If concerns surrounding your painful symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis, or MS, are causing you to avoid strenuous tasks, you’re not alone! Many MS patients avoid being highly active, believing it will cause pain or make their fatigue worse. But in fact, the opposite is true!
When you have MS, one of the more important components of your treatment is exercise. Our personal trainers are equipped and educated to make sure you receive the best exercises tailored uniquely to your needs and goals. First Class Personal Training is dedicated to making sure our clients are given the best care possible, no matter their health status or fitness level.
How can exercise help MS patients?
Exercise is vital for healthy general living, but can also be extremely helpful in managing the symptoms of MS. Our trainers have studied the best ways to provide critical exercises for MS patients. For those suffering from Multiple Sclerosis, these activities have been associated in helping with:
- Reduced relapse rates
- Lower lesion volume
- Slower disease progression
- Improved mobility
- Improved muscle movements and flexibility
- Improved overall quality of life
- Reduced risk of MS-related complications
- Reduced risk of mental health conditions, such as depression
If you’re seeking to alleviate some of your symptoms and get back to your best self, our personal trainers are more than happy to help you achieve your goals.
What Exercises Are Best For MS Patients?
The MS Society reports studies that show exercise can be very beneficial for MS patients, and the activities that tend to be most effective are:
- Aerobic Exercises
- Stretching – Yoga or Tai Chi is recommended
- Strength Training Exercises
Let’s look at how you can incorporate each of these safely into your routine.
Aerobic exercise is any activity that increases your heart rate, such as jogging. There is no need to overdo it; these activities are meant to be done at a moderate level. A great example of aerobic exercise is water aerobics. The cool water temperature should help prevent the body from overheating, which can worsen MS symptoms. The water resistance also creates a great low-impact exercise environment. Beyond just exercise through swimming, pool exercise equipment is also available. Water-based workouts are also beneficial for weightlifting, balance training, walking, and stretching.
Stretching is highly recommended for patients suffering from MS. Even if you only do 10-15 stretches a day, stretching is a great way to maintain your range of motion. Stretching and practicing Tai Chi and/or Yoga will also ease symptoms such as muscle tightness and stiffness or a lack of muscle control by building flexibility and strength.
While helping you to become more flexible, your stretching routine can be flexible, too! Stretches can be modified at any time to help fit your situation, whether you need to stand, sit, or lay down.
Strength Training Exercises
When you have MS and you regularly perform strength training and resistance exercises, it can greatly improve your overall fitness levels, stamina and endurance, as well as strength in your arm and leg muscles.
Studies done in March of 2020 by BMC Neurology found that physical exercise decreased overall fatigue in people who have MS. As well, patients felt it gave their mood a boost! A paper by Farzin Halabchi speaks about additional benefits of strength exercises, such as improved bone health, better bowel control and bladder function, and even better balance!
After you’ve got a workout plan made for you by a professional, you’ll know exactly what activities you should be doing. Before beginning, make sure you’re in a cool environment where you can move around safely and easily.
Remember that exercises aren’t chores. In fact, they can be social and fun! Many people attend community classes or gyms to socialize, but it’s also possible to get a great workout at home! Our trainers make your sessions fun, supportive, and encouraging, so you’re motivated to keep going!
While regular exercise can improve MS symptoms, you might feel unwell when starting a new exercise program. It’s also important not to overwork your body to avoid worsening symptoms of severe fatigue, stiffness, and muscle spasms. Stop your workout if you begin to feel sick while exercising.
Staying hydrated while exercising is vital. It helps to keep you from overheating which can temporarily worsen MS symptoms such as exhaustion and muscle spasticity.
Other great ways to make sure you avoid becoming overheated are :
- Staying in a cool environment
- Making sure to pace yourself
- Using a fan
- Wearing breathable athletic clothing
Rest and Recovery
Always make sure to take time to rest and keep track of how you’re feeling. For the best results, try to exercise a little every day. But to prevent burnout and injury, it’s important to pace yourself. Tweak your exercise schedule as needed on a day-to-day basis. This will allow you to plan better if you’re feeling off or having an MS flare-up. Rest, monitor, and recover so you can give your workouts your full effort!
Staying on the Right Track
Always be sure to check with your physician, personal trainer or physical therapist to look over your workout plan before you start your journey. Your personal trainer will be able to research and recommend the best path to achieve your MS exercise goals, such as recommended specific equipment or exercises that might be helpful for your specific situation.
Worried you can’t follow through with your plan? The issue most of our MS patients face is balancing out how hard they have pushed themselves with needed rest days. The endorphins that exercising releases will make you feel great about your workouts. So, make sure you balance challenging yourself with giving your muscles some time to rest.
If you’re looking to relieve yourself of painful symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis, our personal trainers are ready to provide you with the fitness care you deserve! Call First Class Personal Training today for more information on our services, or to book an appointment!July 10, 2021