Recommended Exercises for People with MS

When you have MS, you might be hesitant to workout. Will you end up straining your muscles? Will it make the pain worse? Will you be too exhausted to do anything else during the day? While these are justifiable concerns, exercise can be beneficial for those with MS if you don't overdo it. There are actually plenty of exercises that can help you build your strength and keep you healthy.


Proper Exercises for MS

1. Water aerobics

Water exercise provides a good cardio workout for anyone. Those with MS may find that their flexibility and balance are more controllable in the water. Swimming, walking in the water and water aerobics offer those with mild to severe symptoms of MS a way to stay active and fit. You can also add in water weights to help improve strength.

2. Yoga

Yoga offers a full body workout that doesn't feel as intense as most other exercises. Those with MS can benefit from yoga because it focuses on breathing and stretching which can help improve blood circulation. Additionally, those who practice yoga regularly feel less fatigued.

3. Stationary bike

Biking is a great cardio workout, but for those with MS, riding a traditional bike can be more challenging. A stationary bike is a great alternative then since you perform the same movement as a moving bike but without having to worry about balance or coordination.

4. Stretching

To help increase range of motion, build muscle stamina and reduce muscles tension, simply stretching your muscles can be highly beneficial. While it is important to stretch before and after your workout, stretching throughout the day can help keep muscles stimulate and reduce the overall stress.

5. T'ai Chi

T'ai Chi is a low impact martial arts exercise that can be highly beneficial for those with MS. This types of exercise focuses on building up the core muscles, improving flexibility and balance.

6. Balance Ball

Those with MS often suffer from poor coordination and balance, which is why many exercises for MS are more challenging. Using a balancing ball can allow you to maintain your balance while allowing you to work on your major muscles groups.

7.Wall Squats

Adding in weight training exercise should be a part of your workout routine. Wall squats can help strengthen the leg muscles and can be modified for your comfort. For this exercise you'll want to stand about a foot away from the wall, back facing the wall. Slowly lean back against the wall so the hips, torso, and back are flat against it. Begin to slide down the wall, bending at the knees but keeping the top half of the body flat against the wall. Once your thighs are just about parallel to the floor, stop and hold yourself up for five seconds, then return to your starting position by using your legs to push your body back up. Once you become familiar and comfortable with this exercise, you can add hand weights to it.

8. Planks

Planks help strengthen the core muscles which is why they are ideal for those with MS. Begin by lying face down on the floor. Position the elbows so they are under the shoulders and lift yourself up to make one straight line from your head to toes. Hold the position for 15 seconds remembering to tighten the ab muscles.

9. Bridge

To help strengthen the ab muscles as well as tone the glutes and legs, you'll want to perform this exercise. To do this one of exercises for MS, begin lying on your back on the floor with your arms and your hand's palm side down. Bring the feet in towards your butt and contract the ab muscles as you lift your hips off the floor. Pull the belly button towards the spine, keeping a straight diagonal line from your chest to knees. Hold for a few seconds, then lower down and repeat 10 times.

11. Marching

Marching in place is a great way to help improve balance. Simply stand with the feet hip-width apart and bring one knee up off the ground so you are in a marching position. Hold for three seconds then lower your leg down and repeat on the other leg. It may be necessary to begin having a chair nearby to keep you steady.

12. Breathing exercises

Breathing exercises can be done from just about anywhere and can be done lying down, sitting or standing. By focusing on controlling your breath, you will have an easier time getting through your workouts and, as mentioned, breathing properly can improve blood circulation. Simply slow down your breath by breathing in through the nose and out through the mouth.

Tips for a Safe Workout

  • Start slow. You want to ease into your workouts and your workout routine, so always begin with a warm-up to loosen the muscles. Start with what you can do comfortable, even if it is just walking for ten minutes.
  • Be safe. Avoid exercising where you may fall or trip over. If your balance is not the best, then be careful with the exercises you choose to do as some can increase your risk of falling.
  • Listen to your body. If you are sick or in pain while working out, simply stop. If you notice your symptoms become worse when you exercise, consider trying different exercises for MS. Be sure to get plenty of rest and consult your doctor and physical therapist to help find the best exercise for you.
  • Balance. While working out is beneficial, you don't want to push yourself so much that you are left exhausted or sore to do anything else. Be aware of what your limits are and find the balance so that you can workout and still go about your daily routine.
  • Make it fun. When your workouts are fun, you will be more likely to stick with it. Find an exercise that you really enjoy doing.
  • Don't forget the cool down. You don't want to just do your workout and then be done. It is important to properly cool down after working out to help slowly bring down the heart rate, temperature, and breathing. This will also reduce your risk of muscles fatigue, soreness or injury.
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