To gym or not to gym

Hi, I had a relapse a while ago which has affected my left leg…however I used to goto the gym on bike and treadmill… I’m back at my yoga classes but do you guys think I’d be okay to try the bike etc today just to see if I can manage it or is it likely it may make it worse? The leg itself is quite strong but after just short of 1000yards sometimes more it goes heavy…previously I could feel it was different ie lil heavy after a go on the bike etc but it would soon go back to normal however what was normal then isn’t as normal now? Should I give it a go or wait longer? I had the steroids mid January so have lil confidence in my leg improving much further despite people telling me it might :wink: x x x

Hi LisaLou,

I wouldn’t write further improvement off just yet. I had a similar relapse about 16 months ago and I too had IV steroids. It took me about 3-4 months until I reached the point where I made no further improvements. It is only after the event that you can really judge how much you get back! If it was me, I would suck it and see. If your leg starts to complain then stop and rest for a while before trying again. Best of luck with whatever you decide.

Boo x

So you think I should go and just maybe try do ten mins in bike, five mins on treadmill? I’m just worried about making the leg worse you see? X

I don’t know whether to stick to the yoga/Pilates classes? X

Previous (first) relapse left me completely without the use of my right leg but never give in, especially if you ‘enjoy’ the activity you do. I used to run long distance races (10k and upwards to marathons) before this episode. I took up cycling again and just run shorter distances now, (5k or 10k races) just slower. Listen to your body!

Try the 10 mins on the bike. Use the treadmill at a walking pace maybe?

I think only you can judge. I found, and still find, that the more I exercise the heavier my leg gets and if I really push it, I start to get pins and needles too; but the effects don’t last for long and as soon as I sit down and rest for a bit they seem to wear off. I occasionally get a bit of stiffness in the evening but am ok by morning.

I can only tell you my experience. When I had the relapse, I struggled to limp for more than a few paces. About 3 months after, I was not too bad as long as I was on the flat and took it steady. 16 months later I have just walked up a small mountain. I was struggling a bit on the way down, but after the drive home, apart from being a bit stiff, I was fine. There were no ill effects the next day. The trouble is everyone is different and the effects are different. Maybe aim for a few minutes slow exercise at first, gradually building it up would work for you. As long as you can feel what you are doing with your leg and are not forcing it into awkward positions, you should be ok. See how you feel afterwards and the following day, before deciding whether to ramp it up! I have learned to listen to my body. It tells me when it has had enough and I have learned to be sensible. (Well, most of the time!)

Boo x

Thanks I might give it a go…so scared ill look daft if I get off and struggle to walk too…fingers crossed that won’t happen. :wink: just wanted to check I’m not trying to do too much too soon x

Hi Lisalou,

I have problems walking but do exercise on referral at the local gym.

I do 10 mins on the bike, then 10 mins on the arm bike (5 mins forward, 5 mins back) can’t do running or walking machines.

I alternate leg and arm exercises to give my legs a bit of a work out but nothing strenuous. Makes me feel good and

haven’t noticed and deterioration.

Just do what you think you can cope with and have fun.

Must admit I’m with people who’ve had strokes, feel as though I should be wearing an MS t shirt so that people know!

Jen x

Try not to bother what anyone else thinks. Get yourself an MS t shirt for the gym, it stops people looking at you strangely. Ladies with lesions have some funny ones (no advert intended). It tends to stop people asking stupid questions, in fact I think people are a lot more friendly! I really hope it all goes well for you.

Boo x

Thanks I will update you all… Used to go o the gym on this equipment weekly but haven’t been sine beg January and I noticed a big difference but it turns out I was in actual relapse and had not actually thought this as such! Doh. Xxx

Hi Lisalou

I.m very similar to you in that I was a regular gym goer til i had a relapse starting in September last year which has left me with a weak left leg and I think a touch of foot drop too.

I’ve noticed in the past few weeks I’ve had days that my leg seems to be a lot better so I plucked up the courage and headed back to the gym yesterday for the first time in nearly five months.

I did ten mins on the recumbant bike and five mins each on the crosstrainer, rowing machine and the treadmill. By the time I had done all that I was exhausted but really pleased with myself at the same time. I was worried that I would feel the effects in my leg today but I can honestly say it has been fine.

I plan to go back on sunday and hopefully manage a similar session if not slightly longer??

Only you can decide if it’s the right time for you to head back to the gym or not but certainly for me it has lifted my spirits enormously and is already helping me towards a more positive attitude towards life and this disease.

