Healthy Living

Can I Exercise Even Though I have Multiple Sclerosis?

Can I Exercise Even Though I have Multiple Sclerosis?

Key Takeaways

  • A slow start is the best way to go.
  • Some of the exercises that you can do include lying, kneeling, balancing, standing, and sitting. 
  • In combination with a right healthy diet, regular exercising enables individuals to control their weight and avoid obesity, which is a risk factor for the development of MS.

The patients who undergo aerobic exercises are prone to benefit in a way that those who don’t and will not. You should adopt a regular schedule for specific exercises that you enjoy doing in order to keep your body fully-functioning.

Exercise benefits for patients:

  • It assists in decreasing the symptoms experienced by patients with MS.
  • A significant improvement in health for those suffering from mild MS.
  • In combination with a right healthy diet, regular exercising enables individuals to control their weight and avoid obesity, which is a risk factor for the development of MS.
  • Exercise strengthens your muscles, which in turn, assists you in managing your problems regarding weakness and motion.
  • Acute multiple sclerosis patients need exercise to keep in motion and active for the longest time as they can.
  • Just like it reduces the chances of a heart attack or disease in the normal populace, it is also the same among MS patients.
  • It improves the functioning of your body organs with the bowels and bladder being kept in perfect working conditions.
  • Your sleeping and resting are improved, especially after energy-consuming exercises.

Some of the exercises that you can do include lying, kneeling, balancing, standing, and sitting. Moreover, the exercises that involve the pelvic muscles, arms, legs, and hands are also beneficial. Rowing, cycling, running, and other aerobic and breathing exercises need to be frequently done. The exercises that allow the flexing and strengthening of muscles also need to be done more often. They greatly assist in abhorring the shortening and shrinking of muscles, thus, helping you decrease the seriousness of spasticity symptoms of MS. Posture activities and exercises assist in keeping your pelvis, shoulders, knees, head, and feet in proper alignment, thereby avoiding bone and muscle strain in your body.

The signs and symptoms of multiple sclerosis are different in every person. For this reason, not all of the exercises mentioned above are suitable for the majority of people who have MS. It’s important for you to try them and figure out which ones work best for you. In case you face difficulties in doing this, a physician or your doctor needs to be consulted so that he can assist in getting the right exercise programs for you. They will be able to do this through a careful evaluation of your strengths, condition of your multiple sclerosis symptoms, and weaknesses. For the case of those patients whose situation changes gradually or sooner, it will be important for them to figure out new exercises in addition to quitting the old exercises that prove useless in managing the symptoms. This is advisable to be carried out through the assistance of a physiotherapist.

Before you start engaging in some exercise programs, it is necessary that you have an approval from a physiotherapist. A slow start is the best way to go. You can begin by undertaking little exercises and avoiding doing much within a very short time span. The idea here is to allow your body to get accustomed to the new exercise or activity gradually. Within some time, you will know your limits and can manage to pick out which type of exercises are good for you. Before performing any exercises, first, you need to warm up by doing a few but gentle stretches. After starting an aerobic activity, slow progress should follow to enable the heart rate build over time. After you are done, stretching exercises are crucial if stiffening and tightening of the muscles are to be avoided.

Heat sensitivity is a symptom of MS that is familiar to some patients. In this case, you need to choose activities that will work with your chosen technique of cooling down. You are also advised to keep away from swimming in scalding pools and ensure that the room used for exercises has a good ventilation. Care needs to be always practiced when using cooling methods that involve direct contact with the skin, as the skin can be easily damaged. These exercises can be done both at home and also in specially designed spaces. In either case, you need to have an extensive research on your particular case and follow the directions given by the physiotherapist. Appropriate clothing is also essential in these activities.

Simple but Beneficial Exercises

Now that it is clear that people can work out even if they have multiple sclerosis, let us look at some of the simple exercises that can be done on a regular basis. The key lies in moderation. Intense training and prolonged workout sessions could cause the body to heat up, which may be detrimental to your health. Keep it brief and simple. Space it out to avoid exertion. Exercising four times a week is good enough while exercising for seven days a week gives no scope for the repair of worn and torn tissues. Let’s take a look at some of the exercises that can easily be done:

  • Walking - is the best form of exercise. It strengthens your muscles and the pace is in your control. Whether you use a treadmill or walk in the open ground, make sure you are regular with it.
  • Running - is another brilliant form of exercise to stay fit. For those with multiple sclerosis, make sure you don’t gear up for a long run straight away. Take it slow. Start with walking, move to jogging, and finally over the week's progress to running.
  • Stretching - is an integral part of any workout routine. Stretches before and after the core exercises can help extend the muscles, warm up the body, and prevent tearing due to sudden pressure and movement.
  • A combination of lunges, squats, plie and more - work really well if done in moderation. Alternate the exercises or couple them with one or two core exercises and you are fit to follow it for as long as you want to. Exercising in the right posture is a prime concern, as postural imbalances could have opposite effects on your body and health. Avoiding injuries and staying healthy is the key to a balanced life despite multiple sclerosis.