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Relapsing Multiple Sclerosis and Exercise

Consistent exercise during an MS relapse helps.

Trainer helping client with exercise and multiple sclerosis

If you’re working with people who exercise while coping with multiple sclerosis (MS), you may need to support them during a relapse. New research shows that while an individual may find it challenging, certain strategies can help them overcome fears around exercising during multiple sclerosis flare-ups. Based on interviews and analysis, investigators offer the following recommendations:

  • Acknowledge concerns and allay fears that exercise may cause deterioration or that others may recognize their disability if they’re seen exercising.
  • Remind individuals about the benefits of physical activity.
  • Encourage individualized activities that are achievable to provide a sense of accomplishment and to boost motivation.

The study is published in Disability and Rehabilitation (2022; doi:10.1080/09638288.2022.2084774).

See also: How Can Exercise Help People Who Have Multiple Sclerosis?


Shirley Eichenberger-Archer, JD, MA

Shirley Archer, JD, MA, is an internationally acknowledged integrative health and mindfulness specialist, best-selling author of 16 fitness and wellness books translated into multiple languages and sold worldwide, award-winning health journalist, contributing editor to Fitness Journal, media spokesperson, and IDEA's 2008 Fitness Instructor of the Year. She's a 25-year industry veteran and former health and fitness educator at the Stanford Prevention Research Center, who has served on multiple industry committees and co-authored trade books and manuals for ACE, ACSM and YMCA of the USA. She has appeared on TV worldwide and was a featured trainer on America's Next Top Model.

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