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MS Article or Multiple Sclerosis Article:

Types of Multiple Sclerosis Exercise

That Can Be Done At Home

To Help Improve How Well We Can Function

When it comes to Multiple Sclerosis exercise, are there exercises that can help people with Multiple Sclerosis to regain more of their abilities to function better again, that can be done sat home?

What can help you to improve how well you can function?

This is a very good question.

When it comes to the degree of disability that can be caused by the effects of Multiple Sclerosis attacking our bodies, the amount that we are able to function can vary from having difficulty walking, to needing to use a cane or a walker, or if the disability is severe enough we can get to the point where we can no longer stand or walk and we need to use a wheelchair to get around.

But can anything help us to improve how well our bodies can function?

From what I have been finding out from the doctors that I have been to I think so.

Many different types of doctors are seeing a trend, where doing exercises with people, who have been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, can help us to function better again.

Our nerves and our muscles can be retrained, improved, redeveloped and strengthened through doing exercises.

For people with Multiple Sclerosis that can still stand or walk, but to a lesser degree than they were able to walk or stand before Multiple Sclerosis attacked the body and reduced how well it can function, there are exercises that can be done to help improve your ability to stand and/or walk.

If you can stand and/or walk, even some, you are ahead of the game in using exercise to regain more of your ability to function better again.

Multiple Sclerosis exercise, for people, who can stand or walk at least partially, can include:

*  Weight Bearing exercises

These type of exercises aim at increasing bone density in the legs and other parts of the body by exercising while standing, walking, jumping, balancing on one leg or some other type of exercises where the weight of the body on the legs (as an example) can stimulate the body to increase how strong our bones are at any given time.

Some of these types of exercises may be too difficult to do at first, but it is much better for you to start doing exercises that are possible for you to do at first and then as you develop a routine of exercising this can help to improve what you are able to do and more different types of exercises can be gradually added as you are able to do more.

Swimming is a good exercise for those with Multiple Sclerosis to do to help improve circulation and oxygenation of the brain and the rest of the body, swimming does not help with increasing bone density.

Swimming also helps people, who are unable to stand and walk on land to get the body used to walking again by walking in water in a pool that is at least 3 or 4 feet deep, since the water supports the weight of our bodies and allows us to be able to stand and walk in water, even if we are unable to do so on land.

Low density bones and fracturing or breaking bones can be a problem for those of us with Multiple Sclerosis to have weak or brittle bones from not being able to stand much, walk much or at all.

The lack of our ability to exercise by putting more of our body's weight on our bones actually weakens our bones by making them less dense (weakness of the bones can set us up for us ending up with more bone fractures when ever we fall).

Using a walker to practice standing and/or walking even a few yards can help improve bone density, as well as using a rebounder or riding a stationary bike, if you are able to stand up for at least 5 to 10 minutes.

If you are unable to stand, propping your feet on a rebounder and having someone that can stand move up and down on the rebounder can give you the benefits of exercising using the rebounder, as if you used the rebounder to exercise yourself!

Doing this with a rebounder can actually help to increase bone density for those of us with Multiple Sclerosis, who are unable to stand.

* Riding an Exercise Bike

This sounds easy enough, but often the way that some exercise bikes are made requires you to be able to stand on one foot and step over the center part of the bike for you to be able to get on it.

Keep this in mind, if you are considering purchasing an exercise bike.

If you are not able to stand on one foot and step over the center of the bike, this type of design will not work for you.

Because MS relapses can sometimes give us set backs, you might want to keep this in mind when purchasing an exercise bike, in case you may have a MS relapse along the way that causes you to lose the ability to balance on one foot or lose you ability to step over anything.

There are other ways that exercise bikes are designed that avoid this problem.

Some of the exercise bikes that are easier for those of us with more severe MS disabilities to use are sometimes called combine bikes.

If you are uncertain as to which type of exercise bike that may work for you, based on how well your body functions, you might want to contact some of the rehabilitation facilities in your area to see if they can recommend a type of exercise bike that is easier for you to use to exercise at home.

*  Exercise bikes

Exercising using an exercise bike can help to do the following:

    * increases circulation and oxygenation of
       the blood the brain and other parts of the
       body.

    * gives a good cardiovascular workout that        helps to exercise the heart and all of its            veins and arteries.

    * improves stamina

    * helps to strengthen the leg muscles and            redevelop nerve pathways in the legs.

    * increases energy levels

    * reduces degree of ms fatigue (if done
       consistently over a period of time).

*  Rebounder exercises

This is sort of like a mini trampoline, but the exercises done on this does not require having your feet leave the surface of the rebounder. The up and down motion, while standing on it, gives many benefits to those who can stand.

