MS can affect your strength, balance, and even mobility. But did you know that multiple sclerosis physical exercise can help boost your strength and balance? Physical health is an important part of managing MS. Although there is no cure for this autoimmune condition, you can improve your overall health by exercising and taking care of your body. This article will help you find the best multiple sclerosis physical exercise to strengthen your muscles and boost energy levels.
You can have an optimal quality of life even while living with multiple sclerosis (MS). Let’s dive into some of the facts and tips to help you boost your strength and balance while living with MS.
Understanding MS Better and How It Affects Your Physical Health
MS is a disease that affects the central nervous system. It can cause muscle weakness, fatigue, and balance and coordination impairments. Other symptoms include:
- Limited use of one or both hands (e.g., difficulty holding objects)
- Difficulty walking (e.g., having trouble getting up from a chair)
- Trouble speaking clearly due to slurring or other difficulties with speech
While these symptoms may seem daunting, there are ways to improve physical health and increase strength with multiple sclerosis physical exercise. The first step is understanding how MS affects physical health and what research says about exercise and MS.
How MS Affects Physical Health
When you are diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS), it can be difficult to know where to start since there are many types of exercises helpful for people living with this disease. Some studies suggest that aerobic exercise at least three times per week has improved balance and coordination in people with MS. In some cases, other research shows strength training helps increase muscle tone.
Improve Flexibility and Range of Motion
Flexibility is a good way to increase your range of motion. It’s important that you warm up before exercising. That means doing light activities for about five minutes, like walking around or stretching.
- Flexibility is the ability to move your joints through a full range of motion.
- Stretching is when you use your flexibility to lengthen and open up muscles, tendons, and ligaments to increase your range of motion.
- Warm-up before exercise improves performance by increasing blood flow throughout your body.
If you’ve got MS, your stretching exercises must be safe and effective. A good way to start is by doing a daily warm-up routine. This helps prepare your muscles for the more intense activity ahead of time.
Strengthen Your Muscles
Resistance training should be part and parcel of your routine if you’re working towards strengthening your muscles. Why should you do this exercise? There are two main reasons:
1. To help reduce the risk of falls
Weak muscles can make it difficult to stand up and maintain balance, which puts you at higher risk of falling. For example, if one leg is weak and unstable during an activity, it could cause an injury when trying to walk or run.
In addition, if multiple joints are weak or unstable, those parts will contribute more heavily toward causing injuries and pain in other areas besides just joint pain itself!
2. To increase strength across all joints in the body
This applies to not just localized ones within certain areas like arms or wrists. Every joint throughout our entire body needs strengthening so that we can maintain good posture and prevent injury!
With this, you improve your coordination, especially since most people with MS experience some degree of weakness in their limbs. Often, this makes them less able than normal folks who don’t suffer from any form of neurological disorder like MS.
Maintain Bone Density
One of the most common side effects of MS is bone density loss. This can cause decreased strength and balance and pain in your lower back and hips. To prevent this from happening, you must ensure that your bones are strong enough to support them. The best way to do this is by doing multiple sclerosis physical exercise daily.
Weight training with dumbbells or barbells will help build muscle mass over time. You should also try calisthenics exercises such as push-ups or squats; these will strengthen your core muscles while helping improve balance!
If you are experiencing pain in your lower back and hips, then you may want to try some stretches too. Try curling up on the ground with your knees bent at right angles; keep them there for 10 seconds before relaxing.
Performing these exercises regularly is a great way to help maintain bone density and prevent it from worsening. You can also talk with your doctor about supplements that increase calcium intake.
Address Your Coordination and Balance
If you have MS, keeping your balance and coordination in check is important. This is because even if you can walk without falling or having trouble walking up a flight of stairs, your physical ability may be diminished. If this is the case, there are exercises that can help improve your coordination and balance.
To begin with, find out what kind of exercises are recommended by your doctor or physical therapist. You should also consult them if they have specific recommendations for certain types of exercise or equipment needed to perform them correctly (such as resistance bands).
Once these details have been established, try out some different routines until one becomes comfortable enough for daily use—and then stick with it! Research has shown that balance and coordination can be improved by doing exercises. This is especially true if you do the right kind of exercise regularly, with the correct technique and good form. For example, if you do push-ups every day consistently for, say, eight weeks, you’ll see a significant improvement in your balance.
Multiple Sclerosis Physical Exercise Boosts Energy levels
One of the surest ways to keep your energy levels high is by ensuring that you get enough sleep every night. A balanced diet is also a key factor here, so make sure to eat healthy food and drink plenty of water.
Don’t forget to make exercise a part of your routine by exercising regularly (even if it’s just walking). You will feel better and more energetic after a good workout! Health specialists also encourage taking vitamin B12 supplements if needed to help boost energy levels and ward off fatigue related to MS symptoms like spasms or tremors.
