Exercising in the Winter with Relapsing MS By Rachel, Wife, Mother, Domestic Engineer • February 28, 2018
Let’s chill for a minute. (See what I did there?) Maintaining exercise and activity is important to me and has been key when it comes to lifting my spirits, especially while living with RMS. That being said, how do you maintain a good level of exercise during extreme weather? This question can be asked for the intense heat of the summer as well as the frigid cold of the wintertime. I like to find different activities to keep myself and my family entertained, no matter what time of year it is. And there are most certainly ways to do it! Sometimes you just have to be creative.
The pool…ahhh, the pool. I love spending my hot summer days in the cool water. Well, the pool isn’t an option during the winter here in the Northeast—at least not the outdoor pool. One of the many reasons I love aquatic exercise is that it is not only soothing, but it’s also a great way for me to maintain a healthy body temperature (my body is very much affected by the heat due to my RMS) while exercising. Aquatic exercises are also easy for me, and don’t put too much stress on my joints. Since as you can tell I love the pool so much, I decided to find an indoor pool, so I could get that same enjoyment whether the weather outside was frightful or not. Even better, I found a fantastic aqua-aerobics class specifically designed for people living with relapsing multiple sclerosis. We all try to move in sync, so I like to tell people it’s a synchronized swimming class. If your healthcare provider gives you the go-ahead, I would highly recommend participating in any kind of a class like this. I have loved the camaraderie with the friends that I’ve made while I’m there.
Another fun way to get out and about during the winter is to hit up the local shopping mall. You can take a friend with you, too. For me, it’s a great way to catch up with a friend, or just simply enjoy some alone time. Even if I don’t do any actual shopping—which I know my husband would vehemently argue is not possible for me—walking around the mall is a great way to get some light exercise done when the sidewalks or park trails are covered in ice and snow.
Anyone who knows me or has read some of my blog posts knows I am a passionate and die-hard lover of any and all things equestrian. Horses have always brought me an inner joy and peace. But let me tell you, committing to horses is a true labor of love, especially when it is sooo cold outside. Thankfully, the barn where I ride not only has a heated lounge to warm up, but also an indoor arena. This allows for some riding during less than cooperative weather. Sometimes though, it really is just too cold to ride or work horses despite all of that, so I settle for just saying a short hello to them along with giving them some horse cuddles.
Thankfully, I also have one child who plays a winter sport. My son loves to play basketball in a local league, so it’s always fun to get out and watch practice or a game.
There are days in the winter that do not allow for anything or anyone leaving the house. When we’re being pummeled with multiple feet of snow or ice, no one is going to work, school, or anywhere. You know what? That’s OK, too! Those are the days that I like to look at as an opportunity to spend some time cozied up at home with the kids, while some cookies bake or a nice big pot of homemade soup slowly cooks on the stove. Those are some of the best days to do some work and get some in-home organizing done, too. Who wants to be inside and do that type of work when it’s gorgeous outside? The wintertime can be the best time for all of these kinds of things!
If you can’t think of anything to do or run out of ideas, you might also want to check out the local newspaper to see what’s happening in your town, or visit a museum in your area! To me, it’s very important to remain as active as you can and involved in your local community. So, don’t let the winter be a reason to keep you from being out and about. And if you have some favorite winter activities, please share them in the comment section below!
- LIVING WITH RELAPSING MS
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