Breaking the MS and Exercise Barriers
Despite all the prompting and education, there are some that cannot buy into the idea of exercise. For some the barriers are physical while for others they're mental. Are you looking for ways to break through? Here’s how:
Barrier – No Time
It is true. Life is busy. Work, family, appointments and obligations consume a lot of your day. Are you prioritizing your time, though?
How many birds did you hurl at green pigs on your smartphone today? How many status updates did you read through? How many selfies did you take and how many episodes of that 15-year-old sitcom did you binge on?
Many people put off exercise in the name of relaxation, when exercise is the best thing you can do to relax. Sitting on the couch is a neutral experience. Trade it in for a positive one.
Barrier – No Energy
You are tired. MS leaves you feeling fatigued and worn down. Depression and anxiety leave you the same way.
Rather than waiting until you have energy to exercise, decide to exercise to gain energy. People typically report feeling more alert, focused and energized following a work out. The first step is difficult but each one after gets easier.
Barrier – I Don’t Know How
Exercise does not have to be a one-size-fits-all endeavor. Approach the situation with the mindset that any exercise is better than no exercise. As long as you do something that you enjoy and find appealing, it is a success.
Barrier – It Hurts Too Much
You should never continue any exercise program that causes significant pain, and make sure to ask your doctor what types of exercise would be best for you. It's also important not to overdo it. If you have had no exercise for an extended period, do not sign up for a 12 mile, muddy obstacle course.
Start very slowly and progress. Trying too much too soon will leave you sore and demotivated to try again. When done in moderation, you will feel invigorated and relaxed.
Barrier – No One Will Exercise with Me
Working out as a team is always a great idea to boost motivation and add accountability, but not everyone has a list of people that want to exercise the same way at the same time and intensity that they do.
If you do not have a partner, learn new ways to hold yourself responsible. Establish rewards for yourself after completing established minutes or days of exercise. Be your own motivation.
Barrier – I Have Mobility Issues
Many people with MS have mobility issues. One of the many advantages of exercise is the way it can be modified. Exercise looks and feels different for different people. Start with exercises in your comfort zone before breaking out and pushing your boundaries. Perhaps exercise will greatly reduce your limitations.