to exercise or not to exercise

New Topic Post Reply Printable Version
[ << Previous Thread | Next Thread >> ]

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2004
Total Posts : 274
   Posted 2/17/2009 2:42 PM (GMT -6)   
have heard tales saying to exercise for ms to keep muscles loose, and not to exercise because spasticity may increase. which is it? want to hear about experiences of others with various types of exercise.. from active like aerobics, weight training to more passive including yoga. does any of it work? linda

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 2146
   Posted 2/17/2009 3:43 PM (GMT -6)   
Hey Linda

Exercise is GREAT for anyone, esp those with ms. Consider swimming or any sort of water exercising if that's an option. Before doing any new regime tho, please consult with a Physical Therapist. MS is a particular creature. Where some exercises can be great for u'r body in non-ms people, those same movements can be very hard or wrong for ms'ers if dealing with spasicity for example. Call ur' doc or local wellness center and just run things by them at the least. At most, go into a gym and be evaluated and given a set of movements that are planned for u. Take care to be safe with this Linda. A dear friend of mine has ms and we were recently discussing a spasm she was dealing with. I told her to get up and walk it off, but reconsidered that advice after thinking about it. With's a nerve message making that muscle contract. Walking it off won't make that nerve stop sending that message. So walking it off could possibly do damage. That's just one example of where a PT could offer u support and get u in the right place for u'r specific needs. Let us know how u'r doing on this.
Co-Moderator, MS Forum
*~*Sometimes the Lord calms the storm. Sometimes He lets the storm rage and calms His child.*~*
Things that make u go hummmm......
*I wonder how much deeper the ocean would be without sponges.*
*One day without sunshine is*

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 75
   Posted 2/17/2009 5:20 PM (GMT -6)   
Linda I am one of those people who is confused about exercise also. My doctor told me to take it easy and don't do as much because I don't have energy. I even have a wheelchair sign for my car so I don't have to walk across a parking lot, so I don't get fatigued. I must rest was her exact words. but after I seen the doctor I went and saw a physiotherapist, and was told by her to exercise. I am very confused and will be talking to my doctor about it when I see her again.

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 114
   Posted 2/17/2009 5:54 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi there, you just got some very good advice and I cant add much to it other than to say I was teaching aerobics up to about a year ago and was having balance issues. I am not back to teaching yet but plan to be soon. I continue to lift free weights on good days, but then again low reps and low weight.

The best advice i have is exactly what Rhonda said. Ask your Dr. what he feels you should do. Perhaps your Physical Therpist can direct you to. On days when my spasitity is poor, I just dont exercise. Energy is also an issue for me, but I am determined to push through it to workout. But....thats me. Some days, nope...I need to nap instead. You need to learn to listen to your body. Thats what many told me when I first came in here for advise. Now I recognize better when is a good time of day to exercise, push or not push myself.

ANOTHER SUGGESTION: Have you ever considered chair exercises? The local YMCA usually have a class called 'Silver Sneakers' and all the exercise is done in a chair. It is awesome!!!!!!!! Especially for those who are wheelchair bond or recovering from surgeries, etc. Do a google check and type in SILVER SNEAKERS. You may find a club near you that has a class like that or maybe can order the DVD to do it in the privacy of your own home? I dont know, just a thought.

Everyone has different levels of the disability that comes w/ MS so its hard to compare. We are all different. I wish you the best. Dont give up. Exercise is, for the most part very good for us, MS or not. Good luck and let us know how your getting long. Hugs~Kate

Diagnosed w/MS~2008
Diagnosed w/Celiac 2009
Casein allergy~since forever

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 3571
   Posted 2/17/2009 7:10 PM (GMT -6)   

I am by no means an expert, but for me, exercise is critical.  I am sure there are risks with exercise but I would think the benefits far out weigh those risks.  Any sort of cardio reduces inflammation throughout the body.  Strength training keeps those muscles still getting nerve signals strong.  If you are worried about spasticity then certainly talk to your doctor and find stretches to minimize that. 

When I don't keep up with my exercises, I find everything suffers.  My fatigue increases, my mental health definitely suffers (more stress, less capable of dealing with life's ups and downs), I have an increase in MS symptoms.  I get lazy like everyone does but I try to do a little something everyday even if all I do is some stretching.  Most days I am on the eliptical or walking.  I really want to add some strength training but I have yet to work it into the schedule. 

