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  • Nicole_S
    Have you implemented physical activity—yoga or other non-cardio or cardio exercise—into your routine? Has this helped you in managing your MS symptoms?  What creative ways have you adapted your approach?  Please share what you’ve found to work—or not—for you!
  • capitolcarol
    Hi Nicole,

    I think everything that I have read about MS always mentioned the importance of daily exercises.   In spite of lots of pain, I have kept up with daily exercises and weekly yoga.  I don't know if it helps, but I know  overall it makes me feel better, not necessarily physically, more like a state of being.  I know I would probably be a lot worse off if I did not exercise.  
  • Nicole_S
    Hi CapitolCarol,
    I would venture a guess that if you are overall feeling better even if it’s more of a “state of being” then it’s working. :) I suffer from chronic pain and know that if I don’t keep moving that pain is worse. On days my pain is really kicking into high gear and I can’t do my normal yoga routine I at least try stretching in bed before getting up, I found that even doing something as simple as that helps me to keep moving.
  • KariAnn
    It may sound counter-intuitive, but I find that exercise reduces my pain and spasticity.  I do two days of low impact cardio (elliptical machine, stair stepper or rowing) per week and two days of weight lifting per week. I have terrible balance so I haven't been able to do yoga without falling.  For me, the key was to start slow and gradually build intensity.  If I'm having a good day, I push myself.  If I'm having a bad day (weak, tired), I still work out but reduce the weight or the number of reps or the length of the workout, otherwise, it can take several days to recover from a workout.  I tried two different personal trainers at my gym, but they had trouble adapting their standard workouts.  My neurologist sent me to a physical therapist who gave me some great tips and suggestions for exercises.  Hope this helps.  Best wishes!
  • kakeman14
    It's a balancing act for me. Too much exercise causes pain and fatigue, not enough causes depression. I try to at least stretch every day to relieve some of my spasticity. I have a definite problem though with lack of motivation. I feel like every time I attempt to exercise on a regular basis I suffer a set back. I guess I need to keep chugging along and hope for the best.
     
  • pricklybee
    Kakeman14, I think I get what you're going through because even though I'm old enough to know better, I still do more than I should. I'm a workaholic Virgo, so NOT excercising isn't an option, but I have brought on many an exacerbation in doing so.
    Swimming is my best bet right now. Even though it's not weight-bearing, it's good exercise and keeps me cool. There's also some great deep-water running and water aerobics classes that I take from time to time. I love to row (as in crew), but too many times a week, or in tandem with other activity (even work!) was too much:(
    I see you've got a dog--are the walks fun? I miss my dog and the necessity of taking him out.
  • setty1333
    I work with my trainer on exercises that connect my mind to my body. So in other words..push-ups while holding a foam roller. Holding and hanging from pull up. We do lots that engage the hands. Also lunges with lateral shoulder raises etc. all these exercises really help for everyday activities and ways to keep mind and body connected. I also use therapy balls to help hand strength at home. I do Pilates once a week also. Along with teaching high intensity group classes. 
  • pricklybee
    Hey there setty1333,
    I've had a devil of a time finding a trainer that understood the MS-excercise balance; they all want me to do so many reps, increasing weight and reps, and basically do too much. I'm no good with a circuit either since I can't do just part of one (too much overachiever).
    How did you find the trainer? Thanks
  • nathalietje
    First of all...Hi :) 

    I'm new on this forum, I came checking here after I saw something very intresting passing by on Instagram.
    In 2012 I got diagnosed with MS. A year ago I had troubles with my balance due an attack on my brainstern, I was dizzy all the time. The walls were my friends that time.
    But to stay on topic, I started to go to the gym 6 months ago by doing exercises with heavy weights + I started with my new medication too. With my past check up my docter said that my balance improved a lot.
    It might come from my gym time or maybe not but I do believe that exercises helped me a lot. And it also let me feel tired from doing things instead of feeling tired from my illness.
    So I'm very positve believer that exercises do help you mentally and physically. :)
  • Nicole_S
    Hi nathalietje,
    Welcome to the Community, I’m so glad you found us!  I too have seen positive differences from exercising. I do some form of yoga stretching with light weights and meditation, I’ve noticed improvements as well but not as much as I’d like to see…. which has more to do with not sticking to a routine, life gets busy and I get too distracted with other things. Goal for me this year is to set a scheduled routine and stick with it. Finger crossed!
    Best,
    Nicole
  • jamieclair1
    Hi Natalie. Did your dizziness improve from working out ? Also, can I ask what medication you are taking....Thank you.
  • Nicole_S
    Hi Everyone,
    Thak you for sharing what you do to help manage your symptoms, keep the ideas coming! If you would like more information on the different types of activities you can do to help manage your MS symptoms and missed our telelearning webinar on Yoga and Non-Cardio Exercises: Your Allies in Managing MS Symptoms and Improving Overall Health you can access the recording by clicking on the below link.
    Yoga and Non-Cardio Exercises: Your Allies in Managing MS Symptoms and Improving Overall Health
    Best,
    Nicole
    Online Community Manager
  • bbestherrose
    Exercise for me  is a daily battle.I started counting housework etc into exercise and saw it add up.From the waste down my pain severe from legs to a torn muscle prob that will throw my back out if over done.Each day is new.Pat yourself on the back anytime you can.A year ago at weight 120lb ekgs fine, blood work fine i had a quad bypass with this MS.Point made is that MS may not end us but it can begin us.There was nothing but genetics for the heart.Chair exercises on utube or dvd, guidance from those who know...start somewhere.When I have to stay still, pictures, music song, listening to anothers problems or just getting the rest I personally need is what must be done.Ive heard the rudeness of  IF I HAD THE TIME YOU DID... etc...Do what YOU need to do.Dont compare, ask rude to leave.Exercise is physical mental spiritual...Remember you are a winner ...period.
  • nathalietje
    Hi Jamieclair1 :)

