Do you ever get tired of hearing “Just Keep Moving” when you keep losing mobility or your MS is getting more challenging?  Believe me, sometimes I feel that way too.  I know how frustrating it can be when my body doesn’t cooperate with what my mind wants to do.  Does it help to get frustrated?  I couldn’t help but to get frustrated for quite a few years.  I still get frustrated at times.  For me, I found that getting frustrated doesn’t help either so I try not to do that anymore.  I just try to and accept it as “it was it is” and make the best of it.

So what happens if we can’t keep moving or we don’t keep moving as we live with MS?  There’s a big difference between if we can’t keep moving and we don’t keep moving.  If we can’t keep moving, my heart really goes out to all who can’t.  You’re a big part of the reason we’re doing what we’re doing by trying to keep people moving.  If we “can” keep moving and we “don’t” keep moving, I’m not sure what to say.  As you know, MS is different for everyone and what works for one person may not work or even be possible for another person.

For me, I feel really lucky that my body responds well to movement and exercise.  Sure, exercise fires my MS symptoms up when I exercise but it doesn’t make my MS worse overall.  In fact, it’s what gave me mobility back over the years.  Keep in mind, I couldn’t walk without assistance, I couldn’t feed myself, dress myself, etc.  Yes, it was frustrating.  The only thing I changed in my life was I started stretching and exercising.  Day by day, little by little, I started to make a little progress.  Little progress turned into bigger progress as the “years” went on.

Unfortunately, from what I learned myself and what I’ve learned from other people with MS the past 8-1/2 years of getting together, progress doesn’t happen fast.  It’s a slow process that requires a lot of hard work.  Is it worth it?  Granted everyone is different but for me, it has certainly been worth it.  If I hadn’t started exercising on a daily basis 21 years ago, there’s absolutely no doubt in my mind, I would not have been walking for the past 21 years much less hiking, running, biking, swimming, etc.  That’s how bad my MS was with no signs of improvement until I started exercising.

So, who can make progress with their MS by exercising?  The best answer I can give to that question is the people who do what they “can” do consistently.  The key word here is “consistently”.  By consistently, I mean everyday.  Yes, seven days per week.  How much is needed to make progress?  This is where everyone is different.  In fact, the same people are different at different times of the day.  For me, I can exercise for an hour or two hours in the morning without much problem.  In the evening, I wouldn’t be able to exercise for 10 minutes and if I did, it wouldn’t be comfortable.  I’m not even sure it would be beneficial.  For some reason (MS) my body shuts down in the afternoon and evenings.  I need to do my exercise in the mornings.

As we live with MS, our bodies will tell us what we can do and what we can’t do.  It’s important we listen to it.  Anytime someone with MS starts to exercise, I encourage them to start with the body parts that are the strongest.  Those body parts usually respond favorably fairly quickly.  The weaker parts will follow along with the stronger parts over time.  It’s ok and good to work on the weaker parts but let’s not make that our main focus.  Our main focus should be on the stronger body parts that can make progress.  For the weaker parts, it takes lots and lots of repetitions to make progress.  However, in many cases, not all, we can make progress with the weaker body parts through repetition.

How much exercise is too much or too little?  Again, this is where everyone is different.  I like to suggest we pay attention to our recovery time.  If our recovery time is two minutes, you could probably do more.  If our recovery time is two or three days, you probably did too much and need to back off and gradually build up.  A healthy recovery time is two or three hours max.

So, to get back to the original question about the phrase “Just Keep Moving”, at this stage of what I know about MS, that’s the best I can personally offer.  It doesn’t matter what you do so do what you like.  If there were a better protocol, believe me, I’d be promoting that.  Everyone should be working closely with their doctors to see what they can offer for solutions and answers.  The medicines have come a long ways in the recent years and again, everyone is different so they need to work closely with their doctor to see what will be right for them.  Your doctor can also prescribe physical therapy and occupational therapy which I highly recommend.

There are lots of other things we can do to improve our lives with MS.  Things like prayer, sleep quality, gut health, massage, ice packs, meditation, nutrition, intermittent fasting, electrical stimulation, vibration therapy, accupunture, etc. all help some people as well.  Work with your doctors on the medication but don’t be afraid to experiment with some of the other things mentioned and find out what works for you.  For me, it’s been prayers being answered and exercise as my first line of defense.

