You rest, you rust. I don’t remember where I read it, but it’s stuck with me and I’ll remind myself of this mantra when the alarm goes off at 5am and I just want to keep sleeping instead of going to the gym!
Exercising is good for everyone, but I think it’s especially important for individuals with MS to keep moving; and research proves it. I recently posted a link to a study that revealed exercising protects the brain of MS patients and my boyfriend found another study about the benefits of weight training.
Thankfully, I haven’t been physically limited by MS and still have the ability to exercise as I’ve always done. I thought I’d post my routine in case you are interested:
Running (or Pilates)
Mon., Wed., Fri.: Treadmill or Outdoor (45 min.) – I usually do a 5 min. warm-up and 5 min. cool-down, with a 35 min. run. Sometimes I’ll switch up the running with a pilates workout. Ana Cabon has some good videos.
My weight training is a combination of dumbbell (5 lbs) and machine exercises. Instead of trying to describe each of the dumbbell exercises, I found a link that demonstrates each one and I’ve named the ones I do below. I’ve also listed the machines.
Tues.: Chest and Triceps (approx 20-30 min.) 15 reps, 3 times
- Chest: Flat Chest Press (dumbbells), Incline Chest Press (dumbbells), Pectoral Fly Machine
- Triceps: Kickbacks (dumbbells), Tricep Press Machine
Thurs.: Back and Biceps (approx 20 min.) 15 reps, 3 times
- Back: Lat. Pull Machine, Seated Row Machine, Back Extension Bench
- Biceps: Hammer Curls (dumbbells), Preacher Curls (dumbbells)
Sat.: Shoulders and Legs (approx 20-30 min.) 15 reps, 3 times
- Shoulders: Seated Shoulder Press (dumbbells), Front Raises (dumbbells), Lateral Raises (dumbbells)
- Legs: Leg Extension Machine, Leg Curl Machine, *Squats (with 6 lb medicine ball) *25 reps, 4 times
Sunday is my day of rest!
I also looked up some exercises that are designed for individuals with limited mobility. I found a guide that was developed by a physiotherapist and it details key exercise techniques for individuals who have a range of movement issues, including exercises for wheelchair users and those who have muscle spasms.
Check with your doctor about an exercise plan and get started. It doesn’t matter if you can only do two reps with a 3 lb dumbbell or only walk 2 feet. Research is showing that you can get stronger over time. Just keep moving.