This session was presented by Manolis Sfakianakis, a Physiotherapist, from/with MS Therapy Centre Lothian, MS Society Scotland. The aim was to for us to get familiarized with the concept of regular exercise for wellbeing, learn what type of exercise is appropriate for us and to set goals to improve our level of fitness. Easy, obviously. With that we were also helped and guided, in theory, to learn how to develop and maintain potential(!) exercise planning.

Again, from scribbles:

·             ‘What is exercise?’

o   ‘Anything requiring energy.’ So most are ok then, by doing something?! Ahem.

·             ‘Why exercise?’

o   This was followed with another group discussion, that lead to plenty of shared input and good ideas/answers from many.

·             ‘Benefits to the whole body.’ 

    • The CV, musculoskeletal, nervous, systems; and mood (improvements).

o   I couldn’t agree more, as when I manage to attend an exercise class it does indeed lead to a better mood which is noticed personally of course, physical benefits may be a slower burner but it does happen – keeping a goof regularity if possible; easier said than done for some granted.

·            ‘Types – strength, endurance, flexibility, balance’

o   Manolis talked more of different types of fitting exercise/s and the benefits of each and how to achieve. Brilliant and clearly experienced bloke, information well said!


·             ‘How much?’

o   150 minutes a week; moderate level and a variety of exercise types was mooted as being the best. I had never heard of the 150 minutes a week before which was good to hear for the over-thinker, thinking (in comparison that I know I shouldn’t do) do I do enough (when fit)? Just me!?

·             ‘Barriers.’

o   This was put to us in our small groups of about 6 to discuss which we and I enjoyed, I think! Here’s a bit of a selfish proud reflection on my behalf if you don’t mind. Being who I am as an engineer (of old L ) of nature, if that makes sense, I am (apparently) a detail person. Yet I saw other group members straight into detail and not seeing the asked for barriers topic as discussion theme - physical, personal, environmental, condition specific. So I did interject on occasion to get back to said theme, and it worked. Did I feel guilty? Nope! Lesson learned Roj!

·             ‘Overcoming barriers.’

o   After the barriers discussion, Manolis showed and talked about the many great options to overcome these. There are many, too many for me (remember) to post, so have a squiz at ‘exercise’ for more.

·             ‘Goal setting. S.M.A.R.T.*’

o   The SMART acronym stands Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-bound. This does make sense if the “no pain no gain” can be err, put to bed(?) even though pain is a very very common symptom we – MSers – deal with an awful lot. Different story that one.
§  *can be applicable in/to many objective scenarios.

·             Preventing undesirable results. 

      o Everything in moderation, spread out exercises throughout the day. Preserve energy for other tasks.

·             ‘MS & Exercise.’

·             We were shown and involved with answering, a presentation as below:
o   Exercise can cause adverse effects – MYTH
o   Exercise can cause a relapse – MYTH
o   Exercise recommended for people with MS – FACT

All present were on the money with answers, showing we were there for a reason, listened and care!

·             Which exercise?

  All! Yip, all exercise is good if done properly!
Fantastic talk and very informative, presented superbly. Manolis knows his stuff! He went on to finish with 1 or 2 videos; not sure exactly where they fitted in precisely (memory) but; as videos as below:

Another brilliant and well attended session after the opening. I knew already that I was utterly happy to have made the effort and that was pre-lunch, after which we had the research hour and then my chosen mindfulness session before homeward bound!

Hope you’ve enjoyed this and found it useful. Thank you for reading.Now take to the road! Ha! Return for more coming soon; Roj