Exercise with MS

Exercise – Mooove whether you want to or not.

Give me the strength to face reality, with out fear.
Give me the nerve to move my limbs, to move my muscles.
Give me the courage to continue to fight and live. ~Courtesy of Montel Williams
People with MS can truly understand. Reading Montel’s book Living Well: 21 Days to Transform Your Life, Supercharge Your Health, and Feel Spectacular

Only people with MS can truly understand. Reading Montel’s book Living Well: 21 Days to Transform Your Life, Supercharge Your Health, and Feel Spectacularwas overwhelming. I was at a place in my life where MS had overcome me. I didn’t have energy to even lift my arms, or drag myself off the bed. For 5 years I moved as little as possible. I remembered my days of activity, hiking and bike riding.

I had heard about muscle atrophy, but I didn’t realize it was happening to me.

As the signals from my brain were not getting to my lower extremities, it felt impossible to lift my legs to exercise.

My physical therapist encouraged me to do as much as I could, then reach around and pat myself on the back for the effort. I was given simple stretching exercises to do, yet I did so little of them.

Five years later I went through a test study at Johns Hopkins, Cytoxan, and the MS was put in remission. Even though the MS wasn’t progressing, enough damage had been done that the signals were not getting from my brain to my lower limbs.

I started blogging and I defined my new reality. I was having so much fun and I neglected to exercise.

Now, almost two years later, I can feel and see the results of a sedentary life. I couldn’t deny it when (almost a year ago) I knelt down to scrub something off the carpet and couldn’t stand back up. I realized this had nothing to do with messages being sent from my brain, it had everything to do with muscle atrophy.

I didn’t have the strength to lift myself up.

Unfortunately that didn’t motivate me to exercise and strengthen my leg muscles.

I was doing a little to strengthen my upper body (only modified pushups) and riding my stationary bike but it wasn’t enough. The legs needed so much work, it felt like too much! My husband lovingly encouraged me but he didn’t understand.

Only those with MS can truly understand!

Now, even with how well I’m doing, when I walk with my walker, my thigh muscles feel ‘MSy’ ~ like lead. They feel heavy and almost tingly. Even with my walker for balance, it’s difficult to lift my knees up and march.

When I do the strap exercises that Holly Fulford-Jeffery showed me, I can work out at my desk and I actually do them!

I have no idea what my future has in store but I will do what I can. As Montel quoted, I will move my limbs, move my muscles. God willing, I will have the courage to continue to fight and live.

Are you exercising? What are your suggestions for all of us?


About our Co-Founder: With a bachelors in Social Work, Linda is 53 years old, happily married with eight children and 17 grandchildren. Diagnosed with MS in 1995 and now having accepted and truly embraced her new reality, Linda has created MSrelief.com. She is dedicated to proving that joy can be chosen while living with Multiple Sclerosis. Linda specializes in helping others, especially those with MS attain the lifestyle, independence and happiness amid living with MS.


  1. Hello Linda,
    Boy, my heart is with you. You’re right, I can’t possibly understand. And why this is happening to you … Does Montel talk about that? Exercise is so important. I have been for two months now, daily. I measure inches, not weight and I have decreased my size, but more importantly I feel better, move better, have more strength. Now it’s a part of me and I have to keep doing it. I send you loves of love. Writing about what’s happening is a good thing. Blessings, linda.

    • There Lesly, Montel’s video is on! Montel encourages us to move and not let our muscles atrophy!

      Now I’m exercising to my ability and I know the muscles are being strengthened. I don’t worry about what others can do, I just concentrate on moooving!

  2. Hey there Linda;
    Wow, what a story my friend I had no idea. This may sound a bit off the wall; but I’d like to ask you a question, do you drink a lot of water every day? The reason I ask is I believe proper hydration plays a huge role in MS as well as many other conditions of the body. You definitely need the exercise as you’ve already admitted; but do you drink enough water?

    A great article that I’m going to link to in just a minute offers the simple yet powerful benefits of water. Check this out “Cure # 11: Water cures depression, loss of libido, chronic fatigue syndrome, lupus, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy.

    These conditions are caused by prolonged chronic dehydration. They will clear up once the body becomes well and regularly hydrated. In these conditions, exercising one’s muscles should be part of the treatment program.” The rest of this article can be found at curezone.com/foods/watercure.asp

    • I thank you Joe! Yes, I totally believe in the power of water! I’m wondering if you’d be a guest author for my blog?! I’d love for you to write allow me to post your Cure #11 right here on MSrelief.com! I’d put in the category of Nutrition or Treatment or maybe even both!

      I know that water is an issue for many of us with MS because incontinence is such a common problem. There are many people who know the importance of water, but not everyone. Let me know if you’re willing to be a guest author!

  3. Adelaide,
    I appreciate your trust. At the same time, I’m just a regular person and as hard as I try, I worry that people will not talk to their healthcare professionals!

  4. Multiple Sclerosis may take away your ability to move, but it will never take away the courage of your heart and your faith in God. Believe in God like he believe in you. You can overcome this challenge.

  5. If some one wishes expert view about blogging and site-building then i suggest him/her to pay a visit this blog, Keep up the pleasant job. I used to have this problem also some time ago and i am so glad i got myself a solution…

  6. Please let me know if you’re looking for a author for your site. You have some really good articles and I believe I would be a good asset. If you ever want to take some of the load off, I’d absolutely love to write some articles for your blog in exchange for a link back to mine. Please blast me an email if interested. Regards!

    • Hey Homer!
      We would love to have you as a guest author! We formally launched April 1st 2012 but we still have much to do! So far we only have a form for the guest bloggers so if you’d like to submit a post for us to preview, just do it in the contact us tab above!

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