Forum

Exercise

Hi, I currently do Pilates twice a week and I love it… The fact I no longer go to the actual gym on the equipment now is that a bad thing? Could cardio make a lot of difference or am I okay just sticking to this. Some weeks I do a Pilates class and a yoga class rather than two Pilates classes. I find on equipment I can only just manage half an hour and then really struggle plus I find it boring. I loved it when I used to run and do a fast workout but as I can’t do that now I just don’t enjoy it. What do you think? X

Hi Lisa,

Have you tried just walking, rather than running? A brisk walk, sufficient to get the heart rate up, is better than no cardio at all.

I can’t do anything high impact like running anymore, but I try to get out for a walk several times a week. I walk briskly enough to get just slightly out-of-breath, and slightly more briskly than is absolutely comfortable. I suppose I walk about as fast as if I were late for an appointment, rather than just an aimless stroll.

Tina

x

I do walk at the gym but get bored there and can only manage ten mins on treadmill but I think treadmill is very false compared to outside if you know what I mean… I will maybe try some walks when weather improves too just not sure how far I can walk without getting into difficulty. I love Pilates and yoga but at the same time if people think I should be trying to fit cardio type exercise in to improve my left leg in particular and to keep as fit as possible then maybe I need to look at that. I probably walk further than I think without realising particularly on a Friday as its my day off, have a three year old to look after and lots to do that day. Thanks hun x

Hi Lisa,

It’s sounds as if you’re already doing more exercise than many here, so I probably wouldn’t put it as strongly as “should”. With MS, I think persevering with some type of exercise is more important than exactly what. I just meant that IF you’re worried you’re not getting enough cardio, walking (rather than running) might be an accessible compromise, for someone with MS. I don’t predict dire consequences if you didn’t do it, though. “Trying to fit it in” to an already busy schedule implies you might already be doing enough.

Tina

x

I was just going to start a thread and then saw this one, so thought I’d jump in seeing as it’s sort of relevant

I go to the gym on a regular basis, and have even employed a PT to put me through my paces.

All in the name of TRYING to maintain a reasonble level of fitness for both every day living, for my hill walking exploits and adventures, and to try tokeep this poxy illness at bay.

It’s becoming an increasing struggle, but I’m absolutely determined not to let ‘IT’ win.

Trouble is, my leg strength doesn’t seem to be improving, in fact it feels like it’s slowly getting worse, regardless of the amount of excercises I put myself through.

I’ve become so embarrasingly slow out in the hills now, that i won’t go with anyone which is a shame, as it would be nice to have someone to accompany me and talk to sometimes.

Am I therefore simply wasting my time efforts and money going to the gym, even though mentally it does seem to keep me in a positive frame of mind?

Is MS finally going to win…over my dead body?

I could positively weep sometimes thinking about it

I don’t think you’re wasting your time. I reckon no matter how poorly you are with exercise, you’ll still be stronger than you would have been without it. No, it’s not a miracle, and it’s not actually going to reverse MS. But I’m sure studies have shown that people who exercise fare better. I’m certainly NOT suggesting anyone can avoid disability, purely through exercise. There’s a limit to how far “mind over matter” will get you. But everyone can make the most of whatever function they still have.

Tina

I worry that giving myself ‘the biffters’ (as I call it) …as much as I physically can…in the gym and on the hills, is doing more harm than good, and actually increasing the speed of this gradual degradation.

I stagger around like ruddy drunk first thing in the mornings now which I certainly didn’t do 3 years ago.

So, do I stop, or carry on?

Trouble is, if I stop, I’ll see that as defeat to ‘IT’, and I don’t actually do defeatism.

Never give up CJ. Just don’t push yourself so much. Just enjoy what you can do. I love going up the mountains. I am going to keep on going for as long as I possibly can. I also love cycling. When my balance was bad I could still go cycling which was brilliant. If you are ever up in North Wales, I’ll go walking with you.

Adrian

Although overdoing it can increase fatigue, I’ve not personally seen any evidence keeping active accelerates disability - quite the opposite. So it may be making you feel more tired, but I doubt it’s speeding up the progression. Would you have a better quality of life, though, if you compromised a bit, and didn’t get so tired so often?

