The Benefits of Pilates for MS and How to Get Started?
Pilates is a unique form of exercise that focuses on alignment, breathing, body awareness, and strength without bulk. Although it is a more gentle practice than other forms of exercise for MS sufferers, Pilates can help manage symptoms of fatigue, pain, and spasms. It also helps to maintain or increase overall flexibility as well as muscle tone and strength.
In addition to its physical benefits for those living with Multiple Sclerosis, Mary Pilates felt her method could be very helpful if the mental aspects were applied as well. She stated “The first thing we must learn is control of the center; ‘I am’ develops from ‘I can.'” These words hold today as many MS patients have attested how they have found peace by simply using the Pilates method.
The following is a list of six benefits for those living with MS that can be achieved through a simple regimen of Pilates:
Better bladder control and achieving a stronger pelvic floor- Many people with Multiple Sclerosis suffer from an overactive bladder which means they have to go frequently and may not even make it to the bathroom in time.
This can lead to accidents such as bedwetting, soiling oneself, and having an urgent need for the toilet when out in public places. By working on strengthening core muscles such as the gluteus Maximusili, abdominals, and psoas, people living with MS will find their overall stability increased along with better bladder control.
Taking away fatigue-
Fatigue can be a big problem for those with MS as it can often lead to an overall feeling of tiredness that no amount of sleep seems to fix. This is because the brain sends signals to the body telling it how hard to work and if these signals are not obeyed, then fatigue sets in. Pilates focuses on improving muscle tone which sends stronger messages from the brain resulting in improved energy levels and a feeling of being more awake- something sufferers need.
Using balance as a physical aid-
Although those with Multiple Sclerosis have problems maintaining their equilibrium, using this as an exercise tool helps improve strength and coordination which ultimately transfers over into daily life. After people living with MS have mastered these skills through Pilates they find that their everyday balance issues are reduced significantly.
Relieving stress –
Stress is something that affects everyone but the effects of stress on those with MS can be debilitating for them as well as their families. Pilates helps to reduce anxiety levels which not only relaxes people living with MS but also has a calming effect on family members who have witnessed their loved one deteriorating over time.
Improving cardiovascular health-
Most people would agree that exercising regularly is good for your heart and lungs, Pilates is no exception to this rule. It works on the muscles surrounding the spine which results in improved breathing patterns along with better heart function, both of these important factors help improve circulation.
Toning up by strengthening muscles-
There are many exercises that people living with MS can do to tone up and Pilates is one of them. By performing moves such as horse stance, roll-ups, or ‘Kegels’ muscles are tightened which helps prevent further deterioration in posture as well as reducing the likelihood of sagging skin.
As you can see from the list above, there are several benefits for those who suffer from Multiple Sclerosis by trying Pilates regularly- even if they cannot touch their toes! All that matters is that every tiny movement counts when it comes to improving our health through an exercise program.
The key is never pushing yourself too far because stress could be counterproductive for MS sufferers, but taking things slow and steady will help you reach your goals much easier.