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Exercise is needed to beat multiple sclerosis February 8, 2009

Posted by Rebecca Hoover in Exercise - why you need it and what you need.
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Exercise makes you sizzle -- feel better, grow new brain cells and look drop dead cute!

Exercise makes you sizzle -- feel better, grow new brain cells and look drop dead cute!

It is counterintuitive but exercise is a necessity for those with multiple sclerosis (MS). It evokes what is called brain plasticity and neurological plasticity — this is the ability of the brain and neurological system to regrow and re-wire itself. Research shows that those with MS who exercise have fewer symptoms, are stronger, have less fatigue, sleep better and even do better on cognitive tests (thinking tests) than those who do not exercise.

If you are tired and fatigued but cannot sleep at night, you probably need more exercise. Likewise, if you look out of shape, exercise will make you look good and feel good. Talk to your doctor and even ask for a referral to a physical therapist if needed. Different types of exercises will help you recover any lost abilities.

Research shows aerobic exercise such as brisk walking or biking will increase your cardiovascular health and help MS. It will also help you sleep better at night, feel less fatigue and have more stamina. It will even help with leg spasticity. I walk more than one hour five days each week.

There are many strength building exercises and these will lift your mood and give you a great, attractive shape. A physical therapist can teach exercises tailored to your needs.  Or, you might want to consider lifting weights. I have a set of exercises I do three times a week. I do curls, overhead lifts, and bench presses, and other lifts. I also do some crunches, leg lifts and even some exercises that keep my derriere looking great. I have some special exercises I do that relieve the problems I have from arthritis in an ankle.

Balance exercises do help also. A physical therapist taught me a couple and I add these to my daily routine.

Finally, the niftiest exercises for those with MS are stretching exercises. If you have pain in your feet, legs or hips, a combination of stretching and strength building exercises may often resolve the pain — without any use of drugs!

Exercise is definitely one of the building blocks needed in an ultra healthy life style for MS. I love exercise because, even at 60, it makes me look great and feel sizzling. It can help you sizzle too and even grow new brain cells!

Please let me know if you find my blog helpful. Please add a comment. What did you like? What would you like added? Thanks! Together we can change the way the world views MS. Please also join the Intelligent Guide to MS page on Facebook. I will use that page to make timely posts on new research and other issues likely to be of interest to others.

Please remember to consult with your doctors about how to stay as healthy as possible. Nothing here should be interpreted as medical advice. Instead, please use the information you find here in your discussions with your doctor.

Copyright 2008 Rebecca Hoover

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Tags: Exercise, Fatigue, MS, Multiple Sclerosis, Sizzle, Sleep

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