If possible, you could also consider using a standing desk as often as possible. They are great for people who have trouble balancing while sitting down because they help keep their feet flat on the ground while they work, which keeps them stable.
When you can, try and get massages regularly. They can help reduce pain in different areas throughout the body due to circulation issues caused by multiple sclerosis. You could also use weighted blankets at night to help with sleep quality.
Weighted blankets come in different sizes so that everyone gets their personalized comfort level based on their preference. This is important instead of having one fixed weight per person because then everyone with different body weights will benefit from a fitting size.
MS Specific Upper Body Strengthening Exercises
The exercises below are designed to strengthen muscles in the upper body (shoulders, arms, and back) and body. They can be done at home or in the gym, depending on what’s available where you live.
You can do push-ups by planting your hands on the floor and pushing yourself up. Try doing it as fast as possible while maintaining good form.
Bend down until your upper arms parallel the floor, then raise them towards your shoulders in a controlled manner. Repeat each set several times.
Raise one arm above shoulder height while keeping the opposite side of your body still. Raise and lower the arm repeatedly until fatigue sets in, then switch sides and repeat as often as needed until fatigue sets in again.
Lie on your back with both arms extended outwards in front of you while pulling yourself up using only your elbows and forearms. The goal is to develop:
- Speed in the ankles, knees, and hips
Do this while also improving body awareness through visual feedback from an instructor who watches you perform each exercise. This can be done using cones or barriers (sticking out), so there’s no risk of injury if you fall over! You can combine some of the following types of multiple sclerosis physical exercise:
- MS Specific Strengthening Exercises
- MS Specific Balance Exercises
- MS Specific Flexibility Exercises
- MS Specific Coordination Exercises
- MS Specific Speed Exercises
- Agility/Speed Agility (designed to improve your ability to move quickly and smoothly through space)
MS Specific Lower Body Strengthening Exercises
Strengthening exercises for the lower body are especially important for people with multiple sclerosis. The most common lower-body weakness is in the quadriceps or thigh muscles. Generally, the reason for this is that this muscle group is used in everyday activities and often at the same time as walking or running.
Strengthening this muscle group can improve your ability to walk longer distances and with less fatigue, especially if you have multiple sclerosis. It also helps prevent falls by providing greater balance and stability.
A good way to strengthen these muscles is through modified push-ups with a chair or box behind you. This exercise can be performed daily or on alternate days with other activities like walking or gardening.
Walking on uneven surfaces
An uneven surface such as grass or sand can help you work on your balance and strength. This technique is especially useful when there is not enough space to walk on smooth surfaces like concrete.
Running in place
Start by running in place for five minutes at a time, then increase this to 15 minutes over two days. This will help get the blood flowing through your legs and improve circulation.
This exercise strengthens the knee muscles and improves blood circulation in the legs. Start by standing upright with one leg raised in the air while holding onto something solid like a wall or doorway handle with both hands.
MS Specific Balance Exercises
If you have MS, it’s important to maintain your balance. You may be able to walk with a cane or walker, but if you cannot do so easily, consider using a wheelchair or scooter instead. If these options aren’t available, other ways can help:
1. Balance boards
Balance boards can be used by people who have trouble walking. It can help keep you stable as you maneuver around obstacles, preventing falls from occurring.
2. Wobble boards
Wobble boards are similar in design but slightly larger than the standard balance board. They allow users greater freedom of movement because they provide more room within which they can move freely without fear of falling over suddenly! These devices especially come in handy when working out at home!
4 Tips For Multiple Sclerosis Physical Exercise
Fortunately, once you’ve consulted with your primary caregiver, there are a few steps you can take to keep your workouts as safe as possible:
- Start slow and work up to more strenuous workouts.
- Start with just a few minutes of exercise, and work up to 30 minutes.
- Avoid exercising in high heat or humidity. If possible, find an indoor location that’s climate controlled—like a gym or fitness center—and wear loose-fitting clothing to help you stay cool while exercising.
Also, when doing multiple sclerosis physical exercise, ensure your shoes are comfortable. If they don’t fit well enough (for example, if they’re too tight), try using socks instead of shoes, so there’s less friction on your feet during exercise!
- Do exercises that are safe for you as well as fun! For example:
- Jogging around the block can be great because it’s low impact but still gives cardiovascular benefits
- Swimming laps can help increase muscle strength because each stroke requires different muscles than running does
- Yoga poses like downward dog or warrior pose will increase flexibility which means better balance when walking downstairs
There are many different types of MS disease-related conditions that can affect your physical health. The good news is that there are ways to improve your strength and mobility even if you have one of these conditions.
By doing multiple sclerosis physical exercises like yoga, stretching, strength training, or just walking outside, you can become more physically active and reduce stress on your body. This is crucial during unpredictable times when you could benefit most from rest.
Consider a doctor before starting any new program or undertaking any new activity! Try out the Special Strong experience today and enhance your physical and mental health in no time!