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Home exercise equipment

Hey folks, how are you’s all? I’m looking to buy some sort of exercise kit for use at home. I do have a council run gym membership but I stopped going last year. It’s always really busy and not even that big either so sometimes you’re left waiting to get onto a bike or whatever. There is another gym - Bannatynes (presuming there’s one in all of your towns/cities?) but it’s a bit pricey now I’m not working. I can also get quite paranoid working out in a room full of fit and abled bodies. It can get a bit intimidating almost, struggling to get my leg over the bike seat with the person directly opposite me furiously pedalling away like he’s training for the Tour de France! My legs are getting really bad but I’m conscious of the ‘don’t use it, you lose it’ theory so I’ve been looking at home equipment I could use instead. I’m just wondering if anyone has any themselves, and if so, what type are you using? Rowing machines are a definate no no. I struggle to get down that low (unless I hit the deck falling like a sack of spuds!) and struggle equally, if not more, trying to get back up. I’m swithering (is that even a word?) between an exercise bike or a cross trainer. I want something to target my legs and core cos I’m starting to fold forward when I’m upright and it’s obviously more so when I’m tired. You know that way it’s like there’s a rope attached to your head and someone’s pulling it down so you fold forward at the waist? That probably doesn’t make any sense… Anyhoo… Does anyone have any experience or knowledge of home exercise stuff they wouldn’t mind sharing with me? My plan is to get said equipment and I can work out while watching the telly… Sorted :wink:

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Hiya. I saw a physio when I first got ill who told me I needed to strengthen my core muscles and she encouraged me to get a gym ball. That has been really good and my posture and balance have improved a great deal with it. Even just sitting and gently bouncing on it in front of the telly works your leg muscles and does wonders for your posture. If it’s something you fancy trying, give me a nudge and I’ll describe as best I can the exercises I was given.

I’ve also got a wide elastic strap I use to exercise my arms. I can’t remember what it’s called but you can buy them in most shops with exercise things like yoga mats. Neither of these are expensive and yet have been really effective for me.

I’m now looking at exercise bikes for an aerobic workout on the recommendation of the physio I’ve just seen. She’s really pleased with how I’ve progressed though and says I’ll be safest on a bike. Hope this helps, I suppose you just need to see what areas you need to target but according to the Neuro physio’s our main target areas are usually core and cardio.

I’m interested in seeing ideas from others too. Take care.

Cath xx

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There are lots of exercises you can do at home that don’t need equipment and this is a good place to start -

http://www.mstrust.org.uk/information/exercises/index_exercises.jsp

The elastic straps that Cath mentions are called therabands and are an excellent idea. They are graded in strength by colour and easily available from Amazon.

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When I was using a gym to build myself up after my cancer and before the MS kicked in, I had a personal trainer who was a therapeutic physio. He did help a lot. Strangely, I didn’t feel intimidated by all the gym bunnies. There were plenty of other people of ‘a certain age’ there too, and it just seemed cool for all ages to be there, whether they were training for triathlons or just doing a bit to stay healthy. There were several other therapeutic cases too. Of course, I paid the trainer privately, on top of the gym membership, so it’s not a cheap option. Have you been referred to physiotherapy? I now have a Theratrainer (Google Medicotech) but again it’s very expensive. It is passive/active, so the pedals take me round and I can push the little bit I can, or just let it move my muscles around. I sit in my wheelchair to use it. It a also has upper body exercising, the rotating handles you grind round with your hands/arms. That gives me some aerobic activity. Of course, I’m not disciplined enough to use it as much as I should!

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I have a theraband that my neuro physio gave me, along with specific excersises. Your MS nurse can arrange for you to see a neuro physio and they will tell you what is most suitable for you. Nina x

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I do some exercises set by my physio most days - the current set use a gym ball, the original set didn’t, but they’re all aimed at strengthening my core muscles and improving my balance.

For general fitness, we have both an exercise bike and a cross trainer, courtesy of my husband. I find the bike a bit uncomfortable due to the shape of the saddle, but the cross trainer is so easy to use and even with my balance I don’t feel at risk of falling off because once I’m on, I don’t lift my feet at all. I suspect the cross trainer works more muscle groups and gives a better overall workout but ultimately it has to come down to which equipment will fit in the space you have available and which will you actually use?

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I’ve just bitten the bullet and taken out membership at a local swimming pool. It’s not a cheap outlay but is a good deal over the 6 month period. I’m reeling with shock at how weak I’ve become. It’s no Olympic sized pool and I’m breathless and shattered after a lap so it’s very slow going but I’m determined to keep at it and I’ve ordered dumbbells to use in the water so I’ll continue with the exercises I was given during my stint in hydrotherapy. Who knows I could be a sports model one day! But for now the ability to do 2 laps without drowning will have to be a more realistic target! Take care.

