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Regular exercise is important for everyone and is especially important for people with NMO for the following reasons;
♦ Joint stiffness is a discomfort after a period of inactivity (such as waking up in the morning or sitting for an extended period of time. Exercises and stretching are often useful.
♦ Muscle weakness is a reduction in the strength in one or more muscles affecting mobility (legs) or activity (arms). There are no medications to improve weakness. Exercise and stretching can be beneficial.
Although life is tiring, it is vital that exercise becomes part of the weekly routine. Even if it is half an hour a week it will make a difference. For instance swimming is great to get the circulation going and give you boost. Even taking a walk or a push (if in a wheelchair) to get the body going and the heart pumping.
It will be tiring at first and it is not always easy to get yourself in a routine but again as with eating healthy you will feel the benefits in both body and mind.
If you are given the option of Physiotherapy it is vital that you take it. Once a week is perfect. You can meet like minded people and get advice on life in general and help.
Sportability, is a registered charity who provides sport and challenging pursuits for people with paralysis around the UK. People with conditions such as spinal cord injury, stroke, MS and others, are able to participate in a whole range of sports – scuba diving, sailing, archery, angling, abseiling, quad-biking, gliding, canoeing, clay pigeon shooting, go-karting, land-yachting, wheelchair tennis and many more.
The MS Trust have several resources to help you maintain fitness and cope with fatigue that are as equally important for you. Exercises for people with MS – the new version of exercises for people with MS is an expanded set of web pages with something for most people. Each exercise is clearly illustrated with an animation and can be downloaded to allow you to put together a personalised set of exercises to meet your own particular needs.
Staying Active these web pages contain a host of ideas for sports and activities to help you keep active. With everything from gardening to gymnastics, there is something to suit all
Spinal Cord Injuries http://www.spinalcord.org/resource-centre/askus/index.
Books and DVDs
Book: Physical activity for neurological conditions by Dr Helen Dawes. Published byOxfordBrookesUniversity (2010). A handbook to help people with neurological conditions to exercise more easily and safely. Includes advice on how to plan an exercise routine.
DVD: Leanne’s chair workout by Leanne Grose. Published by Ilc Media (2007). Exercises for people who use wheelchairs.
DVD: Single chair yoga-volume 1 by Lakshmi Voelker (2007). Yoga for people who use wheelchairs. Available from http://www.getfitwhere/
DVD: Move it for MS aims to make exercise fun and engaging. It features Mr Motivator, whose infectious enthusiasm will get even reluctant exercisers joining in. The DVD is available directly from the MS Trust at a cost of £1.
Booklet: Sitting Comfortably a self-help guide to good posture in sitting. Available free from MS Trust.
MS Society booklet- Exercise and Physiotherapy explains the benefits from being physically fit, to stay as healthy as possible and help to improve some of your symptoms.
If you have any suggestions or ideas that have been helpful, please let us know as it may be useful to others firstname.lastname@example.org