Barbara: Hello, my name’s Barbara, I’m a person that actually has multiple sclerosis, MS.
Jenny Thain, Physiotherapist: I’m Jenny Thain, I’m a clinical specialist physiotherapist at the Walton Centre in Liverpool.
Barbara: We’ve got some questions that it would be nice to have answered by a professional as yourself. The first question I’m going to ask is, should I exercise when I have fatigue?
Jenny Thain: Yeah, it’s a good question. Short answer is yes. We certainly encourage people that have fatigue that exercise is part of how they can manage their fatigue on a day-to-day basis. You’ve got to put that in context of your day-to-day living and how you can prioritise it and fit it in with everything else that you’ve got to do in a day, but certainly exercise should be one of the options that you think about within that. We would mainly encourage people to try and think about cardio-vascular exercise to try to improve your fitness, because obviously the fitter you are, the less energy you take to do the tasks that you’ve got to do each day. So we’d encourage people to try and gradually improve their fitness again.
Barbara: That’s good. Well, I find swimming is really helpful for me, so do you find that’s a good way to keep yourself fit?
Jenny Thain: Yes, swimming’s certainly one of the best all-round ways that you can improve your fitness with the support of the buoyancy in the water, so people might want to join their local gym or their fitness centre if there’s access to a pool there, or using the gym facilities, so such as an exercise bike or a treadmill and doing some walking. But with any of these activities, whether you’re doing things at home or in a gym, you need to start off really gently with them if you’ve not done it for a while, start off with a minimum amount and then gradually you can increase how much you’re doing as your body allows you and as your body’s used to doing it.
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