#BrainHealth: on how-not to do it

Are you a Brain Health yo-yoer? Brain Health should be about consistency. #BrainHealth #MSBlog

I taught on the 2nd annual specialist-neurology-registrar (SpR) master course on Friday. One topic I covered was brain health and the holistic management of MS. We go onto the subject of MSer-activation and making them responsible for their own care. One topic of discussion was exercise and how to prescribe it. Should we not be giving away gym memberships or a subscription to a personal fitness trainer? This is happening in some areas of the country. The problem with an exercise prescription is that very few MSers adhere to the prescription. Why and how can we change things? One thing for certain is not to do it the way I do.

The aim of the Barts-MS Brain Health Challenge was to make HCPs (healthcare professionals) take-up exercise and a healthy lifestyle so  that when we prescribe these things to our patients we have the moral high-ground. I have lost the moral high-ground; over the last 3 months I had gone from exercising 4-5x per week down 1-2x per week and as a result I am feeling awful. I am not sleeping as well (early morning wakening), I have put on weight and my mood has sagged. So when I got home on Friday evening, after the course, I went for a 10 km run in the dark. I have now put in 4 training sessions this weekend (3 runs and 1 session on the rowing machine) and I am now stiff and sore. I am feeling better for it; it is amazing how exercise makes you feel great. The message should be consistency and not stop-start, or yo-yoing. I aim determined to get back on track this week with my own Brain Health Challenge. What about you? 

5 thoughts on “#BrainHealth: on how-not to do it”

  1. I've recently discovered the NHS app Couch to 5K, it's free, understands beginners and has a running plan. There are a good number of free fitness and wellbeing apps, podcasts and interactive tools on the NHS choices website.

  2. I have PPMS and am EDSS 6.5 or above. Exercise is too stressful for me. I get tired so easily. I am more into hygge right now. Hygge is where it's at.

  3. I do Pilates three times a week. I love it, particularly when I'm challenged by a new exercise and I have to teach my body what to do. I try to do the exercises I particularly like at home. None of this has really helped my walking, but my balance is better and I'm stronger. I recommend Pilates if you can combine mat exercises with equipment.

  4. Unfortunately, Tower Hamlets CCG no longer provides funding support for the excellent Abilty Bow Gym, which enables people with disabilities to exercise and includes an MS group. It hasn't stopped GP's making referrals though and there is a strong demand for supported exercise, just no appetite to help fund it. You should pay a visit while you can and see what your idea looks like in action. http://www.abilitybow.co.uk/

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