Multiple Sclerosis Community
9.19k Members
1116556 tn?1345119506

Exercise and MS

Other than yoga (because it bores me to tears), what exercises work really well for people who experience constant pain?  Before my dx, I loved to run and hike.  Now, I live with aching pain in my hips to my heels.  Walking is painful most of the time... I can't imagine putting on my running shoes again.  I'm gaining weight like no one's business, and I'd like to do something about it.  A swimming pool would be fabulous, but unfortunately, I don't have access to one.  Any other suggestions?

Thank you in advance for your suggestions!

7 Responses
Avatar universal
Never done it so not sure what all it uses but maybe kayaking if you have a lake near by or Tai Chi if you are into that kind of thing.  No idea of exercise as it relates to MS, just going off the fact of you hurting from the hips down.  Throwing it out there.
1116556 tn?1345119506
Thanks, Joe.  Kayaking is a great idea!  I actually have a few friends that are very much into it.  I live in AL where lakes are plentiful.  
Avatar universal
I do a very scaled down verson of step aerobics.  I also have pain in my hips and legs and I started out VERY slowly at about 5 minutes just walking in place on the floor.  I have now moved up to a 3 inch high step and some days I even make it an hour.  Other days my legs hurt too bad to even think about trying to do it.  I found a yoga mat under the step helps, and since I also have balance issues, I work out between my bed & dresser so that I have something to hold on to.  I either listen to music, watch tv or even read a book while doing it.  HTH
572651 tn?1531002957
Hi Mayperl,
I've been experimenting with a variety of exercises over the past couple years-

I've done
Tai Chi
Water aerobics/swimming laps
Body sculpting (weight lifting)
personal trainer

I'm fortunate because I can do all of these through work - and many on my lunch hour.

Of these, I would pick water exercise over everything else - its great onthe joints and allows for a cardio workout without over heating.  I'm sorry you don't have a pool close by to work in.  

Tai Chi was my all time favorite and you can probably find an instructional dvd at the library if you want to try it out.  The gentle stretching and flow are great for strengthening muscles and is superb for balance problems.

Body sculpting is really body toning with small weights A lot of the work is for core strengthening, which is something we need.  And I'm developing some pretty good muscles in my arms and legs - which helps in keeping me moving.

Kickboxing is an entirely different joy - it really feels good and I look forward to class.  It is strengthening all parts of my body.

whatever you do, pick something you will enjoy - its easier to keep with it.  

Kayaking would be cool but we don't have the waterways around here. ...

be well,

645800 tn?1466864555
Kayaking is great, have been doing it for years. Well at least I use to, but my balance problems started to interfer with it too much the last couple of years. Basically in a kayak you steer by shifting your weight. But since my sense of being in balance is off I was constantly turning to the right. It also give you upper body a really good work out.

The good news is that a few weeks ago I picked up the Wii Fit Plus which weighs you and checks your balance. When I first got the Wii it showed that when my mind thinks my body is in balance it is actually leaning to the right. So I am useing this to retrain my body for what is really in balance. Each week I have been getting closer to being in balance (though I have to still have to feel like I'm leaning to the left). Another thing I like about the Wii Fit is that each exercise is pretty short and you can make it randomly select exercises so even the yoga is not boring.

I also have a bowflex and recumbant exercise bike. Between these two I get my strength training and cardio workouts without having to kill myself. For the bike I use it in the pulse rate mode to get my heart up to the right level (it adjusts the amount of tension to keep it at the right level automatically). I use the bowflex for my leg exercises in order to keep being able to walk somewhat correctly.


1116556 tn?1345119506
Thank you, Everyone!  

Shocked - After reading your post, I did 10 mins of walking in place and 3 mins on my stepper with the steps taken out.  After months of not exercising, I'm feeling the effects today.  Thank you :)  I can see how this will help me mentally, even on my bad days.  It will help me FEEL like I'm actually doing something... instead of feeling depressed, watching romantic comedies, eating marshmallows and ice cream in my bed - hahahaha!

Lu - Tai Chi.  I've heard a little about that, but never tried it.  I'm a member of netflix so I will look it up and give it a try.  Thanks.

Sailor - OMG I can't believe I didn't think of the Wii fit before.  I've wanted one for so long.  I have the wii - just need the "fit" board.  Thanks for the suggestion!  

I can certainly find variety in these suggestions.  How exciting :)  
634733 tn?1316629592
Just got myself an exercise bike which is great fun and I don't have to make the effort to travel somewhere else and get ready / change clothes when I get there, I just keep it in our spare bedroom and hop on when I get time.

After suffering, like you, for so long with pain in my legs it is nice to move again. I usually listen to my MP3 music at the same time. It has been quite funny as my PT told me to build my heart rate to a certain level and maintain that for a length of time to help with cardio-vascular fitness. I actually found myself laughing out loud when my legs would not go fast enough to get my heart rate up. Increasing the resistance simply meant my legs went even slower

My PT explained that this is the delayed messages from the CNS, I am willing my legs to go faster but it just won't happen.

Good luck whatever you choose.

Have an Answer?
Top Neurology Answerers
987762 tn?1331031553
5265383 tn?1483811956
1756321 tn?1547098925
Queensland, Australia
1780921 tn?1499305393
Queen Creek, AZ
Learn About Top Answerers
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Find out how beta-blocker eye drops show promising results for acute migraine relief.
In this special Missouri Medicine report, doctors examine advances in diagnosis and treatment of this devastating and costly neurodegenerative disease.
Here are 12 simple – and fun! – ways to boost your brainpower.
Discover some of the causes of dizziness and how to treat it.
Discover the common causes of headaches and how to treat headache pain.
Two of the largest studies on Alzheimer’s have yielded new clues about the disease