Should I Exercise If I Have MS?

Uncategorized March 9, 2021 Viv C

Woman with Ribbon in her hand

Patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) often ask, “Should I exercise if I have MS?” Here’s why we suggest they do exercise.

 

Background

In the past, people with MS were advised not to exercise. The medical community thought exertion exacerbated symptoms and caused balance issues and difficulty walking. However, now we know this was not good advice. In fact, the Mayo Clinic advises patients with MS to exercise—after they consult their doctor.

 

How Exercise Benefits MS Patients

First, exercise can help MS patients with many of their symptoms. It can increase stamina, strength and balance, improve bowel and bladder control, and decrease spasticity related to MS. Also, regular exercise improves a person’s general quality of life. In particular, at least 150 minutes of moderate activity per week for MS patients has positive effects.

 

Types of Exercises

Exercise equipment

Most importantly, before starting any new exercise regimen, we advise you to consult an MS-certified physician. Your medical team can create a workout routine that’s best suited for you and your condition.

Some general exercises we recommend include:

  • Aerobic Exercises – Medical News Today claims these regimens improve lung capacity, strengthen core muscles, and improve balance and coordination.
  • Stretching – In particular, yoga helps MS patients with stiffness, muscle weakness, and loss of mobility.
  • Progressive Strength Training – This involves you starting with light weights and minimal repetitions. Gradually, you increase the weights and reps over time as you build more muscle and stamina.

 

Some Precautions to Be Mindful Of

Keep in mind, there are some precautions you should take. For starters, don’t overexert yourself. It’s important to listen to your body and not try to push yourself too hard too fast. Build up your stamina and strength. Also, make sure you exercise the right way. Do your best to have good form on all your moves. And, make sure you stay hydrated and cool. If you get too hot, this can temporarily exacerbate MS symptoms like fatigue and muscle tightness.

If you still have additional questions after reading “Should I Exercise If I Have MS?” please consult your physician or contact us at Specialty Infusion Centers. We’re happy to help in any way we can!