MS and Exericise

Hello all, I was wondering what type of exercise everyone is doing. I used to be a runner/jogger (longest was a half marathon). My goal “WAS” the Berlin Marathon in 2015, when I turn 50. That has changed unfortunately as my fatigue will hardly let me work without needing a nap in the middle of the day. I know I need to change my goal but it one that I was sharing with my twin sons as they will turn 18 the same year and off to college, I figured it our last chance. Oh well, enough worrying about something I can’t do anything about. I was wondering if anyone was into yoga? I heard its good for balance issues. I am just wanting to do something instead of sitting on my rear end watching it get bigger day by day. The only thing I ask, please do not suggest swimming to me, I have a tendency to sink lol. Any other suggestions will be greatly appreciated. TIA Greg

Hi Greg, I get what you mean about the pool!

The physio did say Yoga and Pilates to me, core strength seems to be the key! There is a guys on the PP section that’s been doing weights and he’s found it helpful :slight_smile:

Sonia x

l heard that weight training is beneficial - so is yoga/pilates. As l can hardly walk l do feel the need to ‘prove myself’ and l can get onto my eliptical trainer and healthrider machines for a few minutes a day. Plus l have a powergym vibration plate - this does work the core-muscles. lf you don’t use it - you will lose it - has become my mantra.

lf you can manage to walk - then walking poles are brilliant to help you balance and stride out - without looking like ‘aids’.

Hello Greg. Do you have a local ms group you could join. They may do excercise classes suitable for you. I’m thinking about contacting my local group because I’m also concerned about my fitness levels. Good luck to you

I’ve started Tai Chi - it’s great for balance and core strength, plus I’ve found it’s helping my legs.

Weights and yoga for me. I don’t train when fatigue is at its worst, but on the lower fatigue days, I get lifting. The strength helps me through the bad spells I think.

I like yoga. I first went along four years ago to give it a try knowing it’s supposed to be good for balance and I thought it would be gentle. Most of it is but goodness me, I do know I’ve worked some rarely used muscles the next day! Also when we put a sequence of movements and postures together then I get quite out of breath so it’s not as gentle as I had thought.

I’ve had two relapses this year affecting my mobility and didn’t realise just how long the waiting list was for physio so I did some basic yoga stretches at home for 10 mins every morning and evening for about 8 weeks. It freed up the tightness in my legs and feet and improved my walking a lot. I’m now back to yoga classes to work on my core strength and balance.

Tracey xx

Hi Greg

I agree. Swimming fills me with dread to be honest.

I’ve got an exercise bike that I use twice a day (15mins per time). I’ve been steadily losing weight doing that and eating lots of low fat food.

I just stick the bike in front of the telly when there is something I want to watch and the time flies by.

Good luck.

Shazzie x

Hi Greg! So you’re a runner too? Just a bit of background first:-

Endurance/ running was, (damn it, "Is ") my life. I’ve been running since I was 13 yrs old and I’m 44 now. I was diagnosed with RRMS at the start of June, this year. I woke up three days before I was due to run a half marathon believing I had suffered a mild stroke. I was planning on running a PB for this half marathon (currently 1.43hr) and ended up a right mess for almost 3mths.

I went into hospital 9-13 Sept for Alemtuzumab (aka.Lemtrada, but formerly Campath) and I’ve been back training with my running club since Sep 24th. I’m now back up to 4.5 miles at a steady 9min/ mile pace and can now complete the distance without a break. If I’m lucky, I am usually spared muscle spasm/ spasticity on my left side, but unfortunately, very recently, this is not the case. I am currently booked up to start running half marathons again, in the New Year. A full marathon is also scheduled, sometime next year.

As it currently stands, I’m not sure that my goals are achievable, because after feeling really, really bright and energised, my fatigue levels have escalated significantly over the last few days and things are starting to feel like they are slipping. I’m frightened to death, that this treatment has not worked for me.

My point is, if you want to run/ jog, make it happen. Your running form might not be the same as it was before MS, but who cares?

Best wishes and good luck with whatever you decide. Tracyann xx

hi greg

i am a member of a gym and the trainers have been great at devising a program for me that i can manage and that works the bits i want to work

they have yoga classes with a fab teacher who knows everyone’s ailments and gives options (easy, normal, advanced) so that we all do the same exercises but at our own level.

they do a pilates class which i just started last week. its a new teacher and he is a very softly spoken guy but whooo! he’s tough!

i sometimes use the power plates at the gym or at my ms therapy centre.

now they really make me need a sleep!

good luck with whatever you decide to try.

tell the trainers/teachers about your problem areas and hopefully you’ll be as lucky as i am with my gym.

carole x

Highly recommend pilates. Helps with de stressing as well as toning / balance etc. Good luck whatever you choose. xx

I agree with the others - I do a class called body balance which is a combination of tai chi, pilates and yoga - I love it! It’s been great for my balance and I always have the best nights sleep ever afterwards. My gym have a health referral team who specialise in helping people with health conditions - if you have one nearby it might be worth making an appointment with them, they could devise a suitable programme for you.

