I’ll tell you in a minute, but first we need to clarify the question. The “what’s the best question” is usually an incomplete question.
We need context, we need a goal, we need to be specific. What’s the best drink? Depends what we’re trying to achieve. The best drink is probably water, but not if the question was “what’s the best drink for getting absolutely wasted?”. If that was the question, there’d be a very different answer.
What’s better, washing up liquid or coffee? Depends what you’re using them for. Coffee is crap for washing up dishes and washing up liquid is crap for drinking first thing in the morning.
So the question “what’s the best exercise for MS?” is incomplete because it depends on the goal. This question often comes up in my Facebook group and people respond with various answers, a lot of them are the big 3 – swimming, Pilates and yoga.
Not what I would recommend, unless the question was “whats the easiest or most enjoyable exercise for MS”.
My point here is that the exercise should be based on the goal. So if good balance and better walking is your goal, swimming is probably the worst kind of exercise you can do.
I try to encourage a range of different kinds of exercise, but the important thing is that those are based on your goals. So if improving your social life is a goal, a group exercise class such as yoga or Pilates might be great.
Running is a great form of cardio but if you have foot drop, going for a run can mean ending up flat on your face.
If increasing your strength is a goal, it’s got to be weight training. If your balance needs improving, a structured session of balance exercises are the best thing.
Yes, yoga does rely on balance, and for many people it will improve their balance, but if your balance is already a bit rubbish you might find yoga classes a massive struggle.
Then we have things like heat sensitivity, foot drop, very weak core strength to name a few and these things can immediately rule out most conventional forms of exercise.
So in future, when asking these questions, think about goals and context to come up with the complete question. That way you’re more likely to get the “best” answer 😉