It’s no secret that exercise is an important part of living a healthy lifestyle. Along with eating right, exercise is a great way to contribute to your overall health in addition to lifting your mood. When you’re first diagnosed with multiple sclerosis you may feel like exercising is no longer an option for you. However, there’s a silver lining: physical activity is actually encouraged for MS patients. As always, it’s a good idea to consult your doctor about designing a workout plan that’s right for you and fits your limitations.
Your exercise routine doesn’t need to be extensive or even time-consuming. The important thing is that you’re pumping endorphins through your body and keeping your heart and bones healthy. Sometimes exercise is the last thing you want to fit in your already busy schedule, especially on the days where your fatigue is high and energy is low. Luckily, there are so many great exercises you can do while watching your kids, doing chores around the house or even on your lunch break. Not only will they make you feel good but you’ll feel accomplished from killing two birds with one stone. Here are some helpful tips for fitting in a workout when you’re in a time crunch.
• While filling your water bottle at the fridge, or standing at the sink, do a set of squats to strengthen your legs.
• Kids in the bathtub? Bring your exercise mat in the bathroom and work your core by doing sit-ups, crunches or any variations of them to work your core. If you are feeling ambitious, you could even do, which work your whole core in a short amount of time.
• Keep a set of hand weights in areas of the house where you spend most of your time to fit in quick sets. For me, that usually means keeping a set of dumbbells in the dining room. While my kids eat, I fit in various arm exercises that take less than 10 minutes total (like ‘tank top arms’ from FitnessBlender.com). No weights? You can always use household items or no weight at all. Arm circles are a simple way to tone without weights.
• If you need motivation, search online for exercise videos (there are many free online ones!) to follow in order to ensure proper form and then do the exercises that work best for you.
• If you work in an office outside your home and find that you are in a crunch for time in the morning and evening, it could be a good idea to work out during your lunch hour. When I do go to the office I bring a change of clothes and walk or jog over lunch. Add in some lunges, squats or tricep dips on a bench and you can get a full body workout in without stepping foot in a gym. Almost every day someone tells me that I inspire them to start doing the same.
These are just some of the tips and tricks that have helped me find a good workout routine while balancing all of the other things I need to do in a day. The internet has proven to be a valuable resource when finding exercises, but don’t forget to also consult your physician prior to starting a new workout regimen. Most importantly, find what works for you and have fun with your workouts. Have FUN and the results will follow!