Ann Marie XXXXX

Hi again Lisa,

I think you may be agonising too much over all this. Exercising with MS does not cause “damage”. The worst that would happen is you realise you’ve overdone things, and decide not to do it again - or at least, not for some time.

I’m not saying there would be no repercussions, but “damage” is a very strong way of putting it. Feeling exhausted, or experiencing some aches and pains afterwards is a predictable price, but you would not be causing new MS lesions, or preventing old ones from healing. The only way you find out what’s OK is by trying. If you try something, but feel rough for three days afterwards, then obviously it’s too much for you in your present state.

But if you try and it’s fine, or only minor payback next day (like normal people!), then you’ve added one to the list of things that are OK.



Hi Ann Marie, thanks for that. I did ten mins on the bike and ten mins walking. It went fine although I would say on the treadmill I definitely felt my leg going weaker or heavy whereas on the bike it felt fine. What’s a recumbent bike? I felt really good once I’d gone even if it was a short session…I walked slightly differently out the gym but really was not bothered as such as I had managed the gym and didn’t feel achy, tired etc. Pondering now over whether I should celebrate with a glass of wine now? I also purchased four pairs of shoes today, flats of course so maybe that put a spring in my step too as they are lovely…haha. Hope I continue to improve to a bigger session at the gym and on more varied equipment :slight_smile: Thanks Tina, I probably am…it’s the first relapse which has left me with some lasting symptoms. I can cope with sensory but the physical ones worry me as little things like walking my son to school are affected (not that I do this often as I’m usually off to work) , walking to the big play park just over a mile away. But I know what will be will be and I need to deal with this fact and adapt as I need to. I’m not going to give up just yet on my leg improving and will continue to try various things and cling on to hope. I feel fine now, little tired but had an unsettled sleep last night. Thanks guys xxx

Hi I think your body tells you when you’ve done too much as I had a first attack last April which was a complete foot drop which left me unable to move my foot or toes at all really scary at the time! But nearly a year on its much improved…although it feels like I’ve got a wooden leg some days and haven’t as much control over it as I did…it is frustrating not being able to walk as far but I think you just do what you can and your leg says when enoughs enough! Does anybody else’s leg shake like elvis lol!! When too fatigued?..anyways just keep going and doing what you can it helps keep you sane…Emma

Thanks Emma…I notice mine shakes in certain positions only slightly but bit bizarre… For instance when im doing my exercises, I lie on the floor, knees bent and lift the leg, push each leg alternately out and then back in and put back on the floor, the left one shakes slightly as I put it back on the floor…never noticed that before!

i tried going to the gym a couple of yrs ago, i went once n never went again, there was a young girl barking orders at everyone, just did excersises at home instead, this way i can do it in my own time and no ones telling me what to do (i dont do well with orders) but only you can judge how you do things, if u do go to the gym then id take it slow n go from there

Yeah my yoga teacher was fab but im leaving this gym as its very expensive so hope the next ones good. Luckily they only bark orders in the equipment part if your paying them to be the personal trainer! Don’t fancy one of them :wink: joining a diff gym tomorrow, fingers crossed I’m doing the right thing! X

Hi Lisa mine does that too when doing excersises…can you run I seem to have lost the ability to do that so hope I never have to make a quick getaway lol! long ago did yours happen? At the moment fingers crossed its the only major symptom I have apart from other little weird things that come on now and again…Emma x

Nope running is now a no go, can’t even run up the stairs, that used to be my tester but I just stumble as I reach the top now…yes I know you shouldn’t run up stairs anyway!!! Haha. My relapse started in November but peaked mid January which is when I got the steroids. To he honest in November it wasn’t that bad so I thought it was just one of them niggles that would go as happens until I went to a store and really struggled getting up the stairs (not running this time) and also I was struggling to walk my little boy to school just from the car which is only about 100yds. Thankfully thats improved just really fearful of it going back to that or just not improving anymore :frowning: I’m even considering a walking stick, folding one for my bag just in case. Some have said this helps them continue walking just knowing its there in case. Never thought id be 32 with a three year old considering such things though! Scary! But it could be worse I know that from the job I do. What does your leg do when its had enough? X

Hia my leg just starts to get heavy feeling and I trip a lot when it’s had enough, but I always when walking feel that leg just feel different like stiff and doesn’t have smooth movements like the other it’s hard to describe! And it’s really early days for you so I wouldn’t worry too much it sound like your doing well when my first happened I had no power in my foot and ankle and couldn’t walk without a stick or leaning on somebody so having a stick is ok (although its the funny looks u imagine I get people wondering wots up with u) that was my first attack and since started on avonex are you on any dmds? Emma x