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Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis (PPMS) and Exercise

Updated on May 6, 2012

Approaching the world with the physical ease of an able-bodied person is simply out of the question where progressed MS is concerned, and of course, we would never be held to the same standard when it comes to exercise. Likewise, we should not be held to the same standard as those with less advanced forms of MS.

As a person with PPMS, I only do what physical activity I am realistically capable of doing when and if I'm feeling up to it. I do not let the benefits others derive from exercise affect me one way or the other. I say, good for them, and refuse to feel guilty for not having their 'can do' attitude.

Let's face it, progressed MS is incredibly debilitating; the mind says, "Let's get up and go", but the body says, "Hell no!" I cannot count the times I've attempted to clean out closets, kitchen cabinets, wash the car, sweep the patio and the like, only to turn back around and be seated after only a minute or two of activity; anyone with MS knows all too well the breathtakingly crushing below the waist fatigue, lower body muscle weakness and balance difficulties to boot.

So, my advice to those who have a more advanced stage of disability is to do whatever physical activity brings you the least discomfort and greatest degree of safety. Exercises that can be done while seated, rebounding and light weight lifting are a few options that might work for some. Also, starting a hobby and/or learning a craft are not just mentally stimulating, but are also personally rewarding activities.

If you cannot exercise for whatever reason, don't worry about it. Try to get a few minutes of daily sunshine if possible, keep a sensible diet, and seek social interaction when you can, (online is just fine, some of my best friends are online). And remember that mental exercise is as important to overall well-being as physical exercise. Do whatever works for you.

"Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body." Sir Richard Steel


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    • Patriette profile image

      Patriette 5 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      Hi Teresa,

      I so appreciate your supportive feedback and can't thank you enough! I don't know what form of MS your DIL has, but I'd like to recommend an excellent book to her. It's called, " Life Contiues: Facing the Challenges of MS, Menapause and Midlife" by Carmen Ambrosio. All ages and ability levels can relate to the contents and her style of writing, as it is an upbeat and very satisfying read. Another book she might like that I'm in the middle of reading now is called, "Wheelchair Chic" by Toni Mamula. Great tips in this one on being chic. :-) My best regards to both of you...


    • phdast7 profile image

      Theresa Ast 5 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Thank you Patriette. Great suggestions, but rather than suggest the book to her, I think I will just get it for her. Rachel is 38 and was diagnosed at 32 I believe (before I knew her. She still walks on her own, but has a fair amount of pain. She was having a lot of stomach pain after eating and last year they took her gall bladder out, but there has been very little improvement. I wish I knew more, but I will get the book and we will both rad it. Hope you are having a good week. Theresa

    • phdast7 profile image

      Theresa Ast 5 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Hello Patriette -

      An excellent hub. I like that you emphasis moderation, doing only what is realistic and that mental is just as important as physical. I will pass this on to my daughter-in-law as well. Hope you are doing as well as is possible. Take care. Sharing.


    • Patriette profile image

      Patriette 5 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      We're on the same page, feenix. Good to have your support and encouragement.

    • feenix profile image

      feenix 5 years ago

      Hello, Patriette,

      Well, I am certainly one of your internet friends. And your "talking" openly about your disability here on HubPages is a very good thing to do. I know because my "talking" about my mental disabilities here on HubPages has done a world of good for me.

    • Patriette profile image

      Patriette 5 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      Hi Sandra, I don't travel as much as I'd like to, so the Internet is the next best bet allowing me to expand my horizons a bit. A great learning tool!

    • sandrabusby profile image

      Sandra Busby 5 years ago from Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA

      I love you comment that mental exercise is as important as physical. Also, I, too, have learned to socialize on the internet. What fun! Thanks for SHARING.