Exercise is an important part of keeping fit and healthy – but living with multiple sclerosis (MS) can make exercise difficult. That’s why the MS Society has launched their MS Active Together campaign, alongside exercise videos to showcase the benefits of staying active.
There are different types of MS, affecting people in different ways, but exercise can help alleviate the symptoms associated with MS. Keeping active, even just by doing light exercise, can help improve mood, mobility and muscle strength. To motivate more people to get involved, the MS Society are releasing exercise videos.
MS Active Together
Having been active prior to diagnosis, Gabrielle Adjei explains how exercise encourages her to be strong enough to fight her condition. Gabrielle says: “At first it wasn’t picked up as MS – I was diagnosed with endometriosis. MS was the third diagnosis after I lost the vision in one of my eyes when I was driving.
“When my legs started going from underneath me a couple of months later, they started different tests and took me to hospital. Then they eventually diagnosed me with MS. It didn’t really change my life. It was quite a relief to know what was happening to me.”
Diagnosed when she was just 18, Gabrielle is now 39 years old and continues to live an active lifestyle despite her MS. “I normally swim three times a week and I go to the gym a couple of times a week. I don’t allow myself to become too relaxed, I would rather be out there doing something,” explains Gabrielle. “Swimming keeps me mentally and physically strong and prepared to fight my MS.
“I’m in a wheelchair so getting in the water is like a freedom for me. I get out of my wheelchair for an hour and I can relax in the water; have a little bit of fun. It’s not an MS group [that I attend], it’s just a group with lots of people. It’s just fun.”
MS Active Together is a new campaign that features exercise videos for people to get active in the comfort of their own home. The videos have been co-created with personal trainer, Dom Thorpe. Specialising in working with people who have MS, Dom has tailored all the exercise videos to suit different levels of mobility.
“There are various different ones depending on your level of mobility. I obviously did the wheelchair one. I actually know Dom from before and he was my personal trainer. The exercises are accessible. It’s not me jumping up and down, it’s me doing exercises at my level,” adds Gabrielle who has been involved in the videos.
For anyone wanting to get active with MS, you can take the first step with the MS Society’s new exercise videos to help you live an active lifestyle.
“MS affects everyone very differently. It’s an individual thing. Just doing what you can helps. You don’t have to be like me who doesn’t like to stay in the house. Do something rather than nothing to prevent your body seizing up. Even if you do a little – a little is better than nothing,” concludes Gabrielle.