Fitness and Recreation

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James H. Rimmer, PhD

There is a belief among many experts in fitness and recreation that participating in physical activity is a close second in terms of its importance to eating and breathing. What would your life be like if you weren't able to participate in all sorts of leisure, fitness, and recreational activities? In a society filled with many stressful events, the need to "release" by moving in any way, shape, or form that is comfortable and enjoyable to you is critical for maintaining overall balance in your daily life. For some people, yoga, meditation, and relaxation exercises fit the bill. Others must hop on a stationary bike or go for a jog to feel "invigorated." No matter what type of multiple sclerosis (MS) you have or how much you're able to move, exercise, recreation, and physical activity can be adapted to meet your needs. Don't ever underestimate what you're capable of doing. Many experts in engineering, technology, and exercise have found ways to adapt all kinds of physical activity to meet your needs.

Recreation, fitness, and leisure are extremely important for maintaining both physical and psychological health. Lately, i have been using the phrase, the 5 M's to Good Health, which stands for Moving More Means More Mobility. Life requires a balance of movement and nonmovement (i.e., rest such as sleep, meditation, and relaxation), and for each of us, that will depend on how we feel on any given day. First and foremost, you must listen to your body and balance the amount of movement and nonmovement based on the amount of fatigue you experience, what your body will allow you to do, and your overall health. Because your condition and how you're feeling will vary at certain times of your life, make sure you under stand what amount of physical activity works best for you, and continue making adjustments to fit your needs and comfort level. Let's begin by dividing physical activity into two types: physical fitness-enhancing activity and recreational/leisure activity. Both should be an integral part of your life.

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