Cath xx

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I got my bike off E-Bay and find it a great help, put some headphones on with some music, you might even enjoy it

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For indoor workout, I have my exercise bike. This is the best choice if you want to indulge in daily exercise with a less risk of injury. You can increase your time with exercise bike to obtain the best fat burning benefits.

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Hya, I do the exercises that the pysio taught me… not every day as my fatigue levels are very bad… but whenever I can.

Outside my flat is a long corridor with handrail (sheltered housing) and I try to walk up and down that every day… but in actual fact it’s probably a few times a week.

I think the main thing is to keep the legs working so we have to try and keep those muscles strong. When watching TV I try to do the feet and calf exercises… you know up and down and round and round. It all helps.

My arm muscles seem to be very strong and I think it’s from using my arms to sit down and get up all the time. Got good biceps for the first time in my life!

BTW on Amazon recently I saw they have DVD’s to watch when using exercise machine… called ‘virtual walks’… there’s beach walks, mountain walks etc. They are a bit pricey though at nearly £18 each.

Pat xx

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I was thinking about an exercise bike but an old fashioned normal one… I’d be scared to try a spin bike in case I broke something! I’m hoping it’ll help to keep my ‘heavy’ leg active

Sonia x

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I have a big exercise ball Heather puts my legs on it and pushes it towards me I do sort of squats in the bathroom using the handrails. Having read about the big elastic bands Heather is on a mission to see if I can get the local if not ebay or Amazzon

Don

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can you get a referal to see a neuro physio, i had a 6 week course with one, and she told me what i needed to do to strengthen my core… i also have an exercise bike i try to go on for 5 minutes twice a day… i have just got an exercise ball too…and i do the pilates exercises when i can too… think they help me…

i have also just lost 1 stone and 4lbs with slimming world and feel better for it, i can move better…if a bike is out of the question,you can get a peddler that you can use sat down… they look good,they can be used for arms or legs…

J x

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I’ve just finished a six week course with my Neuro Physio, I self referred, I believe all MS ers can do this. If you don’t know where to ring or are unsure of self referral ask your MS Nurse she should explain the procedure.

I have a list of daily exercises, got to be honest I don’t do them every day, if I have been out I don’t have the energy. It all seems so easy when the physio is showing you what to do till you get home and have a list of about fifteen exercises each of them to be repeated five or ten times. I’ve never been a keep fit junkie I wait with anticipation for the rush of pleasure exercise gives others I’m also doing a Fatigue Management course, which tells me little and often is better than trying to do everything in one go, I just need to put it in practice

They are also signing me up for exercise classes for people with Neuro conditions, after Christmas I think…hope…

Can you tell I’m having a bad week.

Jan x

PS Well done for the weight loss MrsJ

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Yeah, exercise balls are a good idea. I would also recommend swimming, if you have a pool near you. It’s meant to be the best form of exercise for anyone, but particularly good for ms folk who struggle with balance. I often enjoy just walking up and down our local pool as it is the only time I can walk without worrying about bumping into someone or tripping over.

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Libertine HI !

Reading your post I just HAD to tell you about the fantastic bit of kit I use

Its called an Ijoy twist, do you tube it, I can honestly say this machine WORKS! I showed it to a Physio and she was really impressed. I do three quarters of an hour on it at speed 3 while watching Loose Women gabble on!!

It mimmicks power walking without using your legs and targets core back and inner thigh

The Ijoy is actually good fun but like all equipment it has to be used and regularly

after 4 days you can really feel your core working and you DO lose weight its fantastic, I cannot praise this gadget enough,

Ive even purchased another from Ebay incase my other goes wrong! they do come up on ebay, you will probably be able to pick one up used for £80.00 (400 odd new)

Have a nose on the web and let me know what you think wont you xxx

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Morning Libertine!

Did you look at the IJoy Twist?? I cannot praise this machine enough whether you are disabled or not!

we MSER’s NEED our core muscles it is vitally important, it s fun and it really does work your core inner thigh and back

you notice the difference even after three days, speed three for threequarters of an hour REALLY makes a difference, advise speed two to start with!!!

I have PP use crutches and a scooter, have no balance when standing, I could not be without this machine but like all equipment it needs to be used and not left as a clothes horse! you can watch the weight drop off around your middle!

I posted earlier on here about this, did anyone else google it, what do you think?, there are a couple of videos on U Tube I think

I’d love to hear frm you XX

£400 is quite expensive, I’m not sure I would feel happy buying a second hand one on eBay. They do look very good though, I’m tempted

Jan x

Janhhh Hi, these are on Ebay, Gumtree, preloved, etc, I picked one up for £50.00! its alot less than a gym membership

you dont need to spend £400, mst of them have had hardly any use

Jan do try one! if you do get one, let me know what you think X

I will, I’ve been looking on eBay, never bought off there it’s a bit hit and miss isn’t it?

Jan x