Health Central have produced this excellent guide to Multiple sclerosis and Exercise entitled Living with Multiple Sclerosis – the 7 best exercises. We are sharing because we think it is an excellent overview.
Think of all the injuries and pain you’ve had in your life. Some things are temporary—even momentary. A scratch on your finger, a blister from a fun day spent outside. All these things will pass, probably most of them with no more than a bandage or some ointment.
But that’s not the case with other injuries. Bones get broken. Deep cuts require stitches. And falls, overuse, or other injuries can create chronic pain in ways that we have a hard time getting over or getting through.
Take neck injuries: They can happen in all manner of ways, from car accidents to slips and falls and even just strain from overwork. That’s because the neck is in constant use. It holds up our house, of course. But it also helps in other ways, such as holding our phones when we talk or even just exercising and driving a car.
Unfortunately, neck pain becomes a problem for more than just a few people. In fact, neck issues can be an issue for up to 70 percent of all people at some point in their lives. And neck pain takes many different forms: It can become a migraine or a facial ache. It can transfer to the lower back. When it comes to neck pain, more women than men are affected by it too.
Many people’s first impulse may be to shy away from doing anything if they have neck pain. But they shouldn’t: Building those muscles is good work for the body and for the neck. There are a number of different tactics to take, including easy-to-learn stretches that work in low-level physical activity to help the neck muscles. This graphic offers alternatives to practice to help you combat and remedy nuisance neck pain for a healthier future.
You might feel too tired to exercise, but regular exercise will make you feel less tired in the long run, and you’ll have more energy. Even a single 15-minute walk can give you an energy boost, and the benefits increase with more frequent physical activity.
Start with a small amount of exercise. Build up your physical activity gradually over weeks and months until you reach the recommended goal of two-and-a-half hours of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise, such as cycling or fast walking, every week.
If your body is carrying excess weight, it can be exhausting. It also puts extra strain on your heart, which can make you tired. Lose weight and you’ll feel much more energetic. Apart from eating healthily, the best way to lose weight is to be more active and do more exercise.
It sounds obvious, but two-thirds of us suffer from sleep problems, and many people don’t get the sleep they need to stay alert through the day. The Royal College of Psychiatrists advises going to bed and getting up in the morning at the same time every day; avoid naps through the day, and have a hot bath before bed (as hot as you can bear without scalding you) for at least 20 minutes.
Try these NHS-approved sleep apps to help you sleep well.
Reduce stress to boost energy
Stress uses up a lot of energy. Try to introduce relaxing activities into your day. This could be working out at the gym, or a gentler option, such as listening to music, reading or spending time with friends. Whatever relaxes you will improve your energy.
There’s some evidence that talking therapies such as counselling or cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) might help to fight fatigue. See your GP for a referral for talking treatment on the NHS or for advice on seeing a private therapist.
The Royal College of Psychiatrists recommends that anyone feeling tired should cut out caffeine. It says the best way to do this is to gradually stop having all caffeine drinks (this includes coffee, tea and cola drinks) over a three-week period. Try to stay off caffeine completely for a month to see if you feel less tired without it.
You may find that not consuming caffeine gives you headaches. If this happens, cut down more slowly on the amount of caffeine that you drink.
Drink less alcohol
Although a few glasses of wine in the evening helps you fall asleep, you sleep less deeply after drinking alcohol. The next day you’ll be tired, even if you sleep a full eight hours.
Cut down on alcohol before bedtime. You’ll get a better night’s rest and have more energy. The NHS recommends that men and women should not regularly drink more than 14 units a week, which is equivalent to six pints of average strength beer or 10 small glasses of low strength wine.
High cholesterol is the bane of the developed world. In the modern world we have more, better and much easier to prepare food than in previous centuries. But, this also means, far too many of us now have the opportunity to overindulge. (I’ll put my hands up here and say I’m one of those guilty of what I have to call greed). The problem with this kind of eating is that it does have the tendency to raise our cholesterol levels.
