Made available from the MS Lifelines e-Newsletter of July 2008
Make Fitness Part of Your Personal Health Equation!
Eat healthy. Get adequate rest. Do what you can to reduce stress.
Each of these activities represents a key component of your personal health equation. Another critical element of this equation is the importance of proper physical fitness.
"Many people with relapsing MS experience symptoms such as fatigue and mobility issues," explains Brian Hutchinson PT, MSCS, President and CEO of The Heuga Center for Multiple Sclerosis. "By staying active and fit, you give yourself a better opportunity to maintain or, in some instances, improve your current level of health."
To help you get more active or, if you're already physically fit, potentially improve your current exercise routine, Brian has provided the following fitness tips.
[Please Note: Talk with your doctor before beginning any kind of exercise program. Your physician can create a regimen that will work best for you or recommend another professional who can offer you proper guidance.]
Everyday Activities Can Produce Great Results
Exercise is not simply lifting weights and running on treadmills. It comprises all the physical activities you do in a day — walking to the bus stop, carrying the laundry basket into the other room, taking the stairs instead of the elevator at work.
"When it comes to gaining the benefits of physical activity, consistency is key," says Brian. "So, try to pay attention and track your daily activities. Maybe use a pedometer to count your steps"
And, remember, no matter what you do, every physical activity counts, so give yourself credit.
Building a Regimen — Step-by-Step
According to Brian, there are four basic steps you should take when creating an exercise program.
Establish your goal — This is very important. Make sure you have a purpose — whether it is to improve your time in a 5K, build strength/flexibility for your golf game, or to lose a few pounds.
Make a plan — Work with your doctor, nurse or rehabilitation professional to develop a new program or adapt your current exercise regimen. The key is to create a balanced program that will fit your lifestyle and help you reach your goal.
Identify potential barriers — If you want to include swimming as a part of your regimen, but the closest pool is 20 miles away, then you may need to adjust your day-to-day plan. Maybe make the trek to the pool once or twice a week, and take a brisk walk or ride a stationary bicycle on some of the other days. Remember, there are always options!
Track your progress — To know where you're going, it's important to remember where you've been. After you finish each day's workout, take note of your performance. This can include facts, figures, and your own thoughts. By tracking your progress, you can feel good about your improvement and, eventually, establish new goals.
One of a Kind Service Designed for People Like You
MS LifeLines Access Made Simple program celebrates its one year anniversary, and continues to help people with relapsing MS get affordable access to Rebif(R) (interferon beta-1a) therapy.
"Dealing with a diagnosis of relapsing MS is extremely overwhelming, and to be told my insurance coverage might prevent me from taking the treatment I needed was devastating. The MS LifeLines Access Made Simple program helped me get the treatment I needed for $50 a month, less than my expected co-pay, and supported me through a very difficult time in my life."
— Victoria, MS LifeLines Ambassador, taking Rebif
For more support, call us, toll free, at 1-877-447-3243,
or visit www.MSLifeLines.com.