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Stay Active With Outdoor Summer Exercises

By Daryl H. Bryant (431 words)
Posted in Living with MS on July 18, 2014

There are (4) comments permalink

Stay Active With Outdoor Summer Exercises

Staying active year-round is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. When the weather heats up, consider varying your exercise routine by heading outside and getting a healthy dose of sunshine and fresh air. For those who suffer from MS, however, some popular exercises can cause pain or a flare in symptoms when done in conjunction with the heat and humidity. The following ideas are ways to maintain a healthy, active lifestyle while minimizing the risk of added symptoms or MS flares.

Make Chores do Double Duty
You might not realize that the yard work you have to do is actually a really great way to sneak in some extra exercise during the summer. Using a push mower for a period of thirty minutes burns 100 calories or more. Tending to your garden also is a very low impact way to not only spend some time in the sun, but to burn a few calories. If you want to work your arms out, grab a bucket and wash the windows of your home or your car.

Head to the Beach
Sun and sand make for a relaxing atmosphere, but they can also help keep you fit. Grab some friends and start a game of beach volleyball. Volleyball is a terrific full body workout that, depending on how vigorously it is played, can burn over 500 calories in an hour. If you prefer something lower impact, consider a stroll on the beach. Walking in sand requires that you expend double the amount of energy you would if you were to walk on a hard surface. Even if you walk at a slow pace, you will burn calories in a shorter distance than if you were to take your dog for a walk around your neighborhood.

Take a Dip
Head to your community pool and get in the water. Swimming is a great way to get exercise in the summer with the availability of outdoor pools. A moderately rigorous lap swim can burn nearly 500 calories an hour. In addition to burning off some calories, swimming is a workout for the entire body. Swimming helps strengthen your arms, legs, chest and back. If you are not much into swimming laps, consider signing up for a water aerobics course. This is especially beneficial for those who suffer from MS as the water decreases the impact to muscles and joints during exercising.

Those who suffer from MS often find that proper diet and exercise help immensely in meliorating symptoms and suffering. Enjoy the sunshine and warm weather of summer by taking your exercise routine outdoors. 

Comments (4)

Ali posted on: July 24, 2014

I thought this was going to give suggestions about how to do things outside and not get overheated. I would love to go to the beach but the repercussions are not worth it. This just reminded me of what I cannot do anymore. Thank You for all your other posts :)

KK posted on: July 28, 2014


I was diagnosed with MS in 1996 and I live in an area where the beach is readily available during the summer. As a matter of fact, I can't remember a summer during my childhood when I wasn't at the beach. So, I had a terrible time trying to figure out how I could still enjoy the beach within the MS restrictions after my diagnosis. I found that having an umbrella available is key for me. As a matter of fact, there are days when I am under the umbrella the entire time, except when I'm in the water! I also bring LOTS of water to stay well hyrdated. The umbrella doesn't work all of the time - especially on really humid days - but if it works some of the time then it is a success, in my eyes.

I hope this helps you figure out what works for you. Don't let MS stop you from doing something you enjoy, just do it differently!

Annie posted on: July 31, 2014

I was anxious to read your answer to MS patients enjoying the sun and getting exercise. I have had MS for 8 years now and could no more push a lawn mower or play beach vollyball than fly to the moon. I have a pool in my back yard, and have been in it only a handfuls of times all summer because of the oppressive heat and humidity. Before my diagnosis, I lived in the sun and loved outdoor activities. I am afraid you are completely out of touch with Multiple Sclerosis and its symptoms.

Daryl H. Bryant posted on: August 4, 2014

Hi Ali, KK, and Annie,

Thank you for your comments. MS affects people differently, and we all have different reactions to heat and physical activity. I'll definitely make sure to keep them in mind when writing my next blog, and Ali, perhaps I'll take your suggestion and write about ways to NOT get overheated outside.

Thanks again for your feedback!

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