Thursday, January 15, 2009
Stress, MS and excercise
We were all told that with MS there were two things we had to avoid. 1). Extreme heat and 2). Stress. Extreme heat is easy to avoid. Avoid being outdoors in high temperatures and if you MUST be outdoors wear a cooling vest. Not too terribly difficult. Avoiding stress, well that's another story. Poop happens. For me, my exacerbation last year started with a fall at work and progressed from there. Even an injury is stress. Whether that injury is from a simple fall or a surgery. It stresses your body and if your immune system is revved up, and you have MS, it attacks our central nervous system. So we have to try to come up with stress relieving techniques. Hopefully, the one's we choose don't include alcohol or drugs :) If you have mobility issues alleviating stress through exercise can be challenging, but not impossible. Simply doing range of motion with the extremities you can move easily is a big help. Physical activity of any kind helps release endorphins that are important to our well being. Not to mention the psychological benefit of promoting the "I CAN" attitude within yourself. Some find yoga very helpful. Other activities include swimming or a water exercise program. Communication is also very important in maintaining our stress levels. Talking with our loved ones. "Venting" with friends, finding a support group or even a therapist is vital. What do YOU do to help relieve stress?