Sunday, November 11, 2012

Exercising Hints and Cautions

by Sarah Blaschke

A moderate amount of exercise can reduce the intensity and frequency of the recurring bouts of muscle fatigue, because people who are more fit will be more resistant to the disease and experience less severe symptoms. Exercise can also combat the weight gain and bone weakening that are side effects of the steroid-based drugs sometimes prescribed for Myasthenia Gravis (MG).

Levels of Exercise
Exercise regimens for people with Myasthenia Gravis are designed to improve strength and stamina for easier completion of daily tasks. For a
person who is extremely weak, exercise may begin with the help of a therapist who can initiate motions that allow for some input from the person. As the person gains strength, he will be able to perform more extensive range-of-motion exercises on his own. Stronger people with MG can carry out more demanding isotonic strengthening exercises. The level of training a person takes on should be determined by the point at which the last repetition is a challenge but not impossible. Aerobic exercises such as running and biking, and other sports such as tennis or softball, are also beneficial forms of exercise. In all cases, the person should rest when she begins to feel tired or worn down.

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 Avoiding Overexertion
Although exercises can help people with MG maintain their usual lifestyles, it is important for them to avoid overexertion, which can lead to a dangerous level of exhaustion. People with MG can minimize the occurrence of muscle fatigue by investing in household devices and lifestyle choices that decrease the effort needed for everyday tasks and personal hygiene. These conveniences allow people with MG to expend as little energy as possible when their strength is low, or to save their energy for other activities such as planned periods of exercise. Physical exertion in moderation is good; however, excessive strain can have harmful effects such as shortness of breath, difficulty swallowing and vision problems.

Additional Considerations
Extreme temperatures can aggravate the symptoms of Myasthenia Gravis. It is best to exercise in a stable, moderate climate and to avoid extended exposure outdoors when it is very hot or very cold. It is common for people with MGto feel best and strongest in the morning, so this may be the optimal time for exercise. Taking prescribed MG medications before exercising and staying well hydrated while working out will help prevent muscle fatigue.

About the Author:
Sarah Blaschke began writing articles for publication in 2010. She is a lab technician specializing in pharmaceutical research and development, and has also worked as a math, reading and writing tutor for Sylvan Learning Center. Blaschke has a Bachelor of Arts in biology from the University of Dallas.

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