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Multiple Sclerosis Community
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Avatar universal

Exercise Question

Hi All,
I am trying to determine the best exercise for my abilities. I used to be a distance runner, but now walking can even be a challenge. It has been 8 months since I was able to run and feel safe doing so.

I have gained some weight since I've stopped running and I am not happy about that. I have been walking outside but the cold, snow, ice and dark will be here soon and that will no longer be an option. I would prefer not to join a gym due to time constraints getting there during the work week.

What equipment for home use would you recommend for someone with balance issues and leg/hand stiffness as their main issues?

1) Treadmill
2) Stationary Bike


Thanks!




My main issues are poor balance and leg stiffness.
10 Responses
1756321 tn?1547098925
I have both pieces of equipment at home (I don't have any balance leg issues though) and find the exercise bike is far easier on the legs. But just to add, I lost my first 12 kg without any exercise due to cutting out all refined sugar in my diet.  I mainly exercise to get rid of my anxiety.
Avatar universal
Thank you for your reply.

My diet needed an overhaul again and I have done that. I feel the best in general (no relation to symptoms unfortunately) when I eat vegan, so I am back to doing that again. I think the dairy really kills me. I swear I drop a clothing size in a week from bloating alone every time I go back to vegan. I switch vegetarian/vegan a lot due to convenience. I think I just need to stop doing that and do what works for me, even if it is more challenging and expensive.

So the experts say one can lose weight with diet change alone. I have never been able to lose weight without having a clean diet AND strenuous exercise.  

I'm pricing out the machines, and holy cats they are spendy!

1756321 tn?1547098925
I actually also do intermittent fasting (IF). Not that I considered that is what I did since that is how I eat normally but IF has exploded in popularity so I read.

I had to stop eating the sugar of course (had severe insulin resistance and you can't lose weight when insulin is high) but IF does explain why, after decades of severe insulin resistance, I don't have diabetes, my blood glucose is normal, my full lipid panel is optimal, normal blood pressure and no fatty liver!  With severe insulin resistance that has to be a record or something. :)

You could search around at garage sales for bargains on exercise equipment.
987762 tn?1331031553
COMMUNITY LEADER
Every sport i've ever been into required/requires balance, coordination and leg strength, being an ex-gymnast it was just normal for me to continue to do the things i did, after 09 i've had to relearn and keep adjusting to my new normal. My personal expectations of what i can physically do these days, is admittedly a touch delusional lol hmmmm breaking down your goal into small more achievable blocks, really helps both mentally and physically.

I do multiple strength, balance and adapted yoga exercises through out the day, lol I still run rings around my husband and kids in balance, their normal isn't even close to my 'new' normal, they didn't have good balance or coordination to begin with and i was just lucky to of had perfect balance before it all went belly up  lol I wear ankle weights but frustratingly I can't even lift my 'elderly' mother-in-law's weights grrrrrrr :D

One of the biggest learning curves for me has been 'less is more', I still can't seem to get my pea brain to remember, that pseudo's come with repetition and It's better if I stop before the muscle weakness kicks in, I can't stay up right, double splits further, overheating etc, lol hardest thing to work out is knowing when to stop......

I personally wouldn't benefit from the repetition, the exercise bike would probably be safer with your balance issues than a treadmill. You could always ask friends or family if they have one you could try out for a few months, save you heaps if it doesn't work out. Otherwise you could look into second hand ones, ebay is a great source but some places rent out gym equipment or you can buy their ex-rentals to cut the cost down.    

My brother who's into bikes built me a recumbent trike back in June but DH is too freaked at the idea of me using it, just because of my use it and loose it reality. Mentally i am still an athlete but physically not so much now i'm a human string puppet, basically it wasn't until my balance and gate was hit in 09 that i learnt.........'normal' exercise rules no longer apply! lol    
  
Cheers...........JJ
  
1831849 tn?1383231992
Hi ZD -

Both Red Star and JJ give sage advice. I used a combination of better diet and exercise to drop 40 LBS after I was diagnosed.

For me the diet clean up centered around drastically reducing carbs. As to exercise, as JJ said normal exercise rules no longer apply. You may have balance issues. You will likely tire more easily. If you over do it it will ake longer to recover.

My balance issues progessed to the point where I replaced my trweadmill with a recumbant bike. It takes some of the adventure out of exercise :-)

The most important thing is to keep at it!

Kyle
Avatar universal
Thank you all for the replies and great advice.

I think I am going to do the bike. Last few times I was on a treadmill I spent the entire time bouncing from one side rail to the other. I was so afraid I was going to do a face plant.

When I am walking outside, after I get tired/hot I start staggering.This happened all the time when I was running last year, but I thought that happened to everyone who trained for a marathon. It only caused me to train harder and feel worse. Stupid, stupid, I now know this. LOL.

It has gotten to the point where I can just be just standing and randomly fall to the side (always my left or backwards...weird). My husband has become used to just reaching out and grabbing me when I do this.

Like JJ, I think I should still be able to run 10 miles or more. I guess those days are over. I just keep reading these stories about how active some people are and wonder, if they can do it, why can't I?
1831849 tn?1383231992
Hi ZD -

In addition to not measuring your current seld against your former self, it's best not to compare yourself against others as well.

We all have our very own version of MS, so we all have different capabilities. Limitations you may experieince are not due to laziness. They are due to MS.

It is important to respect them, while pushing gebntly up against them :-)

Kyle
667078 tn?1316004535
I have done yoga, swimming. I put an ad on Craigslist and a nice lady gives me riding lessons. Horseback riding is really good for MS.

Alex
Avatar universal
Kyle - thanks for reminding me that I should not compare myself to others....and mostly not comparing myself to the "old me." I never really thought that I shouldn't do that, and you are right. There is a new me.

Alex - I have done the water exercises and swimming and really enjoy that. The wet gyms are so expensive and I have a new job with a horrid commute that leaves me limited time during the weekdays. I do have access to my neighborhood pool in the summer.

I decided to join a 24 hour gym that has cardio equipment and weights and is really inexpensive.There is a branch by home and work.This way I will have a variety and not be spending a ton of money.

Thanks everyone for your help.

10624661 tn?1414904229
Everyone posted really good comments and suggestions. They were beneficial to me as well. I too was a long distance runner until my last half marathon in 2010. I had a gut feeling that I had MS but it took alot longer for a DX. I just started Tysabri as my first MS drug treatment because of the time lapse from the first symptoms until we finally found a Neurologist that really knew what he was doing it was too late for oral meds.

I have a friend that uses one of those pedal machines in her home where she can sit in any chair and just pedal while watching TV or whatever. She has MS and says it has been of great benefit for her. It probably has a more proper name I just don't know what it is.

I am trying not to look back at the old me but it's hard. I too have balance issues and most of the time have to use a cane. My goal is to lose the cane and be independant again.

I wish you all the best and hope that you find a workout that you enjoy and benefit from. Please keep me posted

Momto2andNanato3
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