    My dizzyness/spinnies got reduced when I started to take Arlevertan. For me it helped. My balance improved a lot when I started to do exercises. It went better bit by bit and my docter sees a lot of improvement too. I hope this info helps for you. :)
  • acolicci22
    Hi all,

    I am also new to this site.  I was diagnosed with relapsing/remitting MS in August of 2016.  My balance was definitely off, along with some weakness in my left arm.  I started going to the gym with a friend in November, and can definitely see a positive change in my balance, as well as the strength coming back in my arm.  It has actually been enough to allow me to get back on the soccer field, and play competitively with my co-workers.  It hurts sometimes, and I have days when I can't do as much as other days, but doing something is better than nothing.  Hope this helps, good luck!
  • ysteele
    I have found that a light carido workout would be a great benefit to me. But i have also learned that I have to be mindful of the tempature, and how much of my energy I have already used to get through the first part of the day. If I can emotionally keep up let alone physically. I went from running 4-5 miles 4-5 days a week, to praying I can make it up the stairs to go to bed... I miss my activie life.:)
  • adraja
    I have been a MS Patient for more than 40 years and I am physically very active. I am 63 years old and for the last three years I have doing High Intensity Interval Training. I get my heart rate to even 97% of maximum and my resting heart rate is 47. I am on Avonex for the last 20 years and I have not had relapses. It may be because of my intense exercises. I have been jogging for 35 years almost every weekday. I do not jog any more because my knee bothers me. I found a new way to get my heart rate high. I do chimpanzee bipedal walk. It looks funny but is very effective. If I walk normally my heart rate goes to 85/86 but at the same speed if I walk like a chimpanzee walks with knees bent my heart rate goes to 112. The walk is very inefficent. That is good for exercise. You put less stress and get more benefit. I do not have knee pain because chimpanzee walk puts more stress on the quads and less on the knees. I do HIIT at least 4 times a week during lunch time at work. Exercise is good for the heart and MS. My liver enzyme ALT and AST are very good because of my exercises.
  • heathercpt
    I am an MSFW Certified Personal Trainer who coaches clients with MS.  MSFW stands for Multiple Sclerosis Fitness & Wellness.  Whether recently diagnosed or living with MS for many years, I truly believe that physical activity helps motivate, inspire, strengthen, and reconnect the mind and body for improved daily living and well-being!  It's important to use a safe and effective program to help you fight fatigue, build strength, improve balance and to adjust the neural pathways the brain sends signals to the rest of the body.  Every day will be different, so it's important to listen to your body and know when to push outside your comfort zone or stay low-key with stretching and active recovery.  Every bit of movement and physical activity helps whether it be strength training, cardiovascular exercise or stretching/recovery.
     
  • piompi2720
    I was reading all the comments and my situation is totally different. I want to do excercise, I try to walk more and do more things little by little but I have a lack of energy and I get tired easily. If I walk about 100 steps or more my legs start feeling weak. It scared me when it happen because I am afraid of falling. If I try to continue doing what I am doing when I get soooooo tired, my head and body start shaking and I loose balance. I changed my whole diet for an Organic one watching what I eat and the time I eat but still doesn't help.
    I want to do excersice but I don't know what to do to start it. Right now my new Neurologist took me out of my MS Meds because of a bad reaction and send me Baclofen but is not helping me. Any advice, please?
  • raudrau
    That is a tough situation - fatigue and weakness make it so difficult. I go to a spinning class where you can stay seated and go at your own pace. You can build up gradually. Likewise a rowing machine would allow you to stay seated and build up both cardio and strength. A little bit everyday.. You have weakness that lingers and that makes it difficult. A trainer posted on this thread- maybe you could send her some questions- 
    Best,
    Denise

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