How to get back to exercise after an MS diagnosis

“What exercises can I do and not wake up the next day like I got run over by a truck?”

This was a question submitted to me by a fellow MSer a few months ago. 

And it’s a great question. 

So many people who find themselves diagnosed with MS or another autoimmune disease realize they can’t do activities like they used to before their diagnosis. Unfortunately one of the ways people figure this out is by doing too much, then experiencing a symptom flare. 

A symptom flare is when you experience a worsening of symptoms in response to a stressor. 

In this case, the stressor is exercise. 

If you’re experiencing a symptom flare from exercise, here is the way out. 

First, rest is key. The first day or two of a flare it is important to rest and try to include helpful activities to reduce inflammation and symptoms. 

Then, begin to include a little movement into your day. Start slow, MUCH slower than you think. Andrea, of Autoimmune Strong details a wonderful process. Take what you think you can do for movement, cut it in half, then cut that in half again. 

For example: you’re feeling a bit better from your flare, it’s time to move a bit! You want to go walk around your neighborhood, that sounds like what you think you can do. Instead of the full neighborhood, cut it in half, then half again. So you’ll be walking a quarter of the neighborhood. 

Another example: You want to do a 10 minute workout but you’re nervous about how it will make you feel. Try 3 minutes. Yup, 3 minutes. 

The number, distance or time you figure out might feel incredibly small. But that’s ok, it needs to be right now. 

As you continue, your tolerance for exercise will increase and you’ll be able to do more movement. 

There is no shame in going back to basics and rebuilding. 

How has exercise been going for you since your MS diagnosis? Have you been able to move in the same way as before? Or has your capacity changed? 



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *