Importance of movement big or small: How activity keeps people healthy

Movement is essential no matter how big or small it is. We keep hearing this line from people, but most of us do not know WHY this is important.

Let’s have a closer look at this WHY.

Though our bodies are very much different from cars, let’s assume for some time that they are like cars. What happens to a vehicle if you do not drive it for a while? What happens if it remains in a place and does not move for a certain period? You know the answer. The same thing happens to our body if we do not move regularly like:

  • Our body tends to stiffen.
  • We start feeling pain and aches in different parts of our bodies.
  • We get prone to many diseases.
  • We might feel weak. 

And the list goes on.

Movement affects our body as a whole. It generates signals in our muscles and bones. These signals are then transferred to our brain. Movement helps in building strength and keeping our body fit. It keeps our body flexible, and at ease.

Besides improving strength and flexibility, moving our body has several other beneficial effects.  These effects are unknown to most people.

Movement and Joints’ Health

Did you know that the large joints in our body have a covering around it known as the capsule? This capsule contains a fluid called synovial fluid. Synovial fluid acts as a nourishing agent for our joints.

Our movement enhances the function of this fluid. It helps in reducing friction on articular cartilage.

The movement also increases blood circulation. Thus, exposing this synovial fluid to a constant blood supply and nourishment. A healthy synovial membrane protects our bones from friction which in turn protects our joints.

Movement and Blood Circulation

We all know that blood circulates in our bodies. Our heart pumps blood to all parts of our body via arteries which then goes to the heart via veins. These veins in our legs are present between muscles. When the muscles contract, it has a squeezing effect on the veins that push the blood towards the heart. Owing to this effect, some people experience swelling in their legs if they sit for a long time.

Movement and Blood Pressure & Cholesterol

High blood pressure and cholesterol levels can increase the risk of heart stroke. Movement, however, can help in lowering blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels.  Carrying out small exercises helps us to keep these diseases under control.

Movement and Blood Glucose

Here’s another reason for which you might want to exercise: your blood sugar level. Most of us are unaware of the fact that high sugar levels can have harmful effects on our eyes, kidneys, nerves, etc.

Movement helps us to lower elevated levels of blood glucose and keeps you healthy.

There are several other benefits of movement so you can’t list them all here. All we need to do is to focus on the significant outcomes of moving to keep ourselves motivated. If you have not been moving or exercising for the past few days, months, or years, it’s time to do it now because

IT’S NEVER TOO LATE TO START

How to care for Multiple Sclerosis Patients?

Multiple sclerosis is a serious health condition and a number of persons suffer from this disease. Before you learn how to care for a patient suffering from Multiple Sclerosis, you must first know how this disease affects your body.

Do you know how it affects the body? 

Multiple Sclerosis affects both the brain and spinal cord. Sclerosis means the hardening of tiny tissues, and Multiple is added to it because it affects both the brain and spinal cord. 

In MS, the immune system attacks the protective covering (myelin sheath) of nerve fiber and causes communication between the brain and the rest of the body. This disease can sometimes cause permanent damage to nerves.

The cause of Multiple sclerosis is still unknown, but according to many studies and research, genetics and environmental factors are responsible.

People with Multiple Sclerosis often feel numbness and weakness in limbs. Many people are unable to walk independently. The gait is also disturbed in such patients. The blurring of vision and slurred speech is also common in patients with multiple sclerosis.

Treatment Options

There is no cure for multiple sclerosis. Treatment is mainly focused on speeding the recovery from attack and slowing the progression of the disease.

Primary treatment options include

Medications

Medications do not cure the disease permanently. However, they reduce the symptoms of disease and prevent the relapse of illness.

  • Corticosteroids are used for the treatment of attacks of disease. It reduces nerve inflammation.
  • Interferon-beta medications are used to reduce the frequency of attacks.
  • Muscle relaxants are used to reduce the stiffness and spasm in the legs.
  • Medications like amantadine help to reduce the fatigue caused by Multiple sclerosis.

