New Exercises and Activities to Try If You Have MS?

Many people with MS have a lot of energy and want to continue exercising. Maintaining a good level of activity is key to keeping healthy muscles and joints, plus it can help reduce fatigue. However, some activities may be more appropriate than others for people with MS. Here are some suggestions from the research literature:-

INTRO:

As this article notes, “exercise recommendations for people with MS vary slightly from one source to another.” Some typical guidelines follow in the main part of the article; readers interested in exercise generally should consult their doctors or other health professionals.–SJL.

“Exercising in water (or in an environment where you could walk on the while staying immobile) is a great way to help reduce your fatigue.

Here are some suggestions for water exercises:

Many people with MS have spasticity that limits their physical abilities. It’s important to note that not all exercise programs will be helpful for everyone, especially those with significant disabilities. Some common impairments and problems include:-

These issues can affect your quality of life promise ensuring you’re doing the right activity for you.”

“As well as joining a gym (or having access to fitness equipment at home), there are many low-impact activities you can try outside, including dancing; swimming; cycling; games like badminton or tennis; hiking; yoga; tai chi; Pilates or practicing meditation/relaxation techniques.”

“If your health care provider feels that you’re up to it, you might also try water aerobics classes or using the elliptical trainer at the gym.”

“For some activities like dancing, hiking, or cycling, many people with MS may not feel comfortable doing them alone. This is why it’s so important for people with MS to get out of their comfort zones and join social groups. A physiotherapist can help you find an activity where there are accessible trails; instructors who will modify movements or accommodate any special needs; courses that everyone in the class will be doing together (instead of following instructions from one person); and equipment designed to fit your needs.”

Ms exercises to improve walking:

1) The following exercise is very beneficial for those people who have a problem with their knee rotation. Most of the time, this is caused by having flat feet or overpronation during walking and running. This causes the feet to roll inward as they hit the ground which puts stress on your knee and can cause pain and discomfort.

a) Stand in front of a mirror and put one foot slightly in front of the other one. Try keeping your heels together as much as possible throughout this exercise.

b) Spread your toes as wide as possible (you should feel a stretch under them). Hold it there for about 20 seconds then relax. Do that once for each foot.

c) Stand with your legs shoulder-width apart and pointing straight forward. Rotate one leg so that the toes point to one side (keeping feet facing straight ahead). Try not to move anything except your foot. Hold it for 20 seconds, relax, then do the other foot.

d) Stand with your legs shoulder-width apart and pointing straight forward. Rotate one leg so that the toes point backward (keeping feet facing straight ahead). Try not to move anything except your foot. Hold for 20 seconds, relax, then do the other foot.

e) Stand in front of a mirror and put both feet slightly in front of you on an imaginary line that goes through the middle of your body. Look at where you place your feet relative to the mirror. Try keeping your heels together as much as possible throughout this exercise.

f) Stand with your legs shoulder-width apart and pointing straight forward. Rotate one leg so that the toes point to one side (keeping feet facing straight ahead). Try not to move anything except your foot. Hold for 20 seconds, relax, then do the other foot.

Seated exercises for ms patients:

1). Put your feet flat on the floor (heels together) and turn your foot outward (toes pointing away from you). Hold that position for 10 seconds. Repeat with the other foot. Do it again, but this time rotate your foot inward (toes pointing toward you). Repeat with the other foot.

2). Sit comfortably in a chair. Cross one leg so that the ankle is resting just above the knee of the opposite leg. Using both hands, grasp underneath your thigh near your knee and lift as high as comfortable. You should feel a stretch under your thigh/knee area. Hold it there for 5 to 10 seconds then relax… Do that once for each leg.

3). Sit comfortably in a chair. Cross one leg so that the ankle is resting just above the knee of the opposite leg. Using both hands, grasp underneath your thigh near your knee and lift as high as comfortable. You should feel a stretch under your thigh/knee area. Hold it there for 5 to 10 seconds then relax. Do that once for each leg.

4). Put both feet flat on the floor (heels together) and turn your foot inward (toes pointing toward you). Hold that position for 10 seconds, Then do it again with the other foot, turning it outward (toes pointing away from you). Repeat with the other foot.

5). Sit comfortably in a chair or lie down on a bed or table with something high enough to support your back (a pillow or two works fine). If you are sitting, place your feet flat on the floor (heels together) and turn your foot inward (toes pointing toward you). Hold that position for 10 seconds, Then do it again with the other foot, turning it outward (toes pointing away from you). Repeat with the other foot.

6). Sit comfortably in a chair or lie down on a bed or table with something high enough to support your back (a pillow or two works fine). Place one leg across the knee of the opposite leg so that most of your weight is on your bottom arm/hand.

Using both hands, grasp underneath your thigh near your knee and lift as high as comfortable. You should feel a stretch under your thigh/knee area. Hold it there for 5 to 10 seconds then relax. Do that once for each leg.

7). Sit comfortably in a chair. Cross one leg so that the ankle is resting just above the knee of the opposite leg with the foot rotated inward (toes pointing toward you) and place most of your weight on your bottom arm/hand with your top elbow bent 90 degrees and hand placed near or touching your ribs, then lift as high as comfortable You should feel a stretch under your upper thigh/hip area. This is a great exercise for hip flexors! Hold it there for 5 to 10 seconds, relax, then do the other foot.

8). Put both feet flat on the floor (heels together) and turn your foot outward (toes pointing away from you). Hold that position for 10 seconds, Then do it again with the other foot, turning it inward (toes pointing toward you). Repeat with the other foot.

9). Sit or lie down comfortably in a chair or on a bed. Place one leg across the knee of the opposite leg so that most of your weight is on your bottom arm/hand. Using both hands, grasp underneath your thigh near your knee and lift as high as comfortable. You should feel a stretch under your upper thigh/hip area. This is a great exercise to help hip flexors! Hold it there for 5 to 10 seconds then relax. Do that once for each leg.

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