Staying fit in spite of NMO

Physical activity is important—it keeps your body moving, your heart pumping, your joints lubricated. Something I heard at an NMO conference before was, no matter what your physical limitation, there is some sort of exercise you can do. If you’re wheelchair-bound, you can work your upper body aerobically with an arm bicycle. If you fatigue easily, you can walk or do gentler exercises on your back. If you have joint issues, you can swim or join a water aerobic class. Even when I was paralyzed from the neck down in 2002 because of my Neuromyelitis Optica/NMO, my physical therapist had me try to sit up on my own for 30 seconds. Believe it or not, I broke a massive sweat just doing this mere exercise, but it raised my heart rate, made me work towards a goal, and perhaps most importantly, reminded me to be grateful for the times before and later that I was able to walk and sit up all by myself.

Nowadays, my main handicap is my vision, so my exercise routine can be pretty physical. Check out a typical session John and I have with our personal trainer in the YouTube video below.

Spring is coming, the snow is melting. I encourage you to get outdoors or, at the very least, get moving, in whatever capacity you can. I promise, you’ll feel productive and great.

Mar 2016
POSTED BY Christine

One Comment

  1. Mavelyne Moise

    Hi Christine,

    I read your post and can relate sometimes I think I get tired just sitting. I was diagnosed in 2013 and like you was paralyzed neck down and I lost site in one of my eyes. My main aim is to walk; I can sit on my own and my right side is much stronger than the left. What helped you regain mobility?. My vision came back within three weeks but I know it can be really uncomfortable. I think a lot of times people do not understand what we go through and expect us to be strong always.

    Thanks for sharing your experience.

    Comment by Mavelyne Moise on May 26, 2016 at 6:48 am

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