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    I attended a Heuga Center program in Sept. of 2001.  The attitude of Jimmie Heuga and the work of the organization were quite inspirational and had a real impact on my life. This organization taught me that though exercise is not a cure for MS, it helps one deal better with the deficits created on a cellular level. Many thanks for all that you do!"

    David, CAN DO Program Alumni
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    by Mandy Rohrig, PT, DPT, Can Do MS Programs Consultant

    Nearly twenty to thirty years ago, individuals diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis were instructed to avoid physical activity and exercise as it may worsen their symptoms or the course of their disease. The value of exercise in the management of MS has been firmly established by years of collaboration among clinicians, researchers, we well as the leadership of advocates such as Can Do MS’s founder, Jimmie Heuga. With the increased understanding that exercise is valuable, questions have evolved as to why exercise is helpful.

    Neuroplasticity involves “a neuron’s ability to change its function, chemical profile or structure” (Lundy-Ekman, 2002).  In simpler terms, the brain and nerve connections within the brain are constantly changing and re-organizing based on learning, experience, memory, disuse, disease, and practice.   Recent research has demonstrated that exercise may positively facilitate brain re-organization (neuroplasticity).

    In the upcoming webinar, “Exercise and Multiple Sclerosis,” participants will learn the latest research involving the impact of exercise on brain re-organization.  Participants will also learn the primary components of an exercise program: flexibility, strength training, cardiovascular exercise, and balance.  Flexibility involves improving the range of motion and length of a muscle or group of muscles.  Flexibility activities are often used to manage spasticity or muscle tightness common in individuals with Multiple Sclerosis.  Strength training involves improving muscular strength and endurance.  It may include use of weights, resistive bands, or an individual’s own body resistance.  Cardiovascular exercises reference activities that elevate the heart rate.  Examples may include walking, bicycling, using an arm bike, or swimming.  Lastly, balance and coordination exercises are typically designed to reduce unsteadiness, imbalance, or vertigo.  Balance exercises may include Tai Chi, use of cushions, or exercise balls.  During the webinar, activity recommendations for participants of all mobility levels will be provided for each exercise component.

    Exercise CAN be for everyone; exercise is UNIQUE to everyone.  Learn how to move well and live better with exercise.

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    100 W. Beaver Creek Blvd. Suite 200 PO Box 5860 Avon, CO 81620 Phone: 970-926-1290 or 800-367-3101 Fax: 970-926-1295 Email: info@mscando.org
    MS Coalition Charity Navigator Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers Independent Charities of America Humane Charity

    Can Do Multiple Sclerosis™ is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization.
    Charitable Organization Number: 74-2337853

    Formerly The Heuga Center for Multiple Sclerosis | Founded by Jimmie Heuga

    A national nonprofit organization, Can Do MS is a leading provider of innovative lifestyle empowerment programs
    that empower people with MS and their support partners to transform and improve their quality of life.