Cold weather can be your best friend if you experience MS heat-sensitivity. It’s well known that heat or high humidity can cause a temporary worsening of MS symptoms. Heat-sensitivity is a reason why aquatic exercises are so high on the list of activities for those with MS.
Also, think about trying some winter weather activities that get you outside and moving in an environment that won’t up your heat sensitivity meter. However, take care when you’re outside in snowy or icy weather, because your MS symptoms may make you more prone to falls.
If you live somewhere that gets enough snow for snowmobile treks, you’ll have a blast on the back of a friend’s or loved one’s snowmobile. You may or may not feel confident enough to drive the snowmobile through cold and sometimes-limited visibility terrain, but whichever path you take, you can be assured of a good time in the great outdoors. Be sure to dress warmly and don’t over-estimate your abilities if you haven’t done this since your MS diagnosis.
- Adaptive skiing
What is adaptive skiing? According to the Adaptive Sports organization, this kind of skiing is ideal for those with conditions like MS that cause limited mobility or lack of limb strength. A bi-ski is typically used for MS skiers. It’s a sit-down ski with a molded bucket seat and two specially shaped skis that can be skied independently. Sometimes, MS skiers choose to ski with the assistance of an instructor using stabilizing outriggers and tethers.
Yep, some people with MS enjoy snowboarding because they find it easier to balance on the single board than trying to use the two skis of downhill skiing (because one leg may not function as well as the other). If you’re up for trying MS snowboarding, those who enjoy it suggest that you use flow bindings, which help you strap into binding while standing up. You don’t have to sit down and stand up each time you buckle up and you save precious energy that way.
Another tool that helps people with MS enjoy snowboarding is called the “swiveler”. It goes onto the front binding, and allows snowboarders to swivel their front foot to face forward while you’re on the lift, for example. The swiveler can be a lifesaver, say MS snowboard lovers, if spasticity is a symptom or your leg muscles tire easily.
- Snow shoveling or blowing
If you want some cold weather activity that lets you stick close to home, then why not try shoveling the snow off your sidewalk or driveway if you’re comfortable and motivated. Or fire up your snowblower and clear a path. Just keep your MS symptoms in mind so you avoid spills and injuries.
Enjoy the pleasure of cold weather activities and don’t worry if you can’t ski a black diamond anymore. No one climbed a higher mountain than you and you’re still out there playing in the snow –so dress warmly and have a blast.