- Diseases, Disorders & Conditions
Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis (PPMS) and Exercise
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