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“I feel so much better physically and mentally”

Amanda has been smashing her fitness goals with MS-UK's online exercise classes

IMG_1422.jpegI thoroughly enjoy MS-UK’s live exercise classes via Zoom and Facebook. Pre-lockdown, I attended their Colchester-based exercise classes in person and I missed them. Initially, the Wellness Coaches provided recorded exercise videos on the MS-UK YouTube channel, which I enjoyed and followed, but I was even more delighted when the team said they would be offering live classes via Zoom and then Facebook for people with multiple sclerosis (MS).

Community feel

Exercising with others and feeling part of a community is always more fun and more motivating than exercising alone. I’m so thankful for the support and inspiration and I feel so much better physically and mentally when I have made time for exercise and know that I have done my very best. 

Fun for all

Alan’s classes are fun and very easy to participate in! They are largely based around seated exercise and are therefore accessible to all of us, despite our different levels of restrictions. The class content provides lots of variety and progression exercises for those who are more able. I find that I am able to progress more in the upper body classes than the lower body classes, which I find much more challenging, but other MSers may find the opposite! Alan always reminds us to work to our own level – work as hard as we can but manage our fatigue level and never work through pain. 

Flexible friends

It’s easy to use technology to access the classes. The advantage with the Facebook Live classes is that they are recorded so you do not have to watch them live to participate, although I do if I can, because I like the sense of engagement. However, I have often watched and followed them later in the day if I was busy, or re-watched them and repeated the exercises at other times, to practise a specific exercise group or fill a gap in my diary. I like the flexibility that the delivery of the classes offers. 

Global connections

Specifically with the Facebook live classes, it’s amazing to see that MS-UK is able to reach MSers all around the world. We are very lucky to have the support we get from MS-UK and it’s fantastic to see that others may benefit when they don’t necessarily have such resources in their home countries. It’s great to extend the reach of the MS community too... as I’m exercising, I like to think that others around the world are doing the exact same thing and we’re “fighting the MS fight” together.