MS and Exercise

Shot of an attractive young woman at the gym riding on spinning bike with copy space

Shot of an attractive young woman at the gym riding on spinning bike with copy space

Inactivity results in numerous risk factors and complications in people with MS. These complications can be associated with breathing deficits, coronary diseases, and weakness of muscles, diminished bone density which elevates the risk of fracture. Proper exercise will help these people become fitter. It will also enhance a healthy body and mind. The right exercises stop MS symptoms and problems from deteriorating and becoming worse. A physiotherapist may help identify the right exercises.

Exercise helps in keeping the body fit even to a healthy individual. Study has shown that exercise may have some anti-inflammatory effects. MS patients ought to keep off inflammation for them to effectively control the symptoms.

Exercise, therefore, will immensely improve fitness and functionality in mild MS. It also improves performance in people with moderate to severe MS. This is probably because exercise therapy, such as resistance training and aerobic exercise, increases muscle power. This will have positive effects in exercise tolerance and mobility thus improving activities like walking in MS patients. Walking distance, for instance, increases with consistent treadmill training.

Proper exercise has been shown to improve the mood and over-all well-being of people living with MS. Thus, in addition to generally improved health and a better well-being, exercise will be vital in managing most MS symptoms. It is fascinating that, exercise benefits in MS seem to be more distinct in women than men.

Benefits of exercise in MS

Exercising regularly keeps the body functioning. A functioning body is more poised to handle MS than a sedentary one. Exercise will, therefore, help people with mild MS regain their health. For people with severe MS, mobility is improved.
Generally, exercise is a perfect cure for weakness and mobility deficits related to MS. This is because it will improve the strength and functionality of muscles. Exercise will additionally, when combined with a healthy diet, help in weight management. All these factors work together in improving mobility in MS.
Typically people who have been put under exercise in MS have shown the following positive features.

  • Healthier cardiovascular activity
  • Enhanced strength
  • Improved bladder and bowel functionality
  • Reduced fatigue
  • Lower levels of depression
  • A more optimistic outlook
  • Better participation in social events
  • Improvement in cognitive function
  • Mood enhancement

The exercise program you should match the capabilities and limitations of the MS patient. Relevant adjustments should be made to manage any MS symptoms that occur. When formulating the exercise plan it helps to consult a physiotherapist who is experienced with MS. The physiotherapist will help you design, and revise the exercise plan. He or she will additionally supervise the progress.

Types of exercise

No single exercise has been found to work 100% in managing Multiple Sclerosis. Therefore, you will have to try different exercise to find the right one for you. The suitability of these exercises will vary from person to person.
Exercises recommended for MS patients include:

  • Strengthening exercises
  • Aerobics- cycling, running or rowing
  • Stretching
  • Range-of-motion exercises- involve moving the legs, arms, ankles, and wrists in wide-reaching circular motions
  • Passive stretching exercises
  • Posture exercises

There are many forms of sports for MS patients; Such as walking, swimming housework, dancing, and gardening.

Proper timing of exercise sessions is vital. Exercise should be timed to avoid the hotter part of the day. This prevents excessive fatigue.

With the right guidelines, a well-implemented exercise program will crucial in maintaining excellent health and managing symptoms of multiple sclerosis.

  1. May 30, 2014
  2. May 31, 2014