Why continue to exercise with multiple sclerosis

Why continue to exercise with multiple sclerosis

Exercise is essential not just for overall well-being, but also to help manage symptoms of multiple sclerosis (MS). In fact, exercise might even slow progression of the disease, according to a 2012 review published in Therapeutic Advances in Neurological Disorders.” This was according to everyday health.

The National Multiple Sclerosis Society says basically the same thing and adds, “An exercise program needs to fit the capabilities and limitations of the individual. It may need to be adjusted as changes occur in MS symptoms…Exercise doesn’t have to be a rigorous cardiovascular workout to provide benefits. Physical activity in general is beneficial and can include a variety of things most people can do in the comfort of their home.

In the beginning, I used exercise standing on my feet, sweat my ass off, barely able to catch my breath. That was the beginning.  As I slowly started to progress with my multiple sclerosis, my legs couldn’t stand for the entire time. I had to mentally accept it. At first I would try to stand for two songs and then sit for one in Zumba. That work for a little while, then I got a little worse.  I’d adjust by standing for one song sitting for one song, standing for one song sitting for two songs etc. My current state is I stand for two or three songs at the beginning and sit for the rest of the DVD.  I don’t sweat anymore. I don’t have a high heat rate. I can breathe fine. I sometimes feel like it is absolutely pointless but I still do it everyday. Why?

The Benefits of Exercises
1) It helps to tone your muscles and improve your overall health.
2) Exercising ensures that your weight is in check.
3) It helps to maintain a certain fitness level.
4) It increases your flexibility, mobility, body awareness, and muscle     strength.
5) Exercising generate endorphins which is an anti-depressant.

This is true no matter what your level of fitness is. As silly as my chair Zumba sounds, it still keeps me moving. It helps me mentally focus each day. It is helping me even at the level I am now doing at, even if I don’t see it. If I wasn’t doing anything, I may not be doing a lot worse with my MS and my MS symptoms.

Unfortunately, due to this tendinitis in my shoulder, I haven’t been able to work out since Thursday. I’ve been in a bad mood since Saturday. I can truly say that not exercising has definitely affected my mood.  However everyone says that I need to reduce the inflammation in my shoulder so I look at it like this; take a week off try to get the inflammation down so you say continue to work out, or continue pushing it and then you can’t work out for another two months.  If you ask me if not working out makes my MS better throughout the day, the answer is no. It makes no difference. When I work out I need a good hour for my body to rest and recover and then I can go about the day as usual. If I don’t work out, my body still has MS and I still fatigue and I was still have difficulties. For me, working out is like my meditation. Without it I’m just not grounded for the day.



2 thoughts on “Why continue to exercise with multiple sclerosis

  1. Yes, yes, yes! I’ve missed a couple days of swimming lately. And I can feel it. I think my little short road trip last week really did me in. Plus my new therapy I’m doing for my back totally wears me out so I don’t swim and do therapy in the same day. But the therapy will come to an end in a couple more weeks, then I can get back into the pool more regularly. I can definitely tell the difference in my overall outlook on life between exercising and not exercising.

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