Types Of Exercises To Try:

  • Jazzercise offers all levels of intensity from high to low with great alternative moves. Also a great community and support.
  • Pilates both on a reformer and at home via Zoom.
  • Early morning stretching before I start my day.
  • I use a stationary bike and my rule is that the only thing allowed on the bike is me (no bags, jackets, etc.).
  • I have participated in chair yoga and stretching classes at our senior center. An added advantage is to be with people.
  • Just getting out in the fresh air and walking.

More Exercises to Try:

  • Aquafit, aquacise, and water aerobics.
  • Barre classes! It’s an all-over workout with a little cardio, a lot of strength exercises, and great stretching & breath work at the end of each class.
  • Walking my dog daily helps motivate me to get out of the house and move.
  • I was fortunate enough to get involved in a local gym and exercise program. I have been going 3 days a week, lifting weights, and moving better than I have in years. I started off slowly, but have improved quite a bit.

Adaptive Exercises:

  • If you are living in a chair or just someone that has trouble walking you can still move your upper body by moving your arms and/or swaying back and forth.
  • With mobility issues, even moving your upper body from side to side and front to back is a good form of exercise.
  • When you want to do arm raises, but don’t have weights, you can always use either water bottles or canned food. Check first with your doctor before any kind of movement and make sure that you do it right so you don’t hurt yourself.
  • I am a quadriplegic and I blast music in my room, and I jiggle my body. We all can do it!

Adaptive Exercises:

  • I have a floor bike I use to keep my legs functional.
  • I attend a chair pilates class over Zoom. Over time I have slowly strengthened my back, hip, leg, and upper torso muscles and have improved my posture, my movement, and, best of all, my attitude.
  • With MS affecting my balance, exercises like lunges can be difficult. I use a small-diameter PVC pipe, TRX straps, or even just a wall or piece of equipment to help keep me upright while maintaining good form.
  • Swimming has been the best since my legs prevent me from running or walking without canes or a mobility device. I can get in the water and my legs don’t play too much of a role. I use a swim buoy to help keep my legs up in the water.
Woman in a chair stretches forward, reaching toward toes, doing a stretching exercise for ms

Tips For Managing MS While Exercising:

  • Since I have drop foot, it is impossible for me to go on a walk safely now. So, instead, I use an elliptical to get my cardio in. I don’t have to lift my foot off the pedals, so I can use it safely and often.
  • I use EMS for my spasticity.
  • I attend classes with yoga studios that have an online option so if I’m not feeling up to driving and/or seeing people, I can still participate in a live class (instead of a recording).
  • I have a massage gun for tight muscles.
  • Before getting out of bed, swing your bent knees left then right to loosen your lower back and lower abdomen. Then bring knees to chest on back to stretch lower back a few times. Then do a few bridges lifting your butt above bent knees up and down a few times. Then get out of bed carefully and slowly with less stiffness and pain to do the bathroom morning ritual.
Young woman doing virtual yoga

Motivation Tips:

  • I have 2 groups of friends who motivate, support and participate in social fitness activities. Yoga and bicycling are the focal activities, but it’s a powerful blend of psychological, mental, physical, social, and spiritual benefits that result.
  • I clip on one of those step counter things. Even if I don’t leave my apartment, I see how the steps add up. It incentivizes me to top the day before’s score or I am happy when I hit a new high. In this way, I challenge myself to walk as much as possible while I still can.
  • Start slow and work your way to a confrontable goal!
  • When I head out for a bike ride, I get on the bike and see how things are that day. Instead of riding “TO” a location, I say I am riding “TOWARD” a location.
A group of women outside stretching on yoga mats

More Tips from the Community