Multiple sclerosis sufferers take heart from program

HEALTHY MOVES: A Heartmoves class at Integra.
HEALTHY MOVES: A Heartmoves class at Integra.

MULTIPLE sclerosis (MS) sufferers will have access to a new fitness program that could help manage some of the symptoms of the disease.

MS Heartmoves is a joint initiative of the Heart Foundation and MS Australia and will be available in Orange at Integra Health Club from next week.

The program is adapted from the Heart Foundation’s existing Heartmoves regime for heart disease and diabetes sufferers.

The foundation hopes it will encourage MS sufferers to participate in regular exercise.

“There’s been a bit of a shift in how people approach managing MS as a disease,” Heartmoves leader Emma Quirk said.

“They used to say people with MS shouldn’t exercise at all, but they’re now saying exercise can help in managing that disease.

“Everyone, including people with MS, benefits from greater cardio work, but it’s also about keeping that neuromuscular system working and addressing some of the balance issues associated with the disease.”

The program includes low-impact cardio, strength training and balance exercises.

Jenny Sams said the regular Heartmoves program had helped her as a heart disease and diabetes sufferer.

She said she also liked the social atmosphere of the classes.

“I like the company,” she said.