"Exercise helps with primary symptoms such as fatigue, stiffness, numbness and pain. It also helps increase flexibility, enhance mood, improve bowel and bladder function and is also found to improve independent functioning.
“A person with MS, depending on the degree of mobility or impairment, can do the exercises that any able-bodied person can do,” said Dr. Garry Wheeler, vice president of the MS Society of Canada’s Alberta division. Though exercise is recommended, people with MS should consider several different factors when exercising, he said.
Because high temperatures can make symptoms of MS worse, he suggests exercising in a cool environment.
Wheeler also suggests exercising earlier in the day and doing so at an easy pace because fatigue is a factor among people with MS.
Balance and co-ordination is also a consideration for people with MS, Wheeler said.
“Running on a treadmill might be problematic for a person with balance problems so an exercise bike might be better.”
Because bladder control can be a problem “it’s important that a person empties their bladder before they exercise.”
People with MS should also drink a fair amount of water before they exercise to make sure they are well-hydrated.
Also be careful of the symptoms that any medications may cause such as dizziness.
“You don’t don’t want to be doing stressful exercise if you’re going to become dizzy and so on,” Wheeler said.
As MS progresses, memory and comprehension issues can affect the ability to follow instructions so its important to be in a safe environment and it’s a good idea to have a partner while exercising.
In case of a relapse, Wheeler said to slow down or take a break and he suggests consulting with a physician before beginning any exercise program."