Intensity Matters: Frequency, Effort, and Resistance in Exercise
When we want to make a movement, we need motor commands to be sent down to the body, but we also need to feed back information about whether or not those motor commands achieved the right task.
This communication can be impaired by MS symptoms, including gait dysfunction, spasticity, tremors, ataxia, and weakness.
Because the presentation of symptoms is so heterogeneous, exercise prescription for rehabilitation is particularly challenging. Your rehab team (e.g. physical therapist) can help provide the right exercise prescription for you.
Frequency, Effort, and Resistance
Progression of exercise refers to increasing the frequency, effort, and resistance.
1. Frequency (or repetitions). The goal is to do two sets of "X" number of repetitions based on the week of the program.
2. Effort. When thinking about your effort, try to maintain a strenuous effort level. Too easy and you won't see improvement. Too hard and you will risk an injury. Aim for 4-6 on the Perceived Rate of Exertion Scale (PRE).
3. Resistance. Make resistance progress by changing body position and using a resistance band (e.g. TheraBand®).
Track your activity on an app, step tracker, journal, or activity monitor.
Keep a record on a chart like this: