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Exercise DVD

Introduction

The aim of this DVD is to provide some basic exercises that can easily be done at home or outdoors. It is suggested that you select a set of relevant exercises according to your individual needs. Exercises may then be added or varied from time to time.

A training frequency of three times per week is good and five times per week excellent. However, the exact amount of exercise you do will depend on your condition and fitness.

The exercises in this DVD are divided into five sections:

Please keep in mind: This exercise programme has been developed and overseen by a physiotherapist and is intended for people with multiple sclerosis.
It is recommended that you discuss with your doctor whether these exercises are suitable for your type of MS and whether you are cardiovascularly fit for this programme. In some circumstances appropriate precautions should be taken. For example, in the event of a relapse, an infection, or aggravating symptoms, the exercise programme may need to be modified or temporarily discontinued. If that is the case, you should consult your doctor before continuing with the exercises.


Warm-Up

The idea of the warm-up exercises is to “tune” the body for the workout. In other words, the first part of the programme serves to boost circulation, increase respiration, and improve oxygen consumption in order to prepare the musculoskeletal system for the physical activity to come. So, turn on the music and play a couple of tracks while you warm up.


Balance and coordination

Balance and coordination problems are among the key symptoms of MS that need to be addressed. These problems can be largely overcome by therapeutic training. To optimise sensory stimulation from the soles of your feet, you should be either barefoot or wear socks but not shoes.

Safety is important: Be aware of external factors such as slippery floors as well as internal factors such as tiredness or fatigue


Strengthening

There are several exercises you can easily do at home to improve muscular strength and endurance. For people with MS, lower-limb exercises should be given high priority because strength deficits in MS are greater in the lower than in the upper extremities.

For beginners, 1 or 2 sets with 8-10 repetitions of exercises for the major muscle groups and for experienced exercisers 2 or 3 sets with 10-15 repetitions are recommended.


Flexibility

Flexibility exercises are important to counteract stiffness, tightness and a reduced range of motion. Slow and prolonged stretches without a sensation of pain are advisable. The position for the stretch should be stable and comfortable. Stretching should be a part of each exercise session. Best benefits are achieved if it is done on a daily base.


Outdoors

Most of the common aerobic endurance exercises are suitable for people with MS. They improve oxygen uptake, lung function, and functional capacity and reduces fatigue. Brisk walking and Nordic walking are among the easiest activities for improving fitness and health. Twenty minutes of exercise is a good start. In the long run, a session length of at least 30 minutes is advisable.
After walking it is recommended that you warm down with a few stretching exercises.