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Exercise & MS
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Exercise & MS

Hi Everybody!

I was just wanting to get some tips for everyone regarding exercise.  For the last several years when I try and start exercising something inevitably goes wrong with my health and I have to stop.  For example, in January I started exercising with a trainer 2 hours/week and then at the end of Febuary my second relapse began with muscle weakness, balance problems and my CPK enzyme became extreamely elevated (1975 U, with normal range for a women is around 70-120 U) due to muscle breakdown.  When this happened my neuologist restricted me from exercise and I have not had any physical activity since except for brief walks with my dog.  I have not fully recovered from my third relapse which began in August but I am feeling much stronger except that my left knee keeps buckling on me when I shift my body weight onto my left leg and I'm having some fatigue still.  I want to try and exercise again to see if this helps me feel better, at least emotionally.  For those of you with MS.....How frequently are you able to exercise?  What type of exercise do you tolerate best?  Any tips would be appreciated.    
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi, Watson!

Gosh, you seem to be caught between a rock and a hard place here. As MSers, we are told to exercise as much as we can, and even if we DON'T have MS, we know that's a good idea. I guess the problem is finding how much is too much, and staying on the good side of that.

Maybe you should start by walking your dog for longer periods and see how that goes. Then possibly try a little of something else not strenuous, and so on.

When I'm feeling well I exercise quite a lot, and do it in quantities that a healthy person would. I haven't found any correlation between that and a return of symptoms. But that's just me. This dumb disease insists on being so individual!

ess
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572651_tn?1333939396
Greetings Watson,
I have really been trying to do exercise but had to give up the walking because of overheating. I tried my DH's treadmill but found my feet, especially the one that drops when tired, wouldn't cooperate.

I am fortunate that we have a state-of-the-art complex on campus where I work, along with a wide variety of fitness classes.  I am currently taking two - Tai Chi and Water Aerobics.

Tai Chi really focuses on balance and mobility and relaxation - all things I need help with.  I must admist I do ocassionally break a sweat in class but that is pretty rare.  Its all about the mental and physical connections.  Perhaps that would be somehting you could check into.

The aerobics class in the pool is quite the workout - she really gets us moving and if I were on dry land I would be falling on my face AND sweating.  Being in the cool water of the pool I warm up quickly but I don't overheat.  I am also swimming laps before class when I have the time and on the fifth day. I swim for about 30 minutes - I am trying to not overdo it.

My goal is strengthening muscle groups that I haven't worked in years.  :-)    I figure it helps with the MS and if not, it will help me be stronger for whatever the next stage of this disease holds for me.

Be well,
Lulu

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Avatar_n_tn
I totally understand where you're coming from.  To add to the problems of MS I also deal with an old water sking injury that ruined my left hip and knee.  I tore many areas of muscle in my hamstring and the tendon along the outside of the knee.  The only thing I was able to do (years later) was water aerobics.  After building strength I moved onto the eliptical and a class at the gym that does an aerobic/strength training combination.  Then a bad flare came on in April and took my strength away by 50 to 70%. I'm still trying to build my strength back.

I can still manage the eliptical most days.  I struggle to get started many times but usually get through 30 minutes 2 or 3 times a week. I can usually do the "Intro to Yoga" class even on my worse days.  (Intro is the key word here).

Today was NOT a good day but I was determined to workout.  So I went back to the pool.  I haven't done this for about a year and a half but was glad I did because it reminded me that water is my friend when I feel I just can't do it.  I don't really like the water and I'm not a good swimmer but I go out there do some laps, walk or use paddles for more resistance.  I'm definately adding it back in as part of my exercise routine.  As for the weights I was doing, I now think it may have contributed a lot to my bad year of symtpms because of over heating.  I had not been DX with MS at this time.  When I do them I just focus on lower weights with more repetition instead of increasing my weights.  

Good Luck on finding a new routine that works for you because it is so important.

Anamaria
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The amount and type of exercise varies greatly with MSers.  You and I seem like we're in the same boat.  I just asked my neuro about this, because I have been unable to tolerate any exercise.   In fact, it wasn't until recently that I started to do a little housework after about a year.  So, needless to say, I am in terrible shape.  