According to the NHS evidence strongly indicates that high cholesterol can increase the risk of:
transient ischaemic attack (TIA) – often known as a “mini stroke”
peripheral arterial disease (PAD)
So I think we can all agree that we need a few ideas of reducing our cholesterol levels.
So I thought I would share the following five tips which you can use to help reduce your cholesterol with our recourse to medication.
a) Yes indeed I know healthcare professionals sound like a broken record on the subject of drink. But it is important to cut down (if you do drink) to cut a glass or two a day. Oh and make sure that you have a few drink free days each week including weekends.
b) Smoking tobacco. If you still smoke please please do give up. Please check out a previous blog post with a few tips to help you quit.
c) Now I know that many pixels have died in the cause of lecturing us about taking more exercise. But it also has numerous other benefits as this article shows!
e) Foods fortified with plant sterols and stanols. Foods which contain sterols and stanols include corn, coconut, olive and sunflower oils, beans, corn, peanut butter, almonds, oranges, apples, and avocados. A great way of getting down your cholesterol.
If you do have any concerns about your cholesterol levels please do speak with a medical professional as they are best able to advise on your best course of action!
And if you do have any other tips for reducing cholesterol please do share them in the comment section at the bottom of this blog post.
Diabetes is one of the most widespread diseases in the world, with an estimated 415 million people suffering from one type of this condition. It is a condition on the rise, with more and more people dying from it (or complications caused by it) each year and with a global economic cost that is rising well above half a trillion dollars every year.
Before we cover why strength training can be a great ally in the battle against diabetes, we should probably say a thing or two about the disease itself as it will help explain why strength training is so beneficial.
There are three main types of diabetes mellitus that people suffer from.
Type 1 DM, often called juvenile diabetes; type 2 DM, the most common type; and gestational diabetes is the third major type, and it develops in pregnant women who previously never had problems with blood sugar levels.
No matter what type of diabetes is in question, the patient has high blood sugar levels over a long period of time, leading to increased thirst and hunger, as well as more frequent urination. Over time, diabetes can cause vision impairment and skin rashes. More serious complications can include heart disease, chronic kidney failure, stroke, and foot ulcers.
Prevention and Management
While there is no known prevention for type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes can be effectively prevented or at least delayed by making smart lifestyle choices. This includes regular exercise, a healthy diet and maintaining a normal weight. If you are a smoker, giving up on the habit will also reduce your chances of developing type 2 diabetes.
When it comes to managing diabetes, it all comes down to keeping blood sugar levels as close to the normal levels as possible. Of course, it is also important to avoid low blood sugar levels. Besides regularly taking medications and/or insulin, management will also involve lifestyle habits. One of the most important of these habits is regular exercise.
The Importance of Exercise
For the most part, people who suffer from diabetes are recommended to engage in regular aerobic (cardio) training, i.e. training which involves running, cycling, swimming and walking and various iterations of this kind of training. Among other things, aerobic training helps the body burn excess glucose found in the body, as well as decrease its innate resistance to insulin. Its additional benefits also help diabetes patients manage their condition more effectively.
Underrated Strength Training
And while aerobic training is commonly recommended to diabetes patients, many of them are not familiar with all the great stuff strength training can do for them. Strength training involves mostly gym-specific workouts that involve weights and specialized gym equipment (including comfortable gym wear).
The most important thing strength training does is improve your muscle tone and build new muscle mass. Muscle is known to burn more calories than other types of tissue, meaning that you will reap the benefits of your strength training 24/7. In addition to this, building muscle mass will also help lower your insulin needs due to improving insulin sensitivity. Furthermore, during the actual strength training, your body will use glucose from your blood to power your muscles. Finally, this ability of toned muscles to store glucose more effectively than other tissues will help regulate blood sugar even when you are not working out.
A Word of Warning
It should be pointed out that you should never engage in any strength training before you consult your doctor. This is especially important for people suffering from type 1 diabetes, although people with type 2 should also always consult their doctor.
Most doctors and experts agree that combining the two types of exercise – aerobic and strength, will have the most positive effects on your blood sugar levels and diabetes in general.
The important thing is that you do not neglect strength training.