Exercise can be a valuable component of managing MS symptoms. If you haven't found the right exercise program for you, check out the National Multiple Sclerosis Society's website, which has many exercise-related links that can help. Here are a few examples of the benefits that certain types of exercise offer:
- Yoga: Boosts physical and emotional well-being.
- Pilates: Strengthens core muscles and improves overall physical stability.
- Aerobic exercise (e.g., walking or cycling): Enhances mood and has positive effects on mental and physical health.
Getting Started With Aquatic Therapy
Aquatic therapy is an exercise superfood for people with MS, because it enhances flexibility, cardiovascular fitness, muscle strength, and mobility function, and provides psychological benefits. There are programs for all levels of fitness, and a cool pool can be soothing for those sensitive to heat. The MSAA has a few tips on getting started:
- Check with your doctor. Start by talking to your healthcare team about how your MS might affect your ability to exercise in water.
- Set good goals. Identify some realistic goals—such as better balance, arm strength, or stability—to help pick the right program.
- Find the right pool. To enroll in appropriate classes, check with nearby gyms and facilities such as the YMCA to see what they offer. You can also contact the MSAA for assistance.
- Introduce yourself to the teacher. Let the instructor know you have MS and tell them your fitness goals before you start your sessions.
- Enjoy yourself! Fun is the secret to staying motivated. If it's not fun, try to find another class.