Many people with multiple sclerosis have been recommended to avoid exercise and physical activity over the years. Often patients can be nervous that symptoms and pain will worsen will over-exertion, or that fatigue will become all the more difficult to manage. In recent years, however, research has proven that regular exercise can bring about positive results over time, improving symptoms of MS.
So, how can exercise play a part in a physical therapy routine? What kinds of physical activity are recommended to improve your health as you manage the symptoms of MS?
This blog outlines how exercise can play a crucial role in improving symptoms of multiple sclerosis, as well as detailing a few forms of activity that are recommended for patients. If you’re looking for personalised physical therapy advice, contact Royal Rehab today.
How Can Exercise Help With MS?
We all understand the positive effects exercise has on overall physical wellbeing. Regular exercise works wonders for the body and mind, and people suffering from multiple sclerosis are no exception to this rule. Whilst many MS patients may be hesitant to risk worsening the symptoms of their conditions any further by exerting themselves, regular and moderate physical activity can improve fitness, strength, and endurance throughout the better.
Research has demonstrated that regular exercise helps the body to grow stronger, more prepared to combat the damaging symptoms of MS over time. Studies have shown improvements across the control of bladder and bowel function, overall mood, mobility, and fatigue.
Benefits of Exercising for MS Patients
Here are just a few other positive changes MS patients have noticed after incorporating an exercise routine into their regular lifestyle:
- Improved flexibility
- Improved range of movement/mobility
- Strengthened muscles
- Strengthen bones
- Increased heart health
- Larger lung capacity
- Improved mental health
- Lessened fatigue
- Improved cognition
- Reduced risk of complications due to MS
What Types of Exercise Work Best?
The most effective exercises for MS are aerobic exercises, progressive strength training, stretching, and water activities.
You don’t have to go overboard – over-exertion or pushing yourself too hard is where you might run the risk of overdoing it for your body. 150 minutes of getting your blood pumping throughout the week will work wonders for your body. Just getting yourself breathing heavily and breaking a sweat can show significant improvement to your overall health in time. Whether it’s walking, jogging, yoga, or swimming, there’s plenty of ways to be building up your health and endurance.
As for improving muscle strength, progressive strength training is a safe and gradual way to build muscle and improve muscle-related MS symptoms including stiffness, tightness, and spasms. Weights and resistance bands are a great way to work up your strength in a safe way, building on the overall endurance of your entire body.
Whatever exercise you decide works best for you, it’s key to be regular and ensure that you do everything in safe moderation.
Our Top Safety Tips
For multiple sclerosis patients, overworking the body can have damaging consequences. Too much exercise can lead to severe fatigue, pain, stiffness, and spasms throughout the body. But this is relatively easy to avoid – the key is to pace yourself and listen to your body. Don’t push it if something feels wrong, and take note of the aftereffects of your workouts.
Some key ways to protect yourself as you begin a new workout routine are: staying hydrated, stretching before and after your workout, taking the time to focus on technique, and doing research into what physical activities may work best for you and your body.
Enquire Today for Exercise Advice
If you’re looking for ways to improve your multiple sclerosis symptoms, you don’t have to do it alone. Working with a team of healthcare professionals can help you find the right physical therapy program or plan that is going to best benefit you.
At Royal Rehab, our top priority is helping you get into the best health we can, and our team is ready to help build a tailored exercise plan for your body. If you’re ready to find the perfect symptom management plan for your MS, contact us today.