PHYSICAL WELLNESS

Myasthenia Gravis–Friendly Exercises You Can Try at Home

Have you spoken to your health care team about exercising, but don’t know where to start? Check out this collection of exercises led by Vanetta, a personal trainer who was featured in A Mystery to Me, an MG United docuseries.

It’s important to consult with your care team before beginning any exercise program. Check with your doctor to make sure that any exercises you want to try are safe and suitable based on your physical condition and where you are in your MG journey.

Depending on the extent of your myasthenia gravis (MG) symptoms, exercising may seem like a lofty goal. Symptoms like muscle weakness and fatigue may make it challenging to maintain an active lifestyle.1

But exercise is an important part of maintaining both physical and mental health, and, if recommended by your care team, can be a part of your life with MG.1,2 If you and your care team decide that exercise is something you want to try, it may be best to agree on a plan with your care team and then to start small and work your way up. It’s important to follow the plan as directed by your care team.

"As a step one, try some stretching exercises and then move to more resistance-based exercise, and then more aerobic based exercise," said Niraja Suresh, MD, a neurologist in Southern Florida.

For Vanetta, a personal trainer, fitness was a huge part of both her personal and professional life before she had MG, but her myasthenia gravis diagnosis temporarily put an end to her active lifestyle. Over time, however, Vanetta has learned how to slowly integrate physical activity back into her life. She makes adjustments when her muscles are weak and gives herself grace when her body needs rest. Today, Vanetta still works as a personal trainer and specializes in helping clients with MG.

In the video above, Vanetta demonstrates five MG-friendly exercises that are tailored for all levels. She’s also created a one-month workout tracker, available below, that matches the exercises in the video.

“It’s going to take some adjustment to find out what that right exercise level is,” said Dr. Suresh. “It’s different from person to person depending on the severity of your MG.”

Download icon

Download and print the one-month tracker.

Want to hear more about Vanetta’s MG journey? There’s much more of her story to see in A Mystery to Me, the first-ever myasthenia gravis docuseries.

References

  1. Gilhus, et al. Nat Rev Dis Prim. 2019;5(1):1-19
  2. Mikkelsen, et al. Maturitas. 2017;106:48-56.

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