If you are having weakness in your legs, try out water aerobics or rowing for example.
Exercise in water
People with MS doing exercises can quickly feel overheated, so exercising in a pool will keep one cool and more efficient in doing the same kind of exercise. Also, water has a natural buoyancy that makes movement easier and flexible. Stretching, lifting weight and cardio exercises in the pool will help in improving mental and physical health.
Multiple players Sports
Basketball, handball, tennis ! Yes, all of these activities can be modified for a patient with MS, so you don’t have to give up your passion.
Horseback riding and golf will also promote balance, coordination and strength. An additional benefit is added if you play your favorite sport.
A stationary bicycling will help in improving balance and coordination of the brain and the body.
Stretching offers great benefits such as fighting stress, allowing the body to breathe, calming your mind, stimulating the muscles and building muscle stamina.
Use a Balance Ball
If you have MS, you’re probably having trouble keeping your balance sometimes. That’s because MS affects the cerebellum (the part of your brain is responsible for balance and coordination.) Then a balance ball may be perfect for you. With adapted exercices, it will help in create more balance. It will also promote coordination.
A person with MS may wish to try out a weight or resistance training under trained physical therapist. A study published last year showed that resistance training slows the progression of multiple sclerosis and even reverses brain shrinkage. The brains of MS patients who trained showed slower rates of brain atrophy.
Not every Martial Arts are good but why don’t you try Tai-chi! It is a very low impact technique which will improve flexibility and help in building body core strength.
If your MS has impacted your mobility you can always use a seated walker such as the Bikube to maintain your balance and mobility while practicing. The wide front frame and rear wheel tail make the device very safe and stable so it can support you while you modify your exercises.
Always remember that every bit of movement helps so if you can’t do 20-30 minutes all at once split it up throughout the day. Stay hydrated, remain safe and take it slow if you need to. It’s never too late to incorporate movement into your life especially if you want to alleviate the symptoms of MS.