Multiple sclerosis is thought to be an autoimmune disorder, where white blood cells attack fatty tissue surrounding nerve fibers of the central nervous system. Statistics show that MS is twice as common in women as in men .
A new study shows weightlifting can help patients with multiple sclerosis. Since MS causes muscle weakness and fatigue, which leads to loss of mobility and a decreased quality of life, researchers designed an exercise program to develop muscle strength.
After eight weeks of supervised resistance training on gym equipment, researchers found MS patients had stronger muscles, could walk better, and reported less overall fatigue and disability. The regimen included no more than 30 minutes of training twice a week. It focused on the legs, abdomen, and lower back. Once patients could do 15 repetitions consistently, they progressed to higher weight resistance.
The results of this preliminary study have led to a follow-up study that will track patients undergoing more intensive strength training for 16 weeks. Based on their findings researchers say, MS patients are capable of adapting to resistance training favorably and hence may be able to tolerate more intensive training.