Exercise ideas

Hi everybody I have just registered so I’m a newbie. I was diagnosed with RRMS a little over a year ago and its being rather tricky adapting to life with it like everybody else. I would like to ask for some help because I want to do some endurance / aerobic exercise but I have foot drop and after 20 minutes of exercise involving my legs my left leg drops and I can’t really move it! I wondered if any kind hearted fellow MS person could suggest a fun exercise I could do to tax my body. I get really fed up of doing squats at home and would like to go swimming or running. Unfortuntaely running is just a no go with my foot drop but would be very grateful if someone could advise if swimming would be okay and if I would get foot drop after 20 mins. I remember my neurologist saying that what happens is my body overheats and nerves start misfiring. I wondered if being in a swimming pool would cool me down and prevent the foot drop from happening? Or is there another exercise that is appropriate? Or a trick to help the foot drop. It takes about 30 mins rest for my leg to start working normally again. Thank you for taking the time to read this and I wish everyone every success in managing their MS. I know it can be hard. Aside from my question I would recommend looking into what Dr Alessio Fassano says about autoimmune disease. I imagine many on here have. It it gave me some hope for the future. Thank you :slight_smile:

I can’t directly comment because I don’t have foot drop but I seem to remember reading some where (I think on here) that people with drop were often able to cycle quite successfully. May be something to look at.

Swimming is lovely and well worth a try. Now, I cannot say what it would do to your foot drop. For myself, I have to say that the weak leg, tired out by the swimming makes the few yards uphill getting to the car park afterwards a little challenging - I can end up going round in small circles a bit (I am sure you know what I mean by that). But for good general exercise that doesn’t rely on the bits that don’t work so well and that gets things moving without overheating, swimming is hard to beat. I haven’t been so well this past few weeks and swimming has been out of the question, but I long to get back to it because it makes me feel so much better in myself. Ridiculously tired too, but that doesn’t matter because I don’t have to go to work any more so can take my time recovering, but it is worth it.

Good luck.


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I too enjoy swimming and I also have a cross trainer…had it pre ms as I don’t mind running but road running kills my knees!

Its good…makes my muscles in my legs feel good, makes the heart pump…,.,just plug in my music and away I go!

Exercise bike also good, doesn’t involve battling with busy traffic as I think that would scare me with my balance…

I am not lying down and taking this diagnosis, I am hitting it being fit and healthy…I AM HAVING THE LAST LAUGH…

Roobs x

Roobs, what did you do to make your trainer cross?

Soz for that silly effort at being witty, but I am in a silly mood today!

Anyroad, SOCK2017…dunno of AD is miffed as hes looking for a new username and Ill bet he wouldve loved yours!

Anyroad again…re swimming. I used to go regularly and found I could still swim long after I`d become unable to walk!

And I was badly affected by foot drop when walking.

Best thing to do is give it a go and see.

Then yes, cycling would work too as long as you have the foot strapped to the pedal.


Probably me just getting on it makes it slightly annoyed…

Sorry you can’t swim anymore Poll, I find swimming the best thing ever…no matter how bad I feel physically or emotionally it just calms me and clears it all away! Weird, no pain, no fog, no socks or anything!

Maybe AD could look for sock in an alternative language…friends of mine Swedish…strumpa is the word for sock…

Socke is German…Chaussette in French…

or maybe something Shakespearean as that inspires him rather than Albrecht Durer, who appears to be a painter/artist?

Roobs x

Mr Motivator is my Guru, see https://support.mstrust.org.uk/shop?prodid=245 its free and he is brilliant!


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I would just like to thank you for some cool exercise ideas. Im going to give the cycling and swimming a go! Will let you know how I get on. A number of the posts have lifted my spirit and made me smile so thank you :slight_smile:

Have you considered FES for your footdrop? I started using one ten years ago and I doubt I’d still be walking without it. I can’t run any more but love being able to go for a walk. I’ve never been a swimmer but I did try a while ago, I ended up going across the pool diagonally because of the weak leg. I got out in the end because I’m sure the lifeguard must have thought that I’d been drinking!

I also do pilates and find that really helps with balance and core strength. My physio kept telling me to do it and I kept resisting because it didn’t seem like a ‘proper’ exercise but I was really wrong and wish I’d started it years before!

I have foot drop and now wear an ankle support strap and it really helps. I can walk for about an hour now and go to the Gym twice a week.

