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Physical Activity May Not Prevent MS, Says New Study, But Benefits Those Who Already Live with MS

September 30, 2016

Harvard researchers report that there was no association between the risk of developing MS and the amount of physical activity engaged in per week, after reviewing questionnaires submitted by more than 193,000 women enrolled in the Nurses’ Health Studies. Read more in U.S. News and World Report.

The authors note that the study was not designed to address whether physical activity has benefits for people who already have MS, and emphasize that physical activity should still be recommended for people with MS. Read the paper, published online in Neurology, September 28, 2016

The benefits of exercise for people with MS continue to stack up, as shown in numerous studies. They include:
  • better cardiovascular fitness and muscle strength
  • improved cognitive function
  • better bladder and bowel function
  • less fatigue and depression
  • mood enhancement
  • increased participation in social activities
Inactivity in people with or without MS can result in numerous risk factors associated with coronary heart disease. In addition, it can lead to weakness of muscles, decreased bone density with an increased risk of fracture, and shallow, inefficient breathing.

So keep moving!

About Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis is an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system. Symptoms range from numbness and tingling to blindness and paralysis, and there is currently no cure for MS. The progress, severity and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot yet be predicted, but advances in research and treatment are leading to better understanding and moving us closer to a world free of MS. An estimated 1 million people live with MS in the United States. Most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, and it affects women three times more than men.


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