Exercise is important for everyone’s health, including those
with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and cancer.
Jason Geroianni is a neuro-fitness specialist and executive
director of Pressing On, which is a non-profit gym in San Antonio, Texas, that offers
specialized exercise-based training program for those with paralysis due to spinal
cord injury, traumatic brain injury, MS, stroke and other physical
Geroianni said, “It always is important to stay active. We
recommend that people with MS and cancer exercise or be active 30 to 60 minutes
a day, five days a week.”
People who exercise regularly may notice several benefits including
improved strength, possible diminished fatigue and depression, help with sleep problems
and keeping mentally sharp.
However, MS patients need to be careful during exercise. Each
session should start with a warm up and cool down including stretching.
Geroianni said, “MS patients may have balance issues, so work
to increase strength in core muscles. Do crunches and work on your balance.
These activities will help in your day-to-day life.”
Exercise and daily stretching can help lessen arm or leg
spasticity. Pedaling in a bike motion is effective exercise. Some stationery,
motorized bikes are available for people in wheelchairs. Swimming and water
aerobics are popular. However, people with MS should exercise in a pool that is
89 degrees or cooler. When in a pool with a higher temperature, you may get too
warm, overly tired and your symptoms may get worse.
People with MS are sensitive to heat, so try to stay cool.
If exercising outdoors, get out early or late in the day.
“It is important to listen to your body. If you hurt or don’t
feel well, cool down and stop exercising. The expression no pain no gain does not
apply,” Geroianni said.
Pressing On is located in San Antonio, TX, and their website
address is ww.pressingontx.org. Their programs are customized for each client’s
needs and are carried out by highly trained neuro-fitness specialists to help
patients after physical therapy ends. Pressing On modifies its equipment for
people in wheelchairs.