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Don’t just sit there, do something! July 26, 2010

Posted by manonamsion in Exercise, multiple sclerosis, swank diet.
Tags: , , ,

So it is summer, and you may have noticed that I haven’t been posting much . . . and this one will be a short one.  This is my first summer on the Swank Diet (I started last September), and it is nice to be spending my summer over 35 pounds lighter!  While I still have a way to go, I have way more energy and I’m using it to ride my bike and get exercise every opportunity I can. 

Multiple sclerosis does not mean you can’t exercise; in fact, it makes it more critical.   Yes, we must get adequate sleep; you will know what works for you (for me, it means at least 7 hours every night).  Yes, some of us are heat sensitive, and we need to be sensible.  But getting out in the sun to get some exercise (not to the point of exhaustion) will let your body manufacture some natural vitamin D, while keeping your body in shape.   Good advice for anyone; great advice for those with MS.

I wouldn’t be the Man on a MSion if I didn’t give you the scientific facts on the benefits of exercise for those this MS, but I’m going to let Dr. Jelinek do the heavy lifting today.  I’ve got to get back outside!!!



1. Mess Positif - July 27, 2010

I’d be interested to see a graph of BMI versus time from diagnosis to immobility. Even BMI v onset of MS.

Given the prime importance of weening saturated fat out of our systems, the venous insufficiency issues (we all know how fat in blood and blood vessels can restrict flow), … lean fitness could be fundamental to our welfare.

Is it a race for us to get a routine of exercise and hone ourselves into fitness, while we have mobility?

I’m trying to use this summer fun activity to work out how to keep exercising through the cold dark wet winter months. Perhaps build some routine which works 250 days per year.

I’m most interested to learn just what “vigorous exercise” means in George’s advice, how vigorous if vigorous.

Are there any marathon runners with MS?

2. Karen Williamson - July 27, 2010


I have SPMS and have never been overweight. While I had my mobility, I ran around energetically raising 3 boisterous boys. I played tennis and golf. I know several people with MS who loved to exercise and are now unable to walk.

I know this sounds downbeat and I’m sure it’s important for people with MS to exercise as much as possible but I’m just being realistic. As you say it’s a good idea to be active while we have mobility.

manonamsion - July 27, 2010

I apologize if my post came across as insensitive – I certainly didn’t mean it to be so, and I’m sorry that your SPMS is preventing you from doing the things you clearly love. I do tend to focus on those in the early stages of RRMS and trying to stay symptom free.

Rebecca Hoover has some interesting materials on her blog, http://www.intelligentguidetoms.wordpress.com, about the potential positive impact of dietary changes on progressive MS, and that might be worth taking a look at.

3. Randy - August 31, 2010

I have always eaten well, low fat- practically vegetarian and I still developed MS. Even as a child I was raised that way. I think telling me it is my diet making me feel terrible is awful. What else is my fault?

manonamsion - December 12, 2010

Randy – I don’t think that is what I said. This isn’t about blame, it is about doing what we can to help manage the disease. If you are eating vegetarian already, I would urge you to try going vegan. Dairy can be very, very high in saturated fat, and vegetarians tend to eat a lot of dairy. I don’t blame myself for contracting the disease, and I don’t blame anyone who doesn’t follow the diet for their disease progression. I am simply trying to inform about Dr. Swank’s research to help people as I have been helped. If it makes you feel terrible to hear that your diet may impact the progression of the disease, please do not read this blog; I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, but I’m not going to stop advocating.

Be well,
Man on a MSion

4. Karen Law - October 28, 2010

Your title ‘don’t just sit there, do something’ reminded me of one of the other great tools we have in the recovery program for MS – Meditation. In which case…’don’t just do something. Sit there!’

5. Elaine Schofield - December 4, 2010

Dr. Jelinek supports doing excercise to help MS. Excrecise increases the heart rate and increases blood flow, which carries oxygen to every cell, tissue, nerve, organ etc., in the body.
In 2001, I started to display many neurological symptoms, many similar to MS. My MS test was clear. I experimented and found a treatment which increased my heart rate, blood flow etc., the same as excercise – but by taking it several times a day, it gives the continued benifit 24/7, which suppressed and eventually reversed most of my symptoms.
I’ve posted my research and findings in two comments on


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