1936411 tn?1333831849

Your Favorite Exercises

Hello all:

I'd love to hear some ideas on exercises. I'm finding lately that after a lot of walking, my toosh and thighs really ache - but not so much after riding my bike. I used to do yoga all the time, but my routine includes the cat stretch, which really makes my Lhermitte's scream. I'll probably tweak my yoga routine so I can get back to it, but I wanted to see if you guys have any other suggestions for low-impact exercise that fit especially well on us MS'ers.

I hope everyone is having a good weekend!

- Jane
19 Responses
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1734735 tn?1413778071
Hi Jane,

I have to stick a pillow down my pants to do the bike ride which stops a bit of numb bum, but tonight I took the kids to the tennis court and had a hit. It was fabulous because the kids are only young and can't really hit that well yet. I did get in trouble when they hit the ball more than three steps away but still it was great fun.

I tried swimming in our local heated pool but that was too warm and I felt exhaused afterwards.

The L'Hermittes is a weird condition. I found temporary relief by doing the following exercise before attempting sit ups. Hope it works for you too:


Helpful - 0
987762 tn?1331027953
ROFL Alex, i now have this image of you with a rectangular shaped butt, OKAY I am so not going there! hmmmmmm have you ever thought of getting a gel bike seat cover, save you looking like a twit when you get off the thing lol

I think you get more exercise from a sport than you do from exercising for exercising sake, well I get more out of it and it is probably because of the fun aspect. Water aerobics and swimming seems to be the common activities mentioned on here, i'd be more like drowning though i can still float but i'm sure technically floating doesn't actually count as exercise.lol

Yoga and strengthening the working muscles are my thing, though the yoga is now totally adapted to suit that its hard to pick the yoga part lol what ever works right? This might sound silly but after my last relapse i was having trouble getting up when i fell or even getting up out of a chair so for a while there my exercise was sitting on a kitchen chair and standing up, it strengthened my thighs and my stomach muscles.

My brain just fritz so i'm out of coherant thoughts lol

Helpful - 0
572651 tn?1530999357
Great question, Jane.

There are a number of free videos available through the pharmas for exercise.  Two of the best come from the ActiveMS website, and are a general exercise and a yoga for MS.  Send away for both of those and see what you think.

For me, I do  two wellness classes through work.  "body sculpting" uses light weights, lots of squats, ab work, and working on arm and leg strength.  I adapt the degree of difficulty for me, hang out in the back of the room and enjoy every minute.  This is my third year of doing this - it hasn't helped with weight gain or anything cardiovascular, but I do have good muscle tone and strength.

The other class is Tai Chi, which I absolute love and so does my neuro.  It works so well with focusing balance and energy in different ways and I really benefit from it.  Besides, what could be so bad about slowing down and refocusing energy?  There is also Tai Chi for MS patients available on the web.

Finally, I coordinate a water aerobics/exercise class for PwMS that meets once a week, so I am also in the water. But I would like to do more swimming.

I should note that all of this is possible because it happens right at work, either at noon or immediately at the end of my day.

Exercise in a variety of forms is possible for everyone - it just has to be adapted to your physical abilities.  Even simple arm lifts and foot flexes has benefits for us.

stay active,
Helpful - 0
198419 tn?1360242356
Hi Jane!
Can stretching be considered exercising? If I do it over, and over, hahah

It's my only favorite, but I use to like the bike too - until all my parts decided they didn't like it so much.

My other is walking, though like you I do get stiff and ache, but believe it's because I don't do it enough.

Who else?
Helpful - 0
1382889 tn?1505071193
lol Shell, I hope stretching can be considered exercising b/c I do it all the time.  It always starts out the same, feeling very tight and old but by the time I am finished, I feel so good!

It's after the stretching I do my walking. It just feels so much better to already be loose before I walk.  The stretching also helps with any misc kinks my body works itself through during the walk. By the time I am done w it all, I terrific.

Helpful - 0
755322 tn?1330269114
I do light weights, pilates on reformer and some on the ball for core strength and to address a lot of my spasticity issues. I find i can do a lot more lying on my back than I can upright. :)

I like swimming too for aerobic exercise, but the pool isn't heated her until April. I am going to borrow a friends recumbent trike and give it a whirl. Don't ride a regular bike because my hip flexors are already way too tight so opening the angle might be just the thing. That will get me out of the house too for a change of scenery and some good deep breathing!

Also I do daily stretching especially for my butt muscles which I sit on all day long and are always in spasm. But do all over stretching too. It helps get rid of the pain and stiffness in many areas :)

Tai Chi is one of my favorites but I can only do that on good days when my balance is sufficient for it and my legs are strong enough to be standing for 20-30 minutes it take for my routine. It feels great I think because of the rhythmic breathing.

I hope you find your exercise! Its all personal I think.
Helpful - 0
1831849 tn?1383228392
Once upon a time I could walk great distances, relatively quickly. Now I too get really achy legs. I feels like even my bones hurt.