Gretchen       co-moderator MS board       diagnosed with MS July 2006
I have no lesions on my soul and so I will live with no limits.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 108
   Posted 2/18/2009 11:12 AM (GMT -6)   
I also agree, exercise is very important. I own a really nice stationary bike and also a knockoff of the Bowflex. I have just recently strarted to ride the bike again for about 5-10 min. then I do like workout on the Bowflex. I have to say that after a week or so of sticking to regimen. I feel alot better physically. My physical therapist said that it was a good thing as long as I wasn't over doing it. But don't get me wrong, I still have my bad and very bad day's where even thinking about working out makes me hurt.
Good luck.

Motown John
Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 475
   Posted 2/18/2009 4:13 PM (GMT -6)   
Regarding exercising....thumbs up!!!!
One of the best things I did post MSdx in 1987...#1 was to marry my sweetie in 1988...
Then....I attended the Heuga Center program in 1990....
Founded by former Olympic medalast (bronze, 1964 slalom skiing) , it is a five day program of VERY light exercise....
Along with much informational talks about all that is MS.
Check it out at
And read testimonials.....John
DX'ed June 21st, 1987

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 271
   Posted 2/18/2009 10:13 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Linda,

I am totally in agreement with Gretchen. I think exercise is essential. Do as much as you can of whatever you find helpful. And try to never stop. For years I controlled the spasticity with exercises (some I found in a book written by a lady with MS, sorry I cannot remember the name). Not a lot but some every day. Then I was told to stop & that the exercises were increasing the spasms. OK, I thought, I will stop for 2 weeks & see. Well, stopping exercising did NOT help the spasms & in that short time the spasticity increased so much I could not start exercising again.

Then I went into a downward spiral for two years with the spasticity just increasing all the time. The worse the spasticity the less exercise I could do, the worse the pain became, it was a viscious circle. As the spasticity increased so did the pain until I had pain beyond 10/10 virtually continuously. Then I got a baclofen pump – now no pain and much less spasticity. It is miraculous. I have my life back. I am able to exercise again & I find that it definitely helps the weakness that can be a side effect of baclofen.

Exercise also helps the balance – I use the balance games on Wii fit for this. I also have a stepper (good to use when you are on the phone) a cross trainer (I read while I am doing this) for some aerobic stuff & some exercises from the MS physio for the core (a stronger core helps the walking). A swiss ball is good for this & then you can sit on it when you are at the computer or watching TV. As you can see I find the best way for me to exercise is to build it into my life. Stops the boredom & the fatigue. I practice standing on one leg at the sink or walking down stairs correctly. Weights you strap around the ankles can help if your walking is deteriorating.

I found it interesting that when I was in hospital having the pump implanted a 24 year old came in with pain down her whole right side. She did not get any help from any meds. At first they thought she had MS then they dxd chronic pain syndrome triggered by a fall. What did the drs prescribe – exercise!!! Took a couple of months & she came good.

Heat is a problem where I live so I try to exercise early when it is still cool or indoors with the air con/fan. What seemed to help that dreadful fatigue for me was trying to eat as well as possible - lots of fresh fruit, vegies & low fat protein. Organic, if possible. Sorry, such a long post but I kept thinking of new things, I hope some of it helps. smilewinkgrin smilewinkgrin
Have had relapsing/remitting MS since 10 yrs old. Secondary/progressive since 1995.
Row, row, row your boat gently down the stream
Merrily , merrily, merrily, life is but a dream

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 3571
   Posted 2/18/2009 10:35 PM (GMT -6)   
Speaking of heat. The more fit I am, more tolerant of heat I am. I am still sensitive but I can stand it longer even at 85 plus. So, get going!!!
Gretchen       co-moderator MS board       diagnosed with MS July 2006
I have no lesions on my soul and so I will live with no limits.

New Topic Post Reply Printable Version
Forum Information
Currently it is Thursday, September 20, 2018 7:34 PM (GMT -6)
There are a total of 3,005,265 posts in 329,206 threads.
View Active Threads

Who's Online
This forum has 161767 registered members. Please welcome our newest member, Titanium-Girl.
294 Guest(s), 13 Registered Member(s) are currently online.  Details
SoMuchFun, Titanium-Girl, mattamx, sebreg, Girlie, Yellow19, Pratoman, Sunflowergrl, 18yearsandcounting, CassandraLee, Cajun Jeff, trumpet123, halbert