LEAP-MS is about supporting you to be physically active. This section includes information about physical activity and MS, how to choose new activities that are right for you and how you can overcome challenges you might face in starting new activities.
Browse through the information categories and take a look at the information below to learn more about why physical activity is important for people with MS and how being physically active can help manage MS symptoms.
What is ‘physical activity’?
Physical activity means doing anything that gets you moving or requires some physical effort. For some people physical activity will be walking the dog, getting out of bed into a wheelchair, brushing their hair or doing deep breathing exercises.
‘Exercise’ is a form of physical activity that is specifically planned and structured, for example riding a stationary bike, doing an exercise DVD at home or going to a yoga class.
Everyone can be ‘active’ irrespective of their physical abilities or MS diagnosis. This resource is about helping you to find physical activities that you enjoy doing to help improve your wellbeing.
MS affects people differently so what works for one person might not work for someone else.
Why is it important for people with MS?
Regular activity is now known to be an important part of maintaining good health and wellbeing for everyone, including people with MS. There is good evidence from a range of research studies that participating in regular physical activity and exercise can help people to manage many of their MS symptoms, and can also impact positively on health- related quality of life.
Regular activity can help improve your strength, balance, co-ordination, flexibility and help manage fatigue, pain and muscle stiffness.
Listen to Ceri talk about how exercise helps her.
Studies have shown that core stability training, weight training, and posture-based activities like Tai Chi can help people with MS who have balance problems. MS Society researchers also found that computer games systems like the Nintendo Wii could be adapted for special MS exercises that improve balance, pain and fatigue.
Exercising is good for the mind and brain, not just the body. In general, exercise has been found to be neuroprotective, to improve symptoms of depression and improve cognition (such as memory, understanding, concentration).
Take a look at the short films below to learn more about why exercise is important for people with MS.
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