Exercise with MS


Before MS I was not much of an exerciser, but all the science (and common sense) tells us that keeping our bodies in the best shape we can is something all of us should make time for. With a chronic illness that affects both our mobility and energy levels, it is both harder and more important.

There are lots of resources for those less able to get into exercise, or who might be a bit daunted by the whole idea – here are some places to start:

  • Get some inspiration…
  • Check out the local facilities…
    • Swimming is fantastic exercise, if there is a pool nearby. The water bears your weight so you can move in water in ways that just aren’t possible “dryside”. And for those who suffer with heat, the coolness of the water will be a treat!
      I am lucky enough to live near a community facility that really takes pains to be accessible to those with particular needs, too.
    • Don’t be scared of the local gym!
      • A community facility can be very friendly, welcoming, and genuinely helpful. An instructor will show you what machines to use and how, no matter how out of shape you think you are. They want to help – my local community gym is lovely and I never feel judged, no matter what mobility aids I am using while there.
      • If you’re still worried, see if you are lucky to live near a gym certified by the Inclusive Fitness Initiative. There aren’t many of these outside large cities, so even if you can’t get to one, a local gym is still worth checking out!
      • Take a friend or carer with you to help calm any nerves.
  • Go online…
    • I am a big fan of The MS Gym, which is on YouTube and Facebook. Exercise videos and motivation specifically tailored to people with MS.
    • Active MS-ers is a website worth checking out for information and inspiration.  You can also find it on Facebook and Twitter!
    • Try yoga videos on YouTube. I got into yoga via Yoga with Adrienne using the 30 Days of Yoga playlist. Although MS restricts my ability to do some of the sequences, I can still try and join in as much as I can! There are heaps of other yoga YouTubers who might suit you too, and videos with a specific MS slant.
  • Your own GP, physiotherapist  or MS nurse may also be able to help with ideas and support to get you moving. The NHS loves it when we exercise!
    • This NHS page has advice on how to get active as a disabled person.
    • If you can jog, even if you can’t manage more than a minute without stopping, consider the NHS Couch to 5K programme. You don’t have to be in a hurry to step up from week to week if you need a little more time. (You may even find that, against all expectation, you rather like running!)