I have much better luck on a bike as well. I suspect it has to do with weight bearing.
Helpful - 0
1936411 tn?1333831849
Thank you, everyone, for the suggestions. I'll be looking into Tai Chi since it seems to be popular. Alex: Thanks for the Lhermitte's exercise. Shell: Yes, stretching is exercise! I think it's the most important exercise, especially for us! Lulu: I already received a video from Shared Solutions and promptly forgot about it! I'll check it out this week ;) And thanks for turning me on to the ActiveMS site, it looks awesome.

I hope everyone has a wonderful week,
Helpful - 0
620048 tn?1358018235
Great topic, Jane.  It gets me motivated, it never lasts long though.  But I am once again becoming motivated so this is perfect for me.

I used to like walking a lot, I did the gym and worked out with the weights and weight machines too but if I couldnt get there I always had walking.

We have a treadmill right in the living room now and some equipment downstairs. I have no good reason not to use it except that I didnt exercise for so long and when I tried to start up again, i would end up being sick again.

I finally gave up after that round of pneumonia that last for 5 months...but I am back at it again.

Helpful - 0
382218 tn?1341181487
Stretching for a good 20 - 30 minutes in the morning and before bed is the exercise I like best.  I have been trying a little yoga in the morning and enjoy it, esp to work on my balance.  What I like least - but still do - is treadmill.  Like anything that raises my temp, it makes me go numb from my ribcage to my feet, ignites my Lhermitte's, and I get pretty clumsy.  But I have to do it or I would get no adequate cardio.  I speed up or slow down as necessary and about 20 mins in I have to hang on or I fear I'd trip, but that's why the machine is better than being outside doing brisk walking.  When it's not so cold out I walk my dog, but not fast enough to get a real cardio benefit.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
I'm so glad you posted this question. I've been in debate with myself all morning trying to decide if I should go to my kickboxing class tonite. It will be my 1st class since the dx. I'm a bit apprehensive about going b/c I'm not sure if my exercise routine is what led to my symptoms.

I thought about just going to the gym and walking on the treadmill, but then I find myself thinking about what this dx is limiting me from doing. Thanks again for the post.
Helpful - 0
1936411 tn?1333831849
I know what you mean, tippy. I have had similar questions. I *love* a hot shower and I always wonder if I'm doing myself harm. I try not to sit with the hot water pounding on the back of my neck like I used to.

I say go to your class and pay special attention to how your body reacts during and after class. If you start to feel crappy or excessively tired, take a break. Most importantly, pay close attention to the way your body reacts to the workout, and maybe even keep a journal for a while until you are able to connect your workouts to the way you feel. I should do the same... I've been learning a lot about my body since I was diagnosed last month.
Helpful - 0
1981227 tn?1336328438
I know people already said swimming BUT I just wanted to say it again because its a great excerise for me, I was numb from the waist down went swimming and after that my feeling started to come back. I know prob not related to eachother but swimming def helps me feel better and it doesn't ever hurt me :)
Helpful - 0
1396846 tn?1332459510
For me I am just getting into walking. Started out really slow and for about 5 minutes. That was all my body would tolerate. Been at it a few weeks and now I am up to being able to deal with 10 minutes without stopping. Hoping to get to a normal amount of time without stopping if my muscles will cooperate.

I do wall push ups too, just don't have strength to do regular push ups.

Helpful - 0
667078 tn?1316000935
I do yoga, core exercises, walk, swim and ride horses. I had to give up cycling because of falls.

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572651 tn?1530999357
I sure hope you didn't skip your kickboxing.  I did a trial study two years ago that had kickboxing as a dynamic form of exercise for PwMS.  It was great - loved every bit of it.  Please don't start altering how you live because you have this dx- just be smart if something bothers you then adjust your routine.

Helpful - 0
1337734 tn?1336234591
It is important that I stretch several times a day. It helps loosen up the stiffness in my leg. I also ride my exercise recumbent bike 20 minutes a day.I also do strenghtening and balance exercises. The Wii fit balance program is fun!
Helpful - 0
738075 tn?1330575844
Biking, Yoga, kayaking and rafting, walking.  Boosts my mood as well as maintains what strength I have.  

My Yoga practice stretches every muscle group.
Helpful - 0
572651 tn?1530999357
Jane, you can still do the hot shower if you are willing to wait through any side effects you may have from it.  Many of us are heat sensitive - meaning when our core temperature rises because of exercise, hot tubs, and even a hot cup of tea or soup - and that will bring on mini-pseudoexacerbations.  Those mini events are transient and once the body cools, most of the problem goes away.

Despite stories of permanent damage from hot tubs, that is unsubstantiated.  But that hot tub can bring on one doozy of a pseudoexacerbtion.

The overheating distrupts the nerve pathways where there is demyelination.  The signal transmission gets eroded, kind of like how sun spots disrupt transmission of signals from electronic devices.  Once the body cools or the solar eruptions subside, everything returns to normal.  

So try that hot shower and see how you do.  You might be fine, but you also may be stretching out for a while, waiting for your body to return to its new normal.

As for Tai Chi - there is chair Tai Chi which involves the same breathing and some of the moves.  Check it out!
Helpful - 0
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