Exercise can be a great way to improve your overall health, your mood, and your MS symptoms, but it must be done safely. Here are a few exercise safety tips:
Check with your doctor first. Before starting a new exercise program, talk to your doctor.
Have a game plan. Make sure that your exercise program is appropriate for your abilities. It's also important to know how to modify your exercise program based on your symptoms. Your doctor or physical therapist can help you tailor your exercises to fit your needs.
Get the gear. Once you've chosen an exercise program, be sure you have all the necessary supplies, such as supportive non-slip footwear, assistive devices, or safety gear such as a helmet or mouth guard, to help you exercise safely.
Warm up and cool down. Warming up before your workout can help reduce the risk of injury. Spend 5 to 8 minutes walking, marching in place, and gently stretching your muscles to warm up before you start your main workout. Then spend 5 to 8 minutes cooling down after your workout by gradually slowing your pace.
Don't overheat. Overheating can make MS symptoms worse, so do everything you can to stay cool. This could mean exercising in the water, working out in an air-conditioned room, or exercising outside in the morning or evening when it's coolest. Wearing light sports clothing can also help. You should also be sure to drink plenty of fluids so you don't get dehydrated.
Listen to your body. Talk to your doctor or physical therapist about your target heart rate, what to do if you get MS symptoms while exercising, and when you should stop exercising. Exercise is good, but don't overdo it!
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