Even if you are unable to stand, you can gain the following benefits by having someone else move up and down on the rebounder while you place your legs (and feet) on the rebounder while the other person is exercising.

The rebounder exercises can help to:

    * increase bone density

    * increase circulation and oxygenation of the        blood, brain and other parts of the body

    * increase balance

    * increase muscle strength

    * increase endurance

    * increase lung capacity

    * redevelop nerve pathways or nerves
       (if done consistently over a period of time)

    * increase energy levels and decrease
       fatigue

*  Balance Ball Exercises

This is a ball that you sit on and do exercises on it and with it.  Exercise balls come in varying sizes depending on what you are intending on using them for.

Balance Ball exercises can help to:

    * to improve balance

    * increase stamina

    * increase circulation and oxygenation of
       the blood

    * increase stamina

    * increase energy levels

    * strengthen trunk muscles and muscles in
       the lower back

    * helps to straighten out or unscramble
       nerve signals and helps to reconnect or
       re-develop nerve pathways through out
       different parts of the body


* Hand Weight Exercises

These exercises help to improve how well the arms, shoulders, wrists and trunk muscles can function, in addition to helping retrain the nerves connected to these muscle groups.

*  Stretch Band Exercises

Stretch bands can be used to strengthen and stretch the muscle in the legs, arms or other parts of the body.

These can also assist in redeveloping neural pathways or nerves connected to the muscles being exercised, if done consistently over a period of time.

* Practicing Walking

If you are still able to walk some, walking would not be where I suggest that you start with whatever exercises that you can do and work your way up to adding more different types of exercises as you go to improve how well you can stand or walk.

If you can still stand or walk some, start out exercising to strengthen the muscles and make sure you stretch any tight muscle groups before exercising to prevent hurting yourself, while exercising.

Exercises that help to redevelop the nerves, increase bone density can also help to improve how well your body can function.d

It is also good to practice stepping up, do rebounder exercises if you can (this will help speed up recovery more by improving your ability to functioned better sooner) or any type of exercise that helps to improve how well you can step up to push off, like walking up a few steps can help to retrain the feet ankles and legs for starting to be able to walk again or to improve how well you are currently walking already..

After strengthening the muscles, bones and nerves, then gradually add walking or at least practice walking with a walker.  You may have to practice standing for longer periods of time before you start adding walking with the walker for further distances, if you have more problems with balancing or with standing for longer periods of time.

* Step exercises or Walking Uphill

Stepping up on something or stepping up on the first 1 or 2 steps of a stair case can help to improve the strength and bone density of the legs, lower back and other parts of the body.

When you are unable to take a step up for a longer period of time, because of the effects of Multiple Sclerosis on your body, this can be a very difficult exercise to do.

Start out with one or 2 steps and gradually increase the amount that you are doing as you are able to increase it.

Don't push yourself too hard over a shorter period of time.

The effects are better and longer lasting if you work with your body instead of increasing the amount of exercises that you are doing past what your body can tolerate.

This type of exercise can help to reconnect the nerves where they have been damaged because of MS attacks on the nerves.

For the nerves to develop this type of exercise should be done in smaller amounts and done more consistently for a more extended length of time (I'm talking about doing this exercise in smaller amounts as many days of the week as you are able to handle -- at least 2 to 4 times per week -- and do this consistently for at least 3 to 6 months straight or even longer).

* Jumping Rope

This is a very good exercise to do, if you are able to do this exercise.

To jump rope, you have to be able to balance on one foot (which may or may not be possible for you because of the effects of Multiple Sclerosis on your body).

I would suggest that this is a more advanced exercise than what most people with Multiple Sclerosis can handle doing, at least initially.

You can work up to being able to do this if you think your body can handle it.

I look at this as a goal exercise, since doing this may be way beyond what you are able to do currently.

As you continue exercising and adding more different exercises and your ability to function increases (exercises that you were unable to do previously, when you first started), this may be a long term goal for you to work towards in the future some time.

I don't recommend doing all of these exercises together, but rather choose something you can do on a consistent basis and gradually increase the length of time that you do exercises for your chosen method of exercise.

As you improve on how well you can function and on how much you are able to do, add something new that will exercise your body in different ways.

If you set out to consistently do exercises for yourself to help your body to function better, you will gradually get to the point where you do function better.

Remember:  you can help yourself by exercising as much as you can handle to get back more of your ability to function that Multiple Sclerosis had taken away from you before.

Don't let Multiple Sclerosis take away every-
thing that you enjoy in life.

Take your life back by fight back against Multiple Sclerosis!

Exercising is one way of doing this!

To find out more information about Multiple Sclerosis
and about ways to help reduce your symptoms of MS, complete the form below to subscribe to our FREE Multiple Sclerosis Report.

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