Nine exercises for Multiple Sclerosis
Exercise provides excellent benefits for anyone who sets out to lose weight, gain muscle strength or prevent illness. In patients with multiple sclerosis (MS), exercising is linked to some specific benefits, such as easing symptoms, helping improve mobility, and minimizing the risks of some complications.
However, it is essential to exercise carefully since working out to the point of exhaustion may compromise your muscles, increase the pain, and overburden your body and mind. This article recommends 9 exercises you can do on your own or with the assistance of a physiotherapist to achieve a good quality of life and ease your symptoms.
Important Advice: Before starting any exercise or workout program, talk to your doctor. They may recommend that you exercise with a physiotherapist or an occupational therapist until you learn the correct movements and routine, and to avoid overexerting your muscles.
A study from the Oregon Health & Science University found that patients with MS who practiced yoga reported less fatigue than those who didn’t. The abdominal breathing used in yoga improves your breathing, and the effect carries on after practice. The better you breathe, the easier your blood flows through your body, improving your overall heart and respiratory health.
Excessive heat is counterproductive for patients with MS, especially when exercising outdoors. For this reason, working out in a swimming pool is ideal as it helps you maintain a comfortable body temperature.
Other than avoiding overheating, water properties make it easier to move. Exercising in the water, you may feel more flexible than when not in the pool. This will help you perform some exercises that you may find difficult outside the water, such as stretching, weightlifting, and aerobics. In turn, this will boost your mental and physical well-being
The main benefits happen inside your body. Strength training helps you become stronger and heal faster making you less prone to injury. For this reason, patients with MS must include weight or resistance training as part of their workout. But their routine needs to be adapted to their specific needs. As in any other activity, it is always advisable to work with a healthcare professional, such as a physical therapist.
Stretching, especially during yoga, improves breathing, eases your mind, and tones your muscles. At the same time, it improves range of motion, decreases muscle tension, and builds muscle strength.
MS affects the cerebellum, a part of the brain needed for balance and coordination. If you have trouble maintaining balance, exercising with a rubber ball helps train major muscle groups and other sensory organs in your body, while compensating for balance and coordination problems. Balance and medicine balls may also be used for strength training.
Some forms of Martial Arts, such as Tai Chi, are a form of very low impact exercise. Tai Chi has gained popularity among patients with MS because it improves balance, flexibility, and strength.
Moderate aerobic exercise raises your heart and breathing rates and brings about several positive health outcomes. One of its expected benefits is improved bladder control. Besides, aerobics helps boost your natural defense system, eases overall MS symptoms, and builds strength.
Traditional cycling poses several risks for patients with MS. On the other hand, you may reap the same benefits using a modified bike, such as a stationary bicycle with a reclined seat. You will be able to exercise as much as on a traditional bike, but it will take balance and coordination out of the equation.
Basketball, golf, and tennis may be adapted for patients with MS. Horse riding is another great exercise to stimulate balance, coordination, and strength. For those who used to be very active before receiving an MS diagnosis, going back to their favorite activities and sports practices may be incredibly beneficial for their body and mind.
Something to keep in mind while exercising
If you cannot keep a 20 to 30 minutes exercise routine, you may divide it into shorter 5-minute periods, and it will be just as beneficial to your health.
Título Periodístico: Living with Multiple Sclerosis: the Benefits of Exercising
Original Title: Nine Exercises for Multiple Sclerosis
Author: Holland K
Source: Healthline. Nine exercises for MS [Published Mar 20, 2012; accessed Jul 17, 2017] Available at: http://www.healthline.com/health/multiple-sclerosis/exercises#2.