I have foot drop and a neuro-physiotherapist gave me an ankle support which seems to reduce the pain I suffer when walking. She also referred me to an FES clinic. You may find, as I did, that you can’t manage a walking FES unit straight away and have to use one while sitting to help strengthen your ankle muscles. You may also find that there’s a long waiting list for FES treatment, so ask your GP for a referral to a neuro-physiotherapist or FES clinic ASAP.

Regarding exercise, Mr Motivator is available on YouTube. Search for Mr Motivator’s Move It for MS. The exercise programme is broken down into segments of about 10 -15 minutes, so you choose how long you exercise. Each segment is labeled - Warm Up, Sitting, etc. - so you can pick the exercises that seem most relevant to your situation. You could try swimming as the water supports you and helps to stop you overheating. I don’t know how it would affect your foot drop. An exercise bike could also be a good idea.

I have foot drop. Unfortunately the FES didn’t work for me but I’ve used a SAFO for 10 years and it’s been great.

For exercise, I used to walk in the water and when my boys were with me we used to run in the water.

I’m a danger mainly to myself on a normal bike, so I got a static bike a few years ago. It’s been great as I can still do something from an exercise point of view.

I would recommend trying anything and everything and see what you like and what you don’t and what you can and can’t do. Doing some sort of exercise is important though.


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Thank you for the ideas and so will give a few exercise ideas a go and will let you all know how I get on. Sock :slight_smile:

Hi guys, just had a go on an exercise bike for 15 minutes and experienced no issues caused by foot drop. When I got off the bike, I definitely had.foot drop pretty badly (for me) so seems I can cycle with foot drop. I will be giving it a few more goes and for a longer duration to be sure. THANK YOU!! I will give swimming a go too. :slight_smile:

Go to a gym and use the leg press, put your toes at the bottom of the plate and stretch your legs out so they

are straight keep them locked and tip toe up and down5 to 10 times and on 5 or 10 depending how weak you are

hold streched and tip toed for 30 sec. repeat for weeks and add a 1 weight each time when it’s easy

after 3 months foot drop should have gone. Least it did with me and I’m still rrms highly active.

This is what a leg press looks like and you can use it the usual way as in up and down bending legs

and not to locking knees point to strenghten legs

Monte, I’m going to be a bore here and say that I do not think that any amount of strengthening exercise is going to really fix a specific deficit caused by permanent MS damage (as opposed to a relapse that is still gradually healing) any more than pressing really hard on the accelerator will make the car go if the tank is empty.

However, I do completely agree that strengthening and general exercise can help in all sorts of unexpected ways by making the bits that do work work better and sometimes finding workarounds that compensate (to some degree at least) for the parts that just don’t work and never will.

Having started to do a bit more regular exercise the past 6 months or so, I have been surprised to find slight improvements (in walking range in particular) that I just had not thought were there to be found. Nothing dramatic, alas, but any improvement at all is a blessing. Exercise is a wonderful thing and being well enough to do it is a blessing in itself.



Im currently going through a MS diagnosis - not confirmed yet.

But I had drop foot - was a runner but like you say that has had to stop. I have been involved in fitness most of my life - taking part and teaching so not being able to exercise is not an option for me and at the moment with some modifications I can still do quite a lot.

So no running

can manage walks of about 4 miles if I use my walking poles.

weights - very important to keep the muscle/joints strong

spinning - is my way to get my to get my cardio exercise - not going to lose balance on a stationary bike - and can work to own pace. Classes that involve a lot of resistance are the best. Classes that a low resistance and faster legs are struggle more with. I do get muscle tremors occasionally but i just have ease off then and i do limp a bit when i first get off the bike.

Yoga - im finding my muscles are tightening up from not doing as much so I will do a yoga or stretch class every other day. Yes if they do balance stuff in yoga I have to hold on to the wall.

Cool!I will definitely look into spinning - like the idea I want to get the heart pumping

Well if your RRMS it does work using leg press also weights and machines, my whole left side is week started gym and weights was just 40 pounds after 3 years I went up to 140 pounds doing arm curls etc and chest press. It can also help with fatigue if you stay at home it lasts all day goto the gym and after 15 mins it goes. Unless you try and keep it up for 3 months minimum you will never know. Talking or complaining about it is not going to help so as Nike would say Just Do It!

Oh and yes you need a DMD like Gilenya to calm da MS down.

Hello All,

I do exercises in the mornings and at night find it helps don’t go to gym find it easier in the home, keeping it up can be a chore have static exercise bike.

Still work full time have electric scooter at work to help me to get around, I have acupuncture and visit the chiropractor do as much as I can but not an easy task.