March 12, 2019 |  written by IVX Health

How to Stay Active with Multiple Sclerosis

The benefits of exercise are myriad, even for those who have been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Exercise is important as it improves your overall health, but it can particularly help those with MS to increase their energy levels, decrease muscle loss, improve balance, manage spasticity and make it easier to perform day-to-day tasks — though exercising with MS does present challenges.

Staying Active with Multiple Sclerosis

Staying active and exercising is good practice for anyone. People with multiple sclerosis can also use exercise as a way to improve certain symptoms such as mood changes, fatigue, and cognitive function. Read on for ways to stay active with multiple sclerosis and reap the benefits of exercise, while not exacerbating or triggering symptom flare-ups.

#1: Make Stretching a Priority

Stretching is an easy and gentle way to stay active that you can incorporate into your daily routine.  Taking at least 15 minutes a day to stretch can reduce spasticity and prevent muscle shrinkage and shortening.  According to the National MS Society, yoga is a wonderful option for those battling multiple sclerosis — every pose can be modified and practiced however you are most comfortable.  Stretching and moving your joints and muscles will result in better coordination, increased circulation and higher energy levels.

#2: Fit in Cardio

Research continues to show many benefits of cardio workouts for MS patients. Your symptoms, such as cognitive function and overall mood, will improve by regularly increasing your heart rate. Cardio exercise prevents damage to the brain and improves energy levels as well as contributes to heart health.  Try a seated cardio workout if you have mobility issues and are in a wheelchair, or try walking outside on nice days as you can.

#3: Find the Right Exercise for You

MS presents differently in different people, so some types of exercise that are great for some people might not be best for you.  The good news is there are a number of options for you to try. Whether it’s swimming, walking, biking, yoga, pilates or even adaptive skiing, there’s really no end to the possibilities. It can also be helpful to test out different exercises at home before checking out a local gym or workout studio. MS Workouts on Youtube offers tons of online exercise videos designed specifically for those battling MS symptoms that can be done at home or in a gym.

#4: Prep Well and Use the Right Gear

There are a lot of good resources out there to help you stay active with MS.  Use a pedometer to track your steps, or a fitness tracker like a Fitbit or Apple Watch for even more detail.  Get fitted for a great pair of shoes with an emphasis on balance and support — and make sure you get a pair designed for the activity you’re doing (e.g., runners will want a running shoe).  Invest in moisture-wicking clothes, and check out cooling vests to keep your core temperature down.

#5: Listen to Your Body and Talk to Your Health Care Team

Health insurance typically covers some of the costs of a physical therapist, who can help you learn to move your body to meet your goals.  Talk to your health care team about your symptoms, and keep track of what causes flare-ups. It’s important to note that staying active with multiple sclerosis will look different for each person, as everyone has different needs and limitations. Living with MS is all about adaptation.  With the right tools and the right attitude, you can stay active with MS and reap the benefits of exercise.

If your multiple sclerosis treatment regimen includes biologic infusion therapies such as Lemtrada or Ocrevus, consider IVX Health for your care.  We offer appointments that fit your schedule (days, evenings and weekends) in comfortable private suites so you can enjoy your time while receiving treatment. If you’re ready to experience how we are redefining care for patients with chronic conditions, contact us to schedule an appointment at one of our many convenient locations.

Treatment at IVX Health

If biologics like Remicade, Actemra or Orencia  are a part of your chronic illness treatment plan, then consider choosing IVX Health for your ongoing care needs. IVX Health makes it possible to receive your therapy in a comfortable, convenient, and private environment.

With a private suite for every patient, you can watch your favorite Netflix show or movie on the big screen TV in each room, use a laptop or other mobile device to surf the web, or simply hang out with family and friends. We always have chairs for guests, and each center has a family room that is spacious and private if you need to bring your kids to your treatment. We also offer flexible appointment scheduling – including evenings and Saturdays – at any of our convenient locations.

At IVX Health, we truly are invested in helping you live your best life. If you’re ready to experience a new kind of infusion clinic, click here to learn how to move your infusion or injection therapy to IVX Health.