120,000 people in the UK have MS and although symptoms are similar, MS can affect all of us differently in many ways.
I started Pilates (recommended by all the professionals I met) when I was diagnosed 6 years ago with slow progressive MS at the age of 59, very late when compared to the norm, although looking back, some Relapsing Remitting symptoms had been present for about 20 years. I was told that I had probably managed to keep the MS at bay through exercise and a healthy diet as my case was fairly mild. Although the diagnosis was a shock at first, with a pro-active approach, a positive mind set, determination to lead as normal a life as possible and ensuring that MS does not define me, my quality of life is very good.
My symptoms are all physical. I have balance issues, a limp, right side weakness, MS hugs and fatigue. I have good and bad days and have learned to adapt my exercise routine accordingly, going with what my body will allow me to do. I do 20-25 minutes of Pilates exercises every morning, I walk outdoors with a walking stick for between 0.5 to 1.5km daily and once a week attempt a 2km walk. I complete 2 Pilates sessions (1 mat and 1 apparatus) and a gym workout weekly.
I am able to manage my MS by having an excellent local support network of Physios, Osteopath, Sports Massages, a personal trainer and of course, Pilates, both mat and apparatus. I am also extremely grateful to my incredibly supportive husband, sons and friends who are amazing.
Pilates apparatus sessions are vital and so beneficial for MS. The apparatus provides resistance, helps increase strength, flexibility and balance (especially important for the core as a strong core and pelvis helps give you stability and support to prevent falls), activating small stabilisers as well as helping posture and toning muscles.
The Pilates Pod has been instrumental in supporting me on my journey to date. The staff are fantastic, so knowledgeable, professional, caring, supportive and motivational, focusing on what I can do and achieve rather that what I cannot. I always feel invigorated, more mobile and flexible after a session and am able to walk further with a lighter step and with renewed energy! Pilates has undoubtedly helped delay physical regression.
A very big Thank You to all of you at The Pod!
Written by Client Wilma.