It is understandable that MS and exercise are not a natural fit. When you are fatigued, in pain, and depressed with Multiple Sclerosis and exercise is suggested, your immediate reaction is probably “NO Thanks!” You should reconsider that answer though. The very symptoms that discourage you from exercise are some of the symptoms that will benefit the most from it. If you have Multiple Sclerosis and exercise regularly, you will benefit.

There is no denying that it may be more difficult with MS to exercise, but there are methods to combine any level of MS and exercise on a regular basis. And studies show that even patients in the advanced stages of the disease will benefit. Some patients combine yoga with their exercise but it is certainly not required. But patients who have MS and exercise regularly respond to the exercise the same way the general population does – the get more fit!


What are some of the symptoms that can be overcome with MS and exercise routines?


Some of the greatest benefits include:

  • Healthier heart
  • Overall physical strength, which can improve function in many areas
  • The bowel and bladder functions that may have become problematic
  • Depression and fatigue (fatigue is the number one complaint of MS patients)
  • Creates a positive outlook
  • Social activities once given up can be resumed


With Multiple Sclerosis and exercise it is important to keep in mind that different exercises help in different ways. So it will benefit you most to identify the area you most need help with and target those first. If you are having trouble with your heart and lungs, or overall respiratory difficulty, aerobic exercises will help most there. If you want to improve your upper body strength (which is the goal of many rehab programs) you will want to take a look at resistance-based exercises. Lung capacity can be improved with breathing exercises. Stretching exercises (including yoga) will relieve anxiety and stress as well as help with spasticity problems. Depending on your own current condition Multiple Sclerosis and exercise routines that incorporate as many of the above as possible is recommended.

Many people are afraid that if they have Multiple Sclerosis and exercise, they run the chance of triggering a relapse. No study has ever shown this to be true and it is nothing more than a myth – or an excuse.


A little goes a long way


Studies also show that patients who have any stage of Multiple Sclerosis and exercise for only 20 minutes daily will benefit as much as those that exercise to the point of exhaustion. Consult your doctor or therapist  to design your own program to fit your current condition. And lastly, change things up every few months to avoid reaching a plateau where you stop making gains.  Rotate your routines to keep different parts of your body and mind in a state of constant improvement. The Multiple Sclerosis Society itself recommends exercise. And it is one treatment that won’t ad to the expense of treating your disease.