The Importance of Exercise

The Importance of Exercise

I know I have always gone on about the importance of exercise and finally a study that likens MS Exercise to that of a Body builder or Weight Lifter.

With MS, as we lose the ability to control muscle, it becomes more important to build stamina and strength in the few muscle fibres that we can still fire. The Review[1] highlights the importance of both "resistance training combined with motor control training". By building muscle strength and stamina we can reduce the amount of physical disability we have to deal with as muscles weaken. See reference to the study below [1].

However, I have always maintained this is only half the issue. As we all know, the weakness is driven by Neurons not being able to fire all the fibres in a muscle. Not actually Muscle Weakness. Because the Neurons have to work extra hard to fire the few fibres they can still reach they burn a whole lot of energy that doesn't make it to the muscle. As a result a lot of energy is wasted firing Neurons that are connected to our "broken wires" (Axons with damaged Myelin) resulting in Fatigue.

We use energy in three, roughly equal areas.

  1. Firing Neurons. In the brain as well as the body.
  2. Running autonomic functions such as breathing, heart, digestion etc..
  3. Muscle contractions for moving

Those of us with MS waste a huge amount of energy firing Neurons in the Brain and Central Nervous System (CNS) that are no longer connected to anything. As a result, as most of us will agree, fatigue becomes a significant component of our disability. Exercising like a body builder is very difficult and unattractive when you know it'll wipe you out for the rest of the day. Or even several days. The study also looked at how to best manage the balance between exercise and fatigue.

  1. Don't push yourself too hard. Know your limit.
  2. Specific exercises to target the muscles you struggle to fire.

Use your energy wisely. DON'T WASTE ENERGY EXERCISING MUSCLES THAT STILL WORK OKAY. Make sure your exercise regime focuses on areas you need. There are some great muscle specific exercises on my youtube channel. The image attached[2] to this article is a great 5 minute workout for the lower body. But remember everyones disability is different so develop exercises that are specific to your disability.

One thing they failed to address in this review is what can be done to recover from this energy drain. I have covered in other blogs and on my research pages how certain supplements can help with energy replenishment. B group vitamins are extremely important in cellular energy production. Particularly Vitamin B7 (Biotin) and another Vitamin like compounds such as Alpha Lipoic Acid.  So I recommend these two are both a part of your Supplement Regime.

  1. Is Resistance Training an Option to Improve Functionality and Muscle Strength in Middle-Aged People with Multiple Sclerosis? A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
  2. TY - JOUR, AU - Mohtasham, Hamid, AU - Shahrbanian, Shahnaz, AU - Mohtasham, Majid, PY - 2021/12/01, SP - 158, EP - 163, T1 - Guidelines for Home-Based Physical Activities during COVID-19 Quarantine for People with Multiple Sclerosis: A Narrative Review
    VL - 8, DO - 10.30476/JRSR.2021.89410.1130, JO - ER -


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