In addition to being essential to general health and well being, exercise is helpful in managing many MS symptoms. An exercise program needs to be appropriate to the capabilities and limitations of the individual, and may need to be adjusted as changes occur in MS symptoms. A physical therapist experienced with the unique and varied symptoms of MS can be helpful in designing, supervising and revising a well balanced exercise program. Any person with MS who is initiating a new exercise program should also consult with his or her physician before starting.
Below are descriptions of several different types of exercise programs available across the state and links with helpful information about each type.
Water provides opportunities for recreation, relaxation and exercise for people with MS at every level of ability.
Exercise for People with MS
Exercise is vitally important for people with MS, particularly programs with qualified instructors that address individual physical needs. It is important to maintain your muscle tone. Exercise also counteracts symptoms of depression and enhances your overall well-being.
Gateway to Wellness
Our Gateway to Wellness programs, offered across the state, provide six sessions that focus on exercise, discussion and activities to promote wellness, self-management, and balance in lifestyle.
T'ai chi, also known as t'ai chi ch'uan, was developed in China hundreds of years ago and is a component of traditional Chinese medicine. On the surface, t'ai chi appears to be simply slow body movements. In practice, it may provide some of the physical benefits of more rigorous exercise and the relaxation effects of meditation.
The word "yoga" has its roots in the ancient Indian language of Sanskrit. Literally, it means to "yoke" or to "unite". It was created thousands of years ago to help practitioners feel "whole", uniting mental, physical and spiritual aspects. With its emphasis on relaxation, breathing and deliberate movements, yoga is a good choice of exercise for people with MS.
MS Achievement Center
The MS Achievement Center, meeting at the Chapter's office in Southfield, is designed to help people meet a range of personal goals. These include:
- Reducing stress
- Improving or maintaining mobility
- Enhancing a support system
- Providing creative expression outlets
- Maximize individual abilities
- Expanding learning opportunities
For more information about these and other physical health programs, call 800-344-4867 and select Option 1. Remember to ask about financial assistance for physical activity programs.