Our Nurses > Ask a Nurse > There are some smart options for staying in shape—let's do it!
There are some smart options for staying in shape—let's do it!
July 21, 2015
I've had MS for close to 10 years and I had a relapse a few months ago. Now, along with everything else I deal with, my MS is starting to affect my workout routine. I've always stayed in shape and that makes me feel good about myself. This might seem silly, but it's really getting me down. I could use some ideas about fitness because sometimes I just want to give up, watch TV, and eat some ice cream.
– Worried About My Workout
Nurse Susan replies:
Good for you for making working out a priority. It's one of those things that everyone can benefit from.
What I'm hearing is that not being able to work out is getting to you. That makes sense to me because, among other things, exercise can lift your mood. Other benefits that it can help with are stress management, keeping you limber, building lean muscle mass, aiding circulation, and helping you maintain a healthy weight. You might want to talk to your healthcare provider about your energy level and of course, always clear any exercise regimen with him or her before you start.
Sometimes you just need to change your routine. You know, swimming is great for a lot of people because the water supports a good deal of your body weight. There are even special devices to use in pools for people who are normally in a wheelchair. And swimming is a full-body workout. Be careful though — you need to make sure the pool is the right temperature.
Swimming is just one example. There are a lot of different exercises and activities you can do. Check out some tips and suggestions for healthy ways to stay active on the National MS Society website.
Make sure you set attainable goals for yourself. And try to build in some rewards along the way. These might include new workout clothes or new sneakers when you meet a goal. For maximum impact, do your best to vary your routine every six weeks. Options here might include type of exercise, intensity, or number of reps if you're lifting weights.
If one of your goals is weight loss, remember that you need to consume the correct number of calories. And the right kinds of food, such as fresh vegetables, fruits, and lean protein. Talk to your healthcare provider, he or she may even suggest a nutritionist to help you make the changes you're looking for.
— Nurse Susan, MS One to One® Nurse
Helping since 2012
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