Find a list of your saved stories here

News / 

Play It Smart to Get the Most Out of Your Exercise Regimen

Save Story

Save stories to read later

Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

Dr. Robinson Welch, a psychologist and clinic director of the Weight Management and Eating Disorder Program at Washington University, says the downside to exercising with a serious illness is when people "go gangbusters and injure themeselves. Then they struggle with a blown knee in addition to the disease, and that can be very demoralizing."

Welch recommends you start slow, even if it's just a walk around the block.

Here are some guidelines from the National Multiple Sclerosis Society for exercising with a serious illness.


-How to monitor your pulse and breathing rate and establish an appropriate target range.

-How to pace exercise to avoid overdoing.

-How to adapt and modify routines as symptoms fluctuate.

-How to time medications with exercise for best results. This may be particularly important for people taking antispasticity medication.

-How to handle symptoms including heat sensitivity, poor balance, fatigue, muscle weakness and spasticity.

-How to modify exercises, especially if symptoms cause a difference in strength or ability between one side of the body and the other.

-How to progress to more challenging activities safely and effectively.


Along with looking for a fitness routine that fits, check these points as well:

-Choose a location within easy traveling distance.

-Guard against overheated environments. Check locker room temperature and humidity.

-Inquire about pool temperature: The ideal is between 80 and 84 degrees.

-Look for nonslip floors in locker rooms and around pools, and grab rails in pools and shower areas; use pool lifts if needed.

-Check sandy beaches or rough terrain that may pose accessibility problems.

-Always wear rubber-soled nylon or plastic water shoes or sandals on the wet floors of locker rooms and pool areas.

-Don't hesitate to lean against a wall or use a chair for support in stretching, yoga or aerobics classes.

-When working to improve balance, have someone standing nearby for protection.

Source: National Multiple Sclerosis Society


(c) 2003, St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Distributed by Knight Ridder/Tribune News Service.

Most recent News stories


Get informative articles and interesting stories delivered to your inbox weekly. Subscribe to the Trending 5.
By subscribing, you acknowledge and agree to's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

KSL Weather Forecast