Please keep in mind that we are here for you.  I can say with lots of confidence that people who join us on Wednesdays and Fridays do much better than people who don’t come.  Even though this is a no whine zone, misery likes company and when we work hard together, we benefit more.  I hope you’ll continue to join us consistently.

It sure was nice having Dr. Becky Thomas and her students from Bryant Stratton College back with us last Friday.  By the looks of Dr. Becky on the e-bike, I think she was glad to be back too 😊.

It didn’t take the volunteers long to hook all the trikes together and get people with MS out riding.  Fun!

We’ll be getting together again from 9:00am – noon on Wednesday and Friday morning at the gym.  I hope you’ll join us!

Wisconsin Metal Parts – Westmound Building
W228N791 Westmound Drive
Waukesha, WI 53186

We realize the virus is not gone yet.  In fact, the numbers are very concerning again.  Many of us have either had COVID or have been vaccinated or both.  With the numbers going up, we have more people wearing masks again.  Thank you for doing that!

At this time, we’re leaving wearing a mask up to you to make good decisions.  If you have concerns, please wear a mask.  Either way, please be respectful.  Thank you for being so understanding, cooperative and respectful through this entire pandemic.  I wish we didn’t have to worry about it but it’s reality at this time.

One of the most important things you can do is to stay home if you have any symptoms or know you’ve been exposed to someone with the virus.  Please don’t come until your symptoms go away.  Let’s also give each other some space when talking to one another and continue wiping the machines down before and after you use them with disinfectant.  Let’s stay safe!

It looks like we’ll have nice weather for our Friday morning bike ride again this week.  It might be a little cool when we start so dress accordingly.  As we get into the fall, every week we get to ride together is a bonus.  We’ll continue riding as long as the weather is 45 degrees or higher @ 7:00am and it’s not raining.  I hope you’ll join us!

We had another great ride last Friday.  It was good to see Pam back on the bike again.  Many prayers are being answered.  Al is always fun to ride with 😊

We’ll be meeting Friday morning at 7:00am at Nettesheim Park in Pewaukee.  It’s on the SE corner of Hwy SS and Oak Street.  The GPS address is: N26W27495 Prospect Ave, Pewaukee, WI 53072.  Come a little early so you can get your bike out of your car and be ready to ride as close to 7:00 as possible.  We’ll ride until about 8:45.

If you need me to bring a trike or a tandem for you, please let me know and I will bring them.

If you’d like to ride but don’t know how you’d do it, please let me know.  We’ll do our best to figure out a way to get you riding.  We get pretty creative😊.

Ricky Heldt will be here on Wednesday and Friday again this week doing Tai Massage.  Many of you have reported making great progress with chronic pain relief, range of motion, walking better and a new sense of hope when Ricky does his magic to you.  Please keep in mind that consistency is key.  We need consistency to realize the benefits long term.  That’s why we’re having Ricky here both Wednesday and Friday mornings.  We want you to have long term relief.  Ricky will have a sign up sheet based on first come first served.  You can pick the time slot that works for you.  I highly encourage you to take advantage of Ricky’s Tai Massages each day and sign up for your time slot as soon as you get there.

Last week, our prayer group was once again…powerful!  I just love the way we share, pray together and witness prayers being answered weekly.  Thanks goes to God and to everyone that joins us.

Our prayer group will be in person at the gym as well as on zoom this week at 11:00am on Wednesday.  We’ll get together and share, talk, listen, give thanks and pray however God leads us.

MS – Just Keep Moving Prayer Group
Wednesdays @ 11:00am
Join Zoom Meeting with this link

Meeting ID: 826 8955 7013
Passcode: keepmoving

We had a fun call with Adam again this afternoon on his inspirational zoom call.  We’ll be doing it again next Tuesday.  Please join us if you can…thank you!

Inspirational Humor with Adam Wollert
Tuesdays @ 1:30PM
Here’s the link to join us…I hope you do!
Join Zoom Meeting with this link

Meeting ID: 943 138 9152
Passcode: 3qP2hu
Phone:   1-312-626-6799
Meeting ID: 943 138 9152

I encourage you to share a smile with someone.  Perhaps you could give someone a call that you haven’t talked with for a while just to see how they’re doing.  We all could use a little extra love and encouragement during these times.

MS is tough.  Let’s stay calm, focused, healthy, flexible, have faith and learn as much as we can about the challenges of each day as we make good choices.  Better days are ahead.

In God We Trust!