Physical Therapy

Physical therapy has a significant role in modifying the symptoms of the disease:

  1. The Physical Therapist teaches you stretching and strengthening exercises.
  2. The Physical Therapist helps you to stay active.
  3. The Physical Therapist teaches you how to use assistive devices like a cane, walkers, etc. so that you can walk on the ground freely.

Care for Multiple sclerosis

Here are some tips that can make it easier to deal with patients with Multiple sclerosis

  • Balanced diet
  • Exercise
  • Avoid heat
  • Psychosocial therapy

Balanced Diet

As we all know, a balanced diet is crucial to living a healthy life. Everyone can get benefit from a nutritious diet, especially the patient with multiple sclerosis. There are no particular guidelines mentioned about eating. 

According to many types of research, eating a low-fat and vitamin-rich diet can benefit people with multiple sclerosis. Eating a healthy diet can help to maximize your energy levels and support your bowel and bladder movement. 

A better diet can help you avoid high cholesterol, high blood sugar, and abdominal fat, which can cause cardiovascular diseases.

Vitamin D also has potential benefits for Multiple sclerosis patients. For example, it can help reduce pain around joints which is a common symptom of multiple sclerosis.

Do you know? Using alcohol can worsens the condition of the patient with Multiple sclerosis. Patients with multiple sclerosis should also limit the use of alcohol as much as possible. The use of alcohol can intensify the symptoms of Multiple sclerosis, such as lack of coordination and walking difficulties.

Exercises

Exercises can offer many benefits to the patient with Multiple sclerosis. These benefits can range from mental to physical. Regular physical activity helps you to stay active and fit. Exercises can help you improve muscle strength, tone, balance, and coordination if you suffer from mild to moderate multiple sclerosis.

Do you know? 

Walking for 20-30 minutes can improve your gait and balance. Other activities like yoga, pilates can also improve the condition of the patient. The intensity and duration of exercise should depend upon the patient’s condition because, in multiple sclerosis patients, you feel great one day but tired the next day.

Some exercises that can help Multiple sclerosis patient and prevent relapse are here.

  • Working out in pools can be a great activity in treating multiple sclerosis patients. Swimming and walking in pools are effective for joint pain. Water belts and other equipment can be used depending upon the condition of the patient.
  • Strength training like wall squats can e performed to increase the strength of leg muscles, which helps improve the patient’s gait.
  • Wall push-ups can be performed to improve the strength of arms. This can be performed in a sitting or standing position.
  • Balance training is important for multiple sclerosis patients. Marching in place can be the best exercise for these patients as you are challenging your body by shifting weight from one side to the other.

Avoid Heat

When you have Multiple sclerosis, only a slight temperature rise can worsen your symptoms. As you know, multiple sclerosis can damage your protective sheath around nerve cells and slows down the signal. The heat can slow these signals even more.

People with MS should avoid

  • Taking hot baths
  • Going out in hot weather
  • Taking heavy meals

People who have multiple sclerosis should wear cooling collars when exercising. They should wear clothes made of cotton and linen that allow air to move freely, which helps to stay cool. Drink plenty of water.

Psychosocial therapy

People suffering from long-term illnesses are often stressed out. Mental health is vital no matter what you are going through. Multiple sclerosis is also included in diseases that cannot be cured completely. The patients are often depressed because they are unable to perform the daily tasks. Stress can trigger and can cause relapse.

The patient should learn techniques to reduce stress. They should understand that everything is not under your control.

Many techniques can help you calm things down. Close your eyes and try breathing exercises, take few deep breaths, and loosen your tense body. Let go of your tensions, rotate your head in a smooth circular motion, roll your shoulder, and relax completely.

It will help if you stay connected to your friends and family. Socializing can decrease many of your tensions and worries. Friends and family can support you in your hard time. As much you stay active and happy, your chances of relapse decrease.

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