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When you live with MS, getting your body moving regularly can be life giving for your brain. It helps you think more clearly and better regulate your mood and emotions. Plus it's fantastic for your body.
I remember when I discovered that there were physiotherapists that specialized in working with people with neurological issues. I was excited because I didn’t realized these people existed outside of the neurological hospitals.
I was assigned to a specialist named Jill. The first time I met her, I was surprised and delighted. She used a wheelchair.
I told Jill that when the MS fatigue is at its highest, sometimes I don't leave the house for days. Her response was get out every day, even if you're just going around the block. Just walk around the block and if you feel up to it, then do more. Get some fresh air, get moving.
I realized this was a great idea because, it took the pressure off of me to feel that I might be over extending myself with exercise if I wasn’t feeling well.
It's one thing to have a great idea and it's another thing to take action on that idea. But because I could see the value of doing it, I started incorporating this mindset and I began getting out for walks more often.
Do I get out every day? No. There's some days that I don't because it’s pouring rain, super cold or hot. Yet, I have stores close by, so I have lots of reasons even with bad weather to go pick up some veggies so I can get my body moving. This strategy has served me well over the years.
I'm aware of how my body likes it and appreciates movement.
The first step is to become aware that my body really wants to get up from my chair and off my butt!
The next step is to make a plan to ensure getting outside for a walk happens.
There was a time five years ago when I was taking a coaching program online to obtain my coaching certification. I really struggled with how long the classes were. They’d ran for 3 hours and 15 minutes.
These classes started at 6 pm which was not my finest hour!
During each class we would have a 15 minute break. I decided that walking around the block would be a great way to reset my mind and body.
I live in Montreal, Canada where the blocks are super long one way then short, then long, then short. It’s possible it could be up to 3 to 4 blocks in another city. During my break, I’d aim to walk one of these blocks. If I didn’t have time for the entire block, I’d walk all the way down the street and back again.
It's amazing how when you get your body moving, whether you're using a device or not, how it can change how the brain operates in a beneficial way. I felt more clear headed and able to resume my learning during the second half of my classes even though I was fatigued.
It’s a wonderful reminder how taking 10 to 15 minutes (or more) to get out and get fresh air, makes me feel so much better both physically and mentally.
How does it make a difference in your own life?
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I'm Jen DeTracey and I'm the founder of Women Thriving with MS. I helps women go from Surviving with MS, to Striving with MS to Thriving with MS. I do that through coaching our, online programs the YouTube channel, Facebook group that's free and membership and so much more.
Jen's been living with multiple sclerosis for over 12 years. She went through this process of surviving with MS to striving MS to thriving MS. She is a guide, coach and teacher who helps you move forward on your journey from surviving to thriving with MS.
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