I don’t think fatigue and progression are equivalent at all, but if you’re always pushing yourself to the point of fatigue, perhaps you haven’t got the balance quite right?

Tina

My neurophysio says do whatever modest but regular cardio I can (indoor ski-er in my case) because that is just so good for general fitness alongside the pilates that she says is so very helpful for MS-ers.

Alison

On boredom, an iPod makes all the difference.

A

Tamworth bu any chance?

Cracking sport, and it doesn’t seem to clash with my symptoms either for soma strange reason.

Tamworth bu any chance?

Cracking sport, and it doesn’t seem to clash with my symptoms either for soma strange reason.

Sorry.

Seem to have clicked on ‘post’ twice^^^, and yes, I need a new keyboard too.

I try and get up Snowdon at least once a year, but I always dread the after effects the walk will undoubtably have on me.

It’s not so much the going up either, it’s the coming down that seems to completely batter my weakened legs, (left mainly) and I end up virtually crawling the last couple of miles with the sheer and utter exhausation which then seems to last for many days after too…

It’s SO frustrating, and if no one’s around, I usually end up having a right ole nark with myself…outloud.

Colin

It is an ancient Nordic Track one that we have had for about 20 years. They don’t make them any more and it is getting harder to replace parts, I’m afraid. Ever so good though, because you don’t have to lift your foot up, which is the thing that so many of us struggle to do - just slide back and forward, which is OK, and it is good for arms and shoulders too. Great exercise, and you can balance a book on it with a bit of ingenuity and a good rubber band. Perfect.

A

Strange, I’m not half so ambitious as you, but do try to get out and about on walks, and I was saying just the same to a friend, only the other day.

We were talking about whether or not to go on a particular walk, and she said: “This one may be hilly; is it OK for you?”

I said it wasn’t the hills themselves that were the problem, but that it would depend “which way”. Like you, I said I’d be OK getting up there, but was worried about getting down, especially if it was wet, and hence slippery.

The description of one walk, which otherwise sounded delightful, said: “Contains one particularly steep descent.” That was enough to put me off that one. If it had just said “hilly”, I’d have made the judgement I’d be OK with it, but “a particularly steep descent” is not OK, for some reason, even though theory tells us it’s less effort. I think the problem with me is not the energy cost, but balance/uncertainty of footing. I’d be worried I’d end up sliding or rolling down the steep descent, instead of walking it - definitely an unwanted outcome.

And I can’t enjoy the walk properly, if I’m worried I’m going to fall. Even though I haven’t so far, and I’ve been on walks where people have! I’ve never been on one where anyone got seriously hurt. They just picked themselves up, brushed themselves off, and carried on. So if I did go over, I wouldn’t be the first. But it’s partly the embarrassment factor, and partly the fear I mightn’t be so lucky as the ones who didn’t get hurt.

Getting muddy is one thing - I’ve got a washing machine. But arriving home with a leg in plaster is quite another - there’s nobody here to look after me, and I wouldn’t be able to manage.

Tina

x

What sort of region of N.Wales do you reside?

Spend many hours walking up Moel Fammau if that helps?

Not too long, not too short, but you can follow certain routes that can increase the distance and severity of the climbing if you wish.

6 miles and I’ve usually had enough, which is pitiful compared to how it was pre MS days.

I time myself and have noticed an increase in the length of time it’s taking me on certain routes now due to my weaker leg I reckon.

Hi all, good to hear you are still keeping active. My fell walking and running days are long behind me now I am afraid as I’m now in a wheelchair but I am about to start wheelchair basketball with my local club as I’ve been concerned about my cardio fitness and have felt less myself with the lack of heart pumping exercise so I’m hoping that this will be up my street! How I get on any given week will depend on my fatigue and pain levels but it’ll be good to be part of a sports team again and I’m looking forward to the endorphins flowing! So even if MS does alter the way you have to do things you love there is always something else just around the corner you can do instead.

In the meantime keep enjoying those hills you lucky things!

Max x

Cardio vascular exercise is as important for people with MS as it is for people without it. If your legs won’t cooperate then there are always hand cycles. There are also exercise bikes on the market that give a bit of help with a motor to help with recalcitrant legs or arms. I’ve seen quite severely disabled people using these.

It’s good to hear of so many people doing what they can, whatever way they can.