Why is exercise important for MS?


Written by Victoria Anderson

Wondering how to exercise again after being diagnosed with MS?

Here’s some things to know and important points to remember… 

Regular exercise for those with MS can help improve some of the symptoms associated with MS and may delay the progression of the disease. To help reduce many of the common side effects of MS, including: fatigue, weakness and poor coordination, carefully planned exercise that is individualized, gradual and progressive can be of great value. 

What do we mean by individualized, gradual and progressive? 

This means taking things at your own pace… Someone’s end is your beginning but in the early stages it can be small steps to get back into a fitness regime. 

If you are not currently exercising or maybe are scared of making your symptoms worse, you can start with a few exercises and build up from here gradually. Walking is also proven to be one of the best means of exercise to keep your fitness levels up. However, we highly recommend taking part in exercise that can increase your muscle strength. As MS progresses, we know that muscles can become weaker, so it is important to maintain and improve this strength to help with daily activities.

It is important to note that exercise, if too intense, can exacerbate symptoms temporarily for example: severe fatigue. Therefore, it is essential that you begin exercise at your own level, and work within your tolerance levels. Working with a physical trainer who is experienced with MS and neurological conditions can provide carefully planned exercise workouts that will help you increase your strength, aerobic endurance and walking ability. They will also be able to set goals with you and help you back to tasks that may be coming more challenging. 

The benefits of exercise for MS include:

–       Improvements in physiological capacity (aerobic endurance, muscular strength/endurance and walking ability)

–       Improvements in symptoms (fatigue, depression)

–       Increase quality of life 

–       Improves mobility & fatigue 

–       Reduces inactivity and the risks associated 

–       Aerobic exercise improves heart and lung function

–       Stretching improves flexibility and helps maintain range of motion 

–       Resistance exercise helps regain or maintain strength and prevent muscles from becoming   weak 

Looking to find a physical therapist/personal trainer that can help with your symptoms? 

Longevity Health and Fitness [https://longevityhealthandfitness.co.uk] offer personalized training plans and 1:1 sessions to help you get back to fitness. 

Victoria Anderson

Instagram: @victoria_longevity_pt