Last reply 3 months ago
Weightlifting with MS

Hi,

So I’ve been suffering with RRMS for the last 10 years
currently on Gilenya and from the start I’ve always had difficultly with exercise. Anything that drives up my body temperature is just murderous. After a session with the hospital physio I may as well be confined to bed for the day. It’s made goals like fitness and such really difficult. I work full time and my physio would be recommending spin and all these other classes that I legitimately felt were doing more harm than good as sometimes I would be just incapacitated for days after. I’m getting married however in August though and I made a promise to myself that I would wear heels (weak calves) so I decided to give it another go and I joined a gym. After explaining my situation one of the trainers there recommended that I pick up strength conditioning and weights. I was pretty skeptical. My phsyio was big into cycling and overly fascinated with running on treadmills and all these things that just we’re never going to work for me, all because they said I’d lose weight faster with those. I always felt like that was maybe their primary goal instead of mine which was improving mobility. Like, I’m just happy to be able to walk and get around and be a bit fitter and stronger.

But the gym trainer was right and weightlifting and conditioning has been fantastic so far. I just don’t get any of the same debilitating side effects as the rest. My physical strength and coordination has jumped spectacularly. Same with balance And it was slow going at first. I mean, I was squatting onto a box at the start with assistance. But this week I hit a bar squat of 50kg on my own. I never thought I’d ever be able to do that.

Has anyone any experience of this? The weightlifting makes me sweat but doesn’t seem to kill me with fatigue afterward like the rest and the neurologist has noted significant improvement all round.

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stumbler
3 months ago

@emma_madamn_degrimes , yes, you’re right, increasing your core body temperature can cause us problems :-

https://www.mstrust.org.uk/a-z/uhthoffs-phenomenon

Plus, you should start moderately, only increasing as you prove that you are tolerating the exercise.

Swimming is a great exercise, as the water maintains your body temperature and it’s low impact due to your buoyancy. Aqua-aerobics is good for the same reasons.

@stumbler My physio would run me till I needed help off the treadmill. Weights is the first time in years exercise has left me with more energy. I do love swimming but with the immunesuppressor I’d always be concerned about illness going into a pool with other people.


stumbler
3 months ago

@emma_madamn_degrimes , don’t believe those horror stories about swimming pools.

@stumbler I’m susceptible to viral and fungal infections and my white cell count is always on the low end of acceptable with the medications. Personally I wouldn’t like to risk it.


stumbler
3 months ago

@emma_madamn_degrimes , You have to keep things in perspective. A gym is also a potential hotbed of germs.

I’m sure the risk is mitigated by having a shower after your session. Something that can be mitigated in the same way at the swimming pool.

That’s just my view. You have to do what you feel comfortable with. If a change in core body temperature is contemplated then cooling vests can be considered to help.

@stumbler honestly showers at the pool and gym are the hotbed. Why I shower at home after the gym. I’ve picked up fungal infections in pools before. Rather not. I’m going to stick with weightlifting.


stumbler
3 months ago

@emma_madamn_degrimes , it’s your prerogative for your personal reasons. I just provide suggestions, but totally respect your choices and your reasons.

Stay strong.


funnybank
3 months ago

I’ve been reading about weight training and it’s benefit for maintaining bone health in older women. I have a friend who does it and she loves it. I think that some people are more suited to different forms of exercise than others. Even when I was young I had no stamina for running even short distances but could spend all day walking around the steep hills I lived near. It’s great you’ve found what fits you.


melissa_larkin
3 months ago

Thanks for sharing!! I too need to get into exercising since being diagnosed and the thoughts of it are all too nerve wrecking! My fatigue is a killer and my legs have more days than not where they really do not like me!

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