Exercise has greatly helped my MS from day one.
“Do you exercise regularly? How often? What kind of exercise do you do?” All questions I was asked quite often while in MS rehab. You see, after my first flare took my legs from me, I had much difficulty walking and holding myself up at one time. It was when I started to fall I went to the hospital which lead to my diagnoses.
As I started getting feeling back in my legs, neurologists at the hospital insisted I go to rehab. It was at rehab that I started hearing those questions repeatedly. After each time I answered them, the therapist usually told me my regular exercise routines were a huge part in how quick I was getting strength back into my legs. That’s when I knew exercise was going to be a huge role in me fighting this disease.
Since then, I’ve kept up with my regular workouts and I’ve also added some. A friend introduced me to a program that was a mix of yoga and Pilates that is low impact and meant to focus on an increase in strength, balance and flexibility. I fell in love. So much that it was what made me become a fitness instructor. I keep up with my yoga style classes, but I also do some light weight training and cardio.
Exercise in general is great for your overall health. Regular exercise is beneficial physically, mentally and emotionally for a person with MS. Regular exercise will not only help build strength in your muscles, it also helps with balance and flexibility. It can also create a more positive attitude and help you mentally feel better and help fight fatigue and depression.
Exercise doesn’t have to be a vigorous activity; it doesn’t have to be heavy weight training, or miles and miles of cardio activities. It can be small things like a walk around the block, throwing a ball or frisbee around with children or friends, yoga, or a little dancing. Anything that gets your body moving and heart pumping is great for the body.
With the technology we have today, there are many ways to find some way to incorporate exercise into your life. The National MS Society offers some DVDs on MS and exercise. They also offer an instructors course on working with MS patients and exercise. Resources are available to help you find someone in your area who is certified to work with MS patients.
Do you exercise regularly? If so, what kind of exercises?
Vanessa is a 28 year old living in Massachusetts with her husband and 7 year old Puggle, named Rocky. She currently works in an elementary school and as a fitness instructor and health/fitness coach. She was diagnosed in April of 2014 with relapse-remitting MS and is currently taking Tecfidera. She enjoys being outdoors, spending time with her family and friends, reading, and traveling.