Exercise, short of medication, is the most important thing a person can do to help control the severity of the MS progression. Applicable here is the old adage, “use it or lose it.” If your body isn’t strong before an exacerbation, it will be in worse shape after. Also, body strength can make a huge difference in the ability to walk, stand, get up after a fall and transferring from one seat to another. Key are arm strength, leg strength and most importantly, trunk strength.
As one of the top MS Neurologists in the US said, “rehab, rehab, rehab!”
So which exercise is best? ALL but most importantly the one or more that will be done on a regular basis.
Swimming is the easiest form of getting body parts to move. Gravity isn’t really a factor. Bodies are weightless in water. Laps, water aerobics, water weights are all good but so is the simple act of holding onto the edge of the pool and fluttering legs and feet.
The important question is, “how do you know when to stop?” The answer can be difficult and varies from person to person. Things to look for are changes in heart rate, vision, strength and the overall ability to move. If any of those things change, feel different or difficult or are just a bit hard, STOP! Sometimes a short rest may help but more often these are signs that it is time to stop exercising, at least for the time being.
The Best Advice Ever: Be very careful and attentive of each movement you make and DON’T BE STUPID.