Weight training - potiential problem with MS?

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Weight training - potiential problem with MS?

Postby greenandchic » Sun Jan 03, 2010 1:28 am

For the past several years, I have always made it a goal to stay fit. I have had my ups and downs since I was diagnosed, but I recently started weight training - more seriously than I have before. I am not trying to be a bodybuilder by any means, but I do work out no more than four days a week. I feel so much better (more energy, strength, vitality, etc) since I added weights to my workout routine. I used to run and play tennis, but the dizziness and vertigo keeps me from doing that.

I am pretty safe with what I do. I only use cardio machines (I cant fall or run into something) and use weight machines and floor exercises most of the time which is safer than free weights.

My question is (and its probably a stupid question), is what I'm doing risky in any way? I havent met anyone on or offline who has MS and is also willing or able to stay in shape beyond the basics so I am really curious.
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Re: Weight training - potiential problem with MS?

Postby NHE » Sun Jan 03, 2010 2:42 am

greenandchic wrote:My question is (and its probably a stupid question), is what I'm doing risky in any way?


No. Do as much as you can for as long as you can. It will help to stave off what I call the MS vicious circle, i.e., MS makes it hard to do things, therefore you do less, as a result it is even more difficult to do things. Once this cycle begins, it's extremely difficult to stop it. It's far better to stay fit for as long as you can.

NHE
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Postby jimmylegs » Sun Jan 03, 2010 6:02 am

hi green, i very much agree with NHE. i would add a caution that exertion uses up your nutritional resources more quickly. i would suggest making certain to match your intake of nutrients to your activity level. there are quite a few 'usual suspects' regarding nutritional imbalance in ms. if feasible, it might be worth keeping an eye on a few levels as you increase your weekly physical activity. go for it!
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Postby greenandchic » Sun Jan 03, 2010 11:45 am

Thank you so much for your advice! I will keep a more detailed log of my food/supplement intake as I proceed.
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Postby jimmylegs » Sun Jan 03, 2010 1:44 pm

PS, personally i have been lucky to have been relatively mildly affected.. after my initial intense megadosing regimen, i basically got back whatever i'm going to get back after the initial dx attack.

there's a book out there called 'black patent shoes - dancing with MS' by a woman from my area.. she does not pursue nutritional strategies but she does believe in working hard to retrain your body and regain any losses as much as possible.

since i got diagnosed i have worked to achieve my level 2 ski instructor certification, and also started swimming laps in order to try to meet the lifeguarding minimum - never had swum a kilometer in my life before that.

first time out, i swam a few laps and my hands went numb so i stopped. after that, i just kept swimming in spite of my hands. even though swimming's great to help stay cool, i still stagger around like a drunk for a bit after i get out of the pool - but it's worth it :)

ttfn!
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my approach: no meds so far - just nutrient-dense anti-inflammatory whole foods, and supplements where needed
info: www.whfoods.com, www.nutritiondata.com
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Postby greenandchic » Sun Jan 03, 2010 1:48 pm

Thank you so much! I will check out that book for sure. I am great as long I stay cool (the gym helps a lot in that regard). I do swim every now and then too. Being in the water is great for my flexibility.
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Postby Apuman » Mon Jan 04, 2010 12:04 pm

One of the great success stories I've heard involved weight training. A friend was telling me of a friend he had in highschool who had MS. He went from being in a wheelchair to walking unassisted. Sorry I don't have too many details on what happened, I just know that one day he decided that he wouldn't let MS keep him from walking, and began an intensive routine of weight lifting. Of course, I wouldn't be able to say if it improves his MS, or just his overall condition, but it certainly appears that he benefited from it.
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Postby jimmylegs » Mon Jan 04, 2010 12:15 pm

good story, apu. sounds somewhat similar to the eva marsh approach in 'dancing with ms'.
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Postby ikulo » Sat Apr 03, 2010 5:26 pm

Just wanted to chime in on this one. I have always loved weight training but have been able to do a bit less than before. After very intense weight lifting sessions I usually have a mild relapse, though the latest one has been a bit worse than before. In any case, now that the CCSVI theory is gaining some merit, I have limited myself to only certain exercises. For example, I noticed that on the bench press (while laying down and exerting a lot of energy), I would feel way worse than if I did cables standing up. Just speculating, but in the case of a bench press the drainage from the brain is likely lessened and the blood is probably pooling up there instead of draining. CCSVIers can't afford to have more blood up there because it won't drain. So I have eliminated all the exercises that used to cause me to be light headed, like bench press, decline press, planks and even sit ups. Also, just generally exerting yourself, make sure you breathe while lifting heavy weights. I often see people at the gym pushing weights but failing to breathe and of course they turn red as a tomato. Again, if CCSVI is the cause of MS, then you are actually doing more harm than good in some cases.
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Postby greenandchic » Sat Apr 03, 2010 10:05 pm

You know, I cant really do too much that has me lifting or lowering my head either. I try to stick to exercises that keeps my head level though I still to crunches...
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Postby happytown » Sun May 30, 2010 6:27 pm

I do weight training and feel like it helps. When I miss a workout, I can feel it. I am afraid not to work out as hard as I do because I want to have muscles just in case at some point I can't walk. While I can, Im doing everything I can. Its good to know of other people with MS that work out. It is one of the best things we can do.
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Postby greenandchic » Sun May 30, 2010 8:23 pm

Thanks for the response. I have noticed over the months that I feel great when I do it and not so energetic when I miss more than two days. It really made a difference for me.
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Postby Bubba » Mon May 31, 2010 12:36 am

happytown wrote:I do weight training and feel like it helps. When I miss a workout, I can feel it. I am afraid not to work out as hard as I do because I want to have muscles just in case at some point I can't walk. While I can, Im doing everything I can. Its good to know of other people with MS that work out. It is one of the best things we can do.


Definately....

I work out with weights seven out of every fourteen days. Now, I don't "push" it, I just try to maintain what strength I have. Now as far as cardio goes, I bike ride / walk everyday. I find that it really helps my stress level and I sleepalot better. When it comes to the cardio, I do tend to "Push" it. for me thats 2 miles on the treadmill and 6-8 miles on the bike, everyday.
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