Need some advice on fitness

Hi, I’m lucky enough to still be working. Trouble is working leaves me too worn out to stay fit. Any tips on how to manage the both? I know it’s really important to train as I’m losing my strength due to the baclofen and the fitter I can get the more energy ill have. Not used to feeling like this and don’t like it. Thanks for any positive help

hi cavebear

why don’t you join a gym (local authority gyms are cheaper)

make sure you tell the trainer about your ms and its effects

yoga and pilates classes are brilliant for ms

carole x

oh and dont overdo it, make sure you pace yourself

Slightly off-topic reply, I’m afraid, but I’m questioning whether Baclofen is the right drug for you, if it’s having this effect.

I’ve been on it over two years, and although it’s starting not to work very well at the moment, and I’m seeking advice about a change, I’ve never had this side-effect. It’s not just a normal consequence, that everybody gets. It might be a sign it’s not right for you.


How about fitting exercise in to daily life, or doing something gentle like pilates a couple of times a week. I know what you mean about not feeling you have any energy left, I work part time and have two small kids the rest of the time, I relish my gym time (I do pilates) though, as its just for me!

I’ve often wondered this: how easy is it for MS sufferers to actually ‘do’ Pilates?

Considering that muscles weakness, spasms, tingling and lack of balance/coordination are the most common symptoms (apart from fatigue and eye trouble) of all types of MS, how on earth are you supposed to do all the stretches and poses demanded by the Pilates instructor without regularly falling over and making yourself look a total fool?

I tried Pilates once. I’m a fit 43 year old, 6ft and 13 st 3 lbs. I can row 2k in less than 8 minutes and regularly take part in spinning classes. But Pilates…a real bridge too far. The health and safety policy of the gym would have to be re-writtent if I tried again!

Well there is no way I could do a spinning class so its horses for courses! My legs wouldn’t last 2 minutes!

I used to do yoga, pre MS. I switched to pilates cause I can’t balance very well on my feet anymore. Most of my pilates classes (they are just normal classes, not MS ones in particular) are based on the floor, so lying down on front, back or side, or sitting. There are usually a few standing moves, but there are always options and levels available in all pilates classes, so where others in the class may choose to challenge their balance more, I stick with the more stable options.

I can’t feel my legs so I find balance hard, also if I can’t actually see my legs I find it hard to move them in the right way! lol. However pilates teachers, different to other fitness instructors, have a great knowledge of bodies and how they work, and also of different illnesses and their effects and are aware of peoples capabilities. Amongst my class there are 80 year old women, and a young guy with one leg! We all work to our own levels, the class is advanced, and although my body temperature never rises, I never break sweat, I can feel it the next day, my muscles are working hard.

These exercises cater for a range of abilities and are worth checking out.

The MSS also do good dvd with Sally Gunnell.

I thoroughly recommend Pilates. I have been going to a local class twice a week for over 4 years and it has helped strengthen my core muscles which has been good for a back problem as well as my MS. As my symptoms have worsened a little I find some exercises more challenging e.g. holding my arms above my head especially holding weights so I ditch the weights and on a bad day, fold my arms across my chest. All the instructors know about the MS so will suggest alternatives if I am struggling but I can do most of the exercises as most of them are on the mat. I have learned a few tricks such as placing a small squashy ball under my knee to stop it locking for some moves. There is always someone else in the class with some sort of problem with a dodgy knee, back or hip so I am never the only one who can’t do everything perfectly. Most good qualified instructors will offer one-to-one sessions - though more expensive than a class, if you are considering Pilates, it might be worth investing in such a session so both you and the instructor can assess what you will be able to manage.

Hydrotherapy is another form of exercise recommended for those with MS. Where I live the MSSociety subsidise hydrotherapy classes at the local hospital run by a physiotherapist. It might be worth checking with your local branch to see if there is anything similar or if they have information on other exercise options in your area.


Some people find swimming quiet good ( doesn’t mean you have to do numerous laps even just moving your imbs a little) as the waters cool so stops symptoms worsening. I’m not officially diagnosed as such but am probable MS and my balance is not great because of my L leg. I do hatha yoga which is much more gentle and I found Ít’s really helped the stiffness in the L side of my body. There are some balances but our yoga teacher offers alternatives for those with poor balance. I’m always asked at the start of the class if there are issues with my body she needs to be aware of so she can suggest an alternate exercise if someting isn’t suitable for me.

I guess it’s a matter of finding te rigt class and the right teacher.

You could also do exercises in short bursts if fatigue is the issue. Do something for just ten minutes at home like the stepper in front of the tv or some arm weights to build your strength then stop and do some more a little later. I’ve just started running again and though I’m not doing the 5 miles I could manage with ease pre-neuro issues I’m doing 10minutes once/twice a week of a light jog and will build up if I’m feeling okay. I was suffering from fatiue since early Jan and though it has greatly improved over the last month exercising even for the 10mins made me feel like I had much more energy. Even my partner commented!

Failing all that don’t forget walking. Can you walk to work, or avoid using stairs etc make sure it doesn’t impact your energy levels/concetration for work though.

Its good you are trying to get active. When you have fatigue it’s very hard it’s almost a vicious circle where you want to be more active but just find Ít extremely difficult and then because you’re not exercising your energy levels decline further.

Good luck finding something right for you.