New MS exercise class to launch at Leisure Centre

Deirdre Walford, from Ballymena,  who is looking forward to attending the new MS exercise class in Ballymena's Seven Tower's Leisure Centre later this month.
Deirdre Walford, from Ballymena, who is looking forward to attending the new MS exercise class in Ballymena's Seven Tower's Leisure Centre later this month.

Local people living with multiple sclerosis will have the chance to get more active from next week courtesy of a new MS exercise class starting in the Seven Towers Leisure Centre.

Being launched by the MS Society’s Ballymena Branch, the class will begin on Thursday, November 13, and continue until December 11, running in the mornings from 10am-11am.

More than 4000 people in the province live with MS, the symptoms of which vary but may include problems with balance, walking, loss of vision, pain and fatigue.

This new exercise class comes as research suggests that short bouts of exercise could be the key to managing some of the symptoms.

Research published by the University of East Anglia and funded by the MS Society in 2014 has found that short periods of moderate intensity exercise, like walking or steady cycling can improve fatigue levels and quality of life in people with multiple sclerosis.

Dawn Harrison, Neuro-physiotherapist at the MS Society said: “Fatigue in MS is an incredibly common but troubling symptom that can hugely affect an individual’s quality of life. Regular exercise can be very effective in managing this and other symptoms.

“The classes focus on functional exercises designed to improve posture, mobility and overall strength which can help with every day tasks like walking up or down stairs, standing at the kitchen sink or getting in and out of a car. The MS Society is delighted to provide this exercise programme in Ballymena and we’d like to encourage local people to come along. Everyone is welcome and carers may attend also”.

Deirdre Walford, from Ballymena, was diagnosed with MS 10 years ago aged just 33.

She said: “I attended the Ballymena pilot class last year and found it really beneficial. I’ve always tried to keep as active as possible but MS can leave me extremely fatigued with painful spasms and stiffness. At first, I worried the class might tire me out but I actually found that doing a bit of exercise gave me more energy! I’m looking forward to going to the new class.”

Participants are asked to pay £2 per session and the class is open to anyone affected by MS. For more information contact email dawn.harrison@mssociety.org.uk