Multiple Sclerosis Exercises
People with Multiple Sclerosis are often told to rest and not overdo it; the fear of fatigue can become unbearable. However, there’s no real basis for this fear, because people with MS are not fragile. Clinical trials have shown that prescriptive exercise can increase fitness and reduce fatigue. This process can be slow and begins with a carefully developed exercise program designed by a Physiotherapist for a specific individuals needs.
Types of Exercises
Balance Ball Exercises
Balance Ball exercises can help to: to improve balance, increase stamina, increase circulation and oxygenation of the blood, increase energy levels, strengthen trunk muscles and muscles in the lower back helps to straighten out or unscramble nerve signals and helps to reconnect or re-develop nerve pathways throughout different parts of the body.
Hand Weight Exercises
Hand weight exercises help to improve how well the arms, shoulders, wrists and trunk muscles can function, in addition to helping retrain the nerves connected to these muscle groups.
Stretch Band Exercises
Stretch bands can be used to strengthen and stretch the muscle in the legs, arms or other parts of the body. These can also assist in redeveloping neural pathways or nerves connected to the muscles being exercised, if done consistently over a period of time.
Tips for Safe Exercise with Multiple Sclerosis
- Always warm up before beginning your exercise routine and cool down at the end.
- Start with 10-minute workout sessions and work your way up.
- Workout in a safe environment; avoid slippery floor, throw rugs, and tripping hazards.
- If you have difficulty balancing, exercise within reach of a grab bar, rail or chair.
- If at any time you feel sick or you begin to hurt, STOP.
- Select an activity that you enjoy and HAVE FUN! Water aerobics, swimming, tai chi, and yoga are examples of exercises that often work well for people with MS.