Multiple Sclerosis Community
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333672 tn?1273796389

MS and exercise

I am naturally inclined to be a lazy bum :) and haven't really tried to exercise seriously for some time. I walk to work (about a half mile each way), but that's about it. So I thought I'd try to walk more. I went for a walk on Saturday (a little over a mile--not that much and at my pace probably not aerobic at all). By the end, my legs were all wobbly and didn't feel like a part of me anymore. I was sort of weaving and hoping that my legs would just hold out until I got home. My feet also get this really raw feeling if I walk for a while.

Apparently, I bit off a bit more than I should have. I felt worse the next few days--especially in the legs--but woke up feeling better today so I worry that it's the walking. On the other hand, for a couple mornings starting on Sunday I also got this band of pressure around my upper arms (which I can't imagine was due to the walking) and I was really tired Friday night (fell asleep watching a movie, which I don't usually do) so maybe feeling worse was totally independent of my exertion.

The last time I tried to take up walking (several years ago), I felt better for a couple weeks and then started to get really tired and totally crashed. I stopped walking, but felt worse for quite some time after that. I am (rationally or not) scared that something like that will happen again.

From what I've read, reasonable exercise is supposed to be a good thing for MS (and my neuro seems to think so, too), but for those of you who exercise, how do you find that balance between babying yourself and overdoing it? I guess exercise is not supposed to be dangerous, but I worry.


PS When I went to pick up my free pedometer the other day (courtesy of the governor of Indiana, who is apparently on a "quest to help Indiana become the healthiest state in the nation"), I got a brochure with a link to a cool website, which uses GoogleMaps to help you figure out how far you've walked: gmap-pedometer *******.
11 Responses
400099 tn?1282958464
my kids want me to walk...of course, none of them live nearby, so they don't see my day to day struggles with MS, or how just walking around the store doing shopping completely wipes me out. I have been looking into something called "yogability", yoga geared to MS patients who have trouble with their legs. For me, taking on walking as a form of exercise is not a possibility. And there's the key, I think. Finding an exercise that works for you.
333672 tn?1273796389
Yeah, I probably do just need to experiment some more.

And isn't it frustrating how people can't see from the outside how difficult things can be sometimes. My husband can see that if I do too much, I got wobbly-legged and trying harder doesn't improve things, but he still can't quite grok how that is.


PS The website above was supposed to end in dotcom
Avatar universal
I don't have MS as a dx (I don't have any dx, lol)...

But I always thought that walking was free, my girls could handle it (they're 19 and autistic, inclined to staying indoors), and I'd see God's Creation as the seasons unfolded. I try to be observant of the world around me and share that with my kids (I also have a son).

Today I tried to walk, and it reminded me of the past years when I'd go out. I just can't do it. I am only 46 but feel like I'm not in shape. And I'm not. But I can't handle a "simple" walk? Granted, it was my first official effort tis year and I live in a hilly area. I was out for 15 minutes, maybe tomorrow pull back to 10 and just pace myself. However right now I feel absolutely drained. And I had a nap earlier!

I don't know that I've helped you; just wanted to share that I too feel overwhelmed after any effort.

228463 tn?1216765121
Hi therre!

You know I was thinking about this today.  I am naturally a hyperactive person so when my sx started last May and I stopped doing 50% of what I used to do I gained 30 lbs.  My friends keep insinuating that I need to excercise because "the more you sit around, the more you want to sit around".  

My problem is that when I start to try to walk I get the same response from my legs that you do.  I have noticed that I can no longer build on what strength I gained yestreday . . . . build a tolerance and be able to excercise longer.  Now, the opposite is true for me.  The more I do today, the less I will be capable of tomorrow.

I am a Limbo Rock girl so have no real answers yet either but just wanted to let you know my legs and your legs must be cousins! LOL!

Take care!
400099 tn?1282958464
My doctor suggests getting into warm - not hot - water, pool and just moving around in the water for 10 minutes will tone the muscles. As soon as I can afford it, I'm going to do it. My physical therapist told me yoga is one of the best possible exercises for MS. My husband, too, doesn't get it. He keeps wanting me to bake him cookies. A simple thing, right? But by the time I make his dinner and clean up, I'm too tired to do anything. He along with others also tell me all I need to do is exercise. My therapist explained to him about MS, but he still doesn't get it. Therapist said, "exercise is good, but it won' fix MS. MS is a brain problem". My husband still doesn't get it. Thick headed Irishman. But, I'll keep him around anyway.
382218 tn?1341185087
I too have gained weight, 20 lbs or so, since being dx'ed.  I am generally pretty sedentary, but much more so since getting sick.  I do have a treadmill, and try to use it a few times a week when I'm not having a relapse.  Pre-dx, I could do about 8kms in an hour; now I can only go for 30 mins or so at a much slower pace.  I often feel worse immediately after exercising, almost flu-like; whereas it used to feel so good.  So far I have not found it makes me any worse the following day.

What is working for me lately are some stretching, strength and balance exercises out of a book by Brad Hamler.  It's called "Exercises for Multiple Sclerosis: A Safe and Effective Program to Fight Fatigue, Build Strength, and Improve Balance."  The author is a fitness professional who has worked for many years with clients with MS.  It is well written, there is some variety in the exercises, and there are photos of all the moves.  He has a lot of info in it about MS as well as fitness.  For the exercises, you need minimal equipment and none at all in many cases.  I got this book on Amazon, it's under $20.

I have found that following a few days of concerted effort with these exercises, my cardio (walking) is less of an effort and I don't feel as lousy afterwards.  

I have never done yoga but have recorded several episodes of "Namaste" and plan to start once this relapse is a little further behind me.

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