Tracyann - sounds like we have similar experiences! I’m 43 and was diagnosed with RRMS in August 2012 - 4 months after running the London Marathon! You’re much faster than me though, I’ve never managed a 9 minute mile! Really struggling to get my fitness back but its a hard slog as you know. I managed 3 miles this morning with a friend, it was like running through treacle! When I was diagnosed I remember having a long conversation with my neurologist about fitness (he is also a runner) - he told me to keep living my life as I always have but to make sure I pace myself and know my limits. I have no intention of doing the full distance again but I would like to think that I can one day manage a half marathon again. I’ve been doing circuits once a week and I think that is helping my fitness and stamina. Its hard to get the balance right though isn’t it when you’re used to following a training plan? Sometimes its hard to know whether to push on through it or take an unscheduled rest day. Keep up the great work though, its still early days - you were only diagnosed a few months ago and already you’re back training - it’s taken me a lot longer, so hats off to you!!! Always interesting to hear about experiences with Alemtuzumab - I’ve heard great things about it. I’m on Tysabri and love it!

Hello, great to read everyone’s suggestions on here. I do a physio led class once a week in the local hydrotherapy pool - wonderful warm water for stretching and walking exercises. It’s organised and funded by my local MS branch and it’s not at all like swimming - more like being in a big bath! It’s great for spasming, stiff legs and to help improve my balance. I also play wheelchair basketball with my local team - training drills in the week and league matches at the weekend. This is the thing that helps my cardio vascular fitness - it sure is a good workout and I always sleep so much better. Bizarrely I do suffer really quite badly from fatigue but I feel playing basketball helps this too. It’s also great to play with people of all disabilities and none and as a wheelchair user, for once I have a bit of an advantage on the pitch! It’s good for my social life and mental well being too. I would highly recommend it - it’s great fun and wonderful to play a team sport again.

Hi HB- great to hear from you! The problem with me is that I always push myself to my physical limits. If my club mates say, " Let’s stop at 10 laps", I will aim for at least another 2, possibly 3. I’m like that with everything; constantly setting the barrier high (maybe a little too high, at times). With a mindset like that and a host of rogue genes, I was doomed from the beginning!

Even before I got diagnosed, I was dragging my body around the garden several times a day, just to prove to myself that I still could.

Following hospital, I waited 2 weeks and then started back at the Gym. There was no way I could use the treadmill, so I kept up my CV fitness as best I could by using the Rowing Machine and the Static Bike. By the time i started back at the club, my CV fitness was pretty good.

Problem is HB, initially, I felt like I was ‘cooking on gas’, about 2 weeks ago. I was buzzing. Now, in the last few days, it’s like someone has deflated my tyres. The fatigue literally hits me about 2pm and I feel completely drained. It’s f**$£g outrageous. And, to cap it all, my legs are now connected to huge blocks of ice cubes.

Everybody has said the same thing to me, “Slow down, take it steady. You’ve only just had the treatment for f&*£ sake. Stop expecting miracles. It’s early days”!

Intellectually, I know these things.

As for Alemtuzumab, all the blogs i’ve read have been extremely positive. My symptoms are no different from anyone elses. I just need to learn patience, unfortunately!

As for Tysabri, I met several people in hospital coming in for their infusions. Their lives have been dramatically transformed- amazing!

As the most aggressive treatment on offer currently is Alemtuzumab, if it doesn’t work for me, I really am f&**!d.

But, I shall remain ever the optimist and hopefully, in 6 months time, I really will be rocking and rolling again-yippee!

Keep on moving!

Stans mum, Great to hear about your therapy classes. Sounds wonderful. Wish l had something like that near to me - the nearest MS therapy centre would be an hours drive away. l do know what you mean exercise helping with fatigue - After l have been on my exercise machines l feel ‘alive’ invigorated. lts the ‘feel good’ factor. lt certainly doesn’t suit me to sit down for long - have to keep my joints moving.

All, I appreciate everyone’s suggestions. I’m afraid the local gyms only have instruction in French, as I barely have the English language down… I think I will try yoga though. Thanks again Greg

Hi all Just thought I’d share that I went to my first yoga class. It was a little different for me as I used to sweating like crazy during a workout, but I must say it was relaxing. Greg

Hi Greg,

Read your post the other day and it made me realise that I should return to the gym/pool. Used to be a member but stopped when my walking got bad - now go to gym on referral 1h per week but that doesn’t always fit in with work very well.

Popped into gym today to see how much it would cost.

No joining fee, discount as a returning member, discount if I paid 1 year in advance, off peak cheaper. Were practically giving the membership away!! Prices go up in January when people want to join.

All I’ve got to do now is go!!! Think yoga and pilates will be good for me.

Well done keep it up.

Jen x

I went to the gym on go health wise referral last Fri . I was so nervous but trainer made me welcome &gave me a check over (he thought my blood pressure was low 109/60 &my body fat is 41% !). He worked out a personalised routine for me, gave

me info on other classes, yoga,plates,aqua aerobics etc but never made me feel obliged to become a regular gym bunny.

Went back today to sort out my daughters membership &arrange her induction for the gym this Fri &I will be there too . actually looking forward to it