strength

Thinking Outside the Box

There’s a story I love to tell about my dad, a retail warrior with more than 30 years of experience under his belt. And it’s one that I think is apropos for those of us dealing with multiple sclerosis. Back in the 1980s when he was a department manager…

The Power of Resilience

After taking a tumble this week, I am reminded of the power of resilience. Dictionary.com defines resilience as: “1. the power or ability to return to the original form, position, etc., after being bent, compressed, or stretched; elasticity. 2. ability to recover readily from illness, depression, adversity,…

I Choose to Address Chronic Illness on My Terms

Who decides how we choose to chronicle our journey of illness? I have thought about this for the past few days. Many people believe that sharing the negative aspects of illness exacerbates fear and pessimism. The mindset is that if our words are inconsistent with hope and optimism, we…

The Awe of Autumn: Welcoming Change

, Spring has always been my favorite season. There is something about flowers blooming, grass growing and the germination process that invigorates me. Spring reminds me that a new season is coming and it ignites hope. I am discovering that autumn deeply resonates with me as well. When I…

How MS Helped Me Embrace Living in the Present

My multiple sclerosis (MS) brings fatigue, pain, and instability into my life, but surprisingly, it also makes me more aware of my life and surroundings. For me, that means being more aware in the present moment and focusing on the good in my life right now. Living in…

Combined High-Intensity Interval, Resistance Training Improves Physical Health and Quality of Life in MS

In a pilot study with patients with multiple sclerosis, high-intensity interval training combined with resistance training improved physical capacity and quality of life in a pilot study of multiple sclerosis (MS) patients — whether or not they were disabled. French researchers at the University of Strasbourg assessed physical capacity, strength and quality of life before the training started, and then again after completing a 12-week exercise program. They divided participants into two groups: one of 18 patients with no disabilities, and a group of eight with disabilities. Participants followed a personalized exercise program involving both high-intensity interval training — a kind of cardiovascular exercise strategy alternating short periods of intense anaerobic exercise with less intense recovery periods — and resistance training to improve muscular strength and endurance. Scientists used a French version of the Multiple Sclerosis Quality Of Life-54 test — a questionnaire filled out by MS patients to measure health-related quality of life — with five additional questions. After the exercise program, women improved significantly in vitality, general well-being and physical health composite scores in the quality of life assessment, while men showed no significant improvements. Vitality and general well-being only improved in the group with no disability. Peak oxygen consumption improved by 13.5 percent, and maximum tolerated power — a measure of maximum energy that can be expended — by 9.4 percent. Muscle strength increased in both quadriceps and hamstrings. Women showed better improvements than men in peak oxygen consumption, maximal tolerated power, strength in both quadriceps and hamstrings, and quality of life. Both groups showed increased peak oxygen consumption and strength. “Our study has shown that high-intensity interval training combined with resistance exercise training induced an improvement in physical capacity and quality of life. Moreover, this study allowed patients, irrespective of their sex or EDSS [Expanded Disability Status Scale] score, to resume exercise autonomously,” the team wrote. "High-intensity interval training is well tolerated too and can be used in clinical rehabilitation with resistance training, in both men and women with and without disabilities."