What he suggested was to begin with ten minutes every day (and don't go over) and work up two minutes a week.  He doesn't want me to go over twenty minutes daily.  The key is to make sure I do this daily.  He wants me to avoid the heat, and suggests a treadmill with only 1 degree incline at 1 mph.  This sounds like a sissy's workout, but it does me in--I feel like I'm walking through cement.  

So my suggestion is to get with your neuro.  Plus, don't ever overdo a workout and don't go over your limit, because you won't physically be able to keep up with a daily routine.  In addition, you could make things worse for yourself.  

Deb
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This is just a little info that I got from WebMD about exercise and MS...if you google WebMD and put MS and Exercise in the search engine there is a lot of information on this site that I think you will find helpful!

Exercise & Multiple Sclerosis
Exercise can help ease the symptoms of multiple sclerosis, but it's important to take certain precautions if you want your exercise program to be successful. The most important thing to remember is to not overdo it.

You may have heard the mottos "stretch till it hurts" or "feel the burn," but those approaches are counterproductive for people with MS. If you overdo it you can end up straining an already compromised muscular system, increasing pain and causing your body and mind to become overstressed, overworked, and overtired.

Check with your doctor before beginning any exercise program. He or she may make recommendations about:

The types of exercise best suited to you and those which you should avoid
The intensity of the workout (how hard you should be working)
The duration of your workout and any physical limitations
Referrals to other professionals, such as a physical therapist, who can help create a personal exercise program that meets your needs. The type of exercise that works best for you depends on your symptoms, fitness level, and overall health.

Tips for Safe Exercise
Always warm up before beginning your exercise routine and cool down at the end.
If you plan to workout for 30 minutes, start with 10-minute workout sessions and work your way up.
Workout in a safe environment; avoid slippery floors, poor lighting, throw rugs, and other potential tripping hazards.
If you have difficulty balancing, exercise within reach of a grab bar or rail.
If at any time you feel sick or you begin to hurt, STOP.
Select an activity that you enjoy and HAVE FUN! Water aerobics, swimming, tai chi, and yoga are examples of exercises that often work well for people with MS.
What Should I Do if I Get Overheated?
Some people with MS are sensitive to heat, which means they notice that their symptoms either reappear or become worse when their body heat rises. This will happen when you exercise. Here are some tips to avoid overheating.

Don't exercise during the hot time of the day (10 a.m. to 2 p.m.). Try to exercise in the morning or evening if you are exercising outside.
Drink plenty of cool fluids.
Become aware of your body. If you notice any symptoms that you didn't have before you began exercising, then slow down or stop exercising until you cool down.
Swimming and water aerobics are good exercise options to keep you cool while exercising. Also, make sure that there are non-slip floors in the locker room and around the pool.
Reviewed by the doctors at the Mellen Center for Multiple Sclerosis Research at The Cleveland Clinic.

Lots of Hugs,
Rena
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Avatar_m_tn
ive have problems in the past with cooking although did do cheffing at one point and still love to cook but one thing i have to watch is heat as i dont feel heat although i have constant stabbing pain in one hand. i also excecise but wonder in weakness in my trunk waist can be made worst by squats or excercising legs llegs. my balense problems make it imposssible to carry boxs downstairs for example and not being able to feel feet ,so now my eyes have become my feeling. ust a thought or am i too deep.

1 excercise such as  squats ls this dangerous.

what is a effective pain mannagment i use Gabba pentin but it has a limitted effect for balanse or nerve  pain.any suggestions.

thanks . cyrusclarke
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1337734_tn?1336238191
Hi Watson!

Although I have mobility problems from the MS, I am a stickler for excersise!

I excersise at lest 30 minutes a day but I break things up so that I don't deplete all my energy. I try to mix up stretches, core strength, leg strength, balance and cardio. I find it important to do stretches several times a day.

I go to PT an hour a week and my therapist set up my home program.
I do a floor workout including crunches, lunges and excersises using a large excersise ball for core strength.
I ride my sationary recumbent bike for cardio.
I use the Wii fit balance program on my Wii for balance.
Finally I have weights that I can strap on to my ankle and therabands that I use for strengthening.

On days when I am not feeling well or having a flare up, I just do as much as I can. It is always important to stay cool,stay well hydrated and don't over do!

I hope this helps :)

Deb
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