Fitness Tips for People with Multiple Sclerosis

When people learn that they have been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, one of the first things that come to mind is what exercises are most beneficial for their condition. Multiple sclerosis typically manifests in one of four ways, and depending on how your MS manifests, that affects how active you can be. 

Most people have a form of multiple sclerosis that involves short-term symptom flare-ups, along with symptom-free remission periods. Less common forms of the condition include worsening symptoms, with or without remission periods. The type of MS you have will likely influence which types of exercise are most beneficial to you.

Stretching Exercises

Several exercises such as tai chi and yoga include stretching, which helps with mobility and decreases muscle stiffness that is common with this condition. These exercises have an overall calming effect, especially with deep breathing that is part of the routine. Increasing both muscle stamina and the range of motion decrease the chance of a fall.

In the case of Tai Chi, this martial art is low impact, which minimizes the chances of injury. The exercises that are part of this discipline help to build core strength. They also help with flexibility and balance, both of which are important for people living with MS.


Swimming is an excellent alternative to outdoor exercise if you have limited mobility, especially if the heat bothers you. Your movement will be a lot easier in water than on land, and you'll enjoy the health benefits that come with this exercise.

Cardio exercise or water aerobics are good options for those unable to perform cardio efficiently out of the water. Lifting weights and stretching in a pool are also helpful if you otherwise find these activities difficult.

Balance Training

Balance training is essential for helping MS patients to maintain a safe balance when standing or walking. You should have excellent flexibility in your arms and legs as well as your torso when you attempt balancing exercises.

Toe raises for five seconds at a time while holding on to something sturdy like a countertop or table will help to improve your balance. Standing on one leg at a time while holding on to something sturdy is also an excellent way to improve your balance. For the best results, consider varying the types of surfaces that you stand on when performing this exercise as well as holding one arm overhead or lifting your foot higher.

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