Regular exercise can give people with MS better control over their body and decrease side effects including muscle weakness, balance problems and overall fatigue.
When it comes to which exercise is best, it is important to remember that there is no right or wrong. When choosing which exercise to participate in, it is important to consider certain factors:
This blog goes over some specific exercise recommendations for people with MS.
Exercise to improve Neuroplasticity
Neuroplasticity is the ability of the brain to create new neural pathways especially in response to learning or experience or following injury. Exercise has been found to help improve neuroplasticity in people with MS. This means new neurons (nerve cells) can be developed to help retrain your brain into new ways of performing certain activities.
Exercise tips to improve neuroplasticity:
Example: if you suffer with foot drop, practice that movement of lifting your toes over and over again. Not just once a day, 10 times a day or more. The more times you practice, the more attempts the brain will have to find that new pathway.
Exercise to improve functional capabilities and manage day to day life
Exercise to manage fatigue fatigue
Many different forms of exercise including cardiovascular exercise, strength training and mobility exercise has been found to reduce levels of fatigue.
In order to notice improvements, perform exercises of a moderate intensity. This means they require a moderate amount of effort and results in a noticeable rise in the heart rate.
Don’t push beyond the point of poor quality movement. Stop and rest.
Exercise snack – small amounts of regular exercise has been found to be just as beneficial as doing all your exercise in one go. This can also be more manageable for anyone suffering fatigue. Every hour try to get up and do something. Lack of activity can also increase levels of fatigue so often you may find it better to split your exercise into small chunks of simple exercises throughout the day rather than focus on long duration training.
Fatigue during exercise
Fatigue during exercise is often caused by your core temperature rising. Heat intolerance can cause symptoms to worsen. This is one reason fatigue kicks in during exercise.
Exercise to maintain range of motion and ease symptoms relating to spastcity (muscle tightness, stiffness or lack of muscle control).
Take part in stretching and mobilising exercises to put your body through its full range of motion.
This includes:- Yoga, Pilates, tai chi, stretching and mobility.
Exercise to improve balance
For more information on exercise for people with Multiple Sclerosis get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org.