What's your opinion about exercise?

I’ve been thinking about this for a long time now. If you exercise on a regular basis and strengthen your muscles plus keep your joints fluid, will that help with your balance and equilibrium? I think so!

As been said here quite a few times, exercise is VERY important for our Ataxia. Although it is not a cure, it is important for the reasons stated above. I also believe that it helps psychologically. When you exercise endorphins are released, and I believe they help with easing your mind and thoughts on your current situation.

I’ve been exercising doing cardio and strength training for many years now. I’m not happy with my Ataxia at all but I believe it helps. When I don’t exercise my body knows it and I don’t feel very well. I don’t like that so I make sure that I exercise every day as an important part of my day.

What are your thoughts?


@Chas521 I couldn’t agree more though I have just recently started to be proactive with this condition. The endorphins absolutely give me a better sense of wellness after exercise. How do you stay at it consistent over years without slacking off?

Like Nike used to say, JUST DO IT!! If something like exercise might help then expect me to do it. That’s who I am. FYI, I’m 74.

EDIT: I’ve had Ataxia since I was 21.

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Wow Chas521 that’s about as long as I’ve been on earth. Was it inherited for you or just happened from stroke or trauma etc. ? I live in the states where any PROFESSIONAL physical therapy has been hampered. My sister gave me a balance board called 60up from England. The poles it came with were to shaky so i ordered the rigid ones. Still I can’t keep up w/ video. My brain and body have become so dependent on my arms rather than the legs. What routines do you do to help with standing movement without so much dependence on the hands grabbing something stable i.e. (walker.)? Thanking you for your response.

First of all, it’s Chas521 not Chase521. But I’ve been called worse than that LOL.

Being dependent on your arms is normal for us. Balance and equilibrium are a total body thing. We don’t have that. So we work it out the best we can. As for a balance exercise, stand in back of a chair for security, take your hands off the chair back and while standing only on your feet lift one foot about a foot off the floor so you’re only standing on one foot. Hold it for about a few seconds,then switch feet. It’s gonna be very tough! Just do the best you can. It gets easier as you try it as the days go past. Good luck and please post your results.

is this the Chas who, many years ago recommended building biceps to bounce of the walls? I am 77 year old lady who didnt take that advice and really struggling with weak arm strength. I exercise every morning [as too tired later] with vibroplate and seated tai chi … when classes closed, I continued by using chromecast and youtube. Exercise is great but hasnt helped my balance. My cerebellum just aint sending those messages.

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Hi Patsy,

I’m guessing I’m the Chas you’re referring to. I don’t understand your biceps and walls reference. Balance and equilibrium usually would be helped from the legs. I’m very glad to hear that you are exercising at all. Even the small amount helps with muscle and joint improvement plus helps with cardio. My suggestion would be to look at YouTube for any exercises that isolates the legs (what you’re able to do that is).

Are you restricted to a chair or can you get up on you*r feet? Sometimes you have to work at something before you see any improvement. Unfortunately, please know that exercise is NOT a cure but it does help!

EDIT: Bob and Brad have good videos.

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Yes I do stand on my vibroplate which has a handle and attempt squats. X


I have a neurologist who has exercise at the core of her training and the exercises change as my ataxia advances. Her PT’s teach me how to do her daily routine correctly and provide pages showing the
exercices which I do daily on my own. Once a year I see her and she
writes a new routine for me based on my condition.
In general, Neurologists have not been much help. I have been fortunate to find a few who watch me move and write an exercise script based on their observations. Neural exercise, done daily, helps.
It not a cure!


Thanks. Why not share those exercises here. I’m sure many others would appreciate it!

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hi. I’ve gone to her for about 4 years and there are about 30 pages.
I would send them if I thought they might be useful. They won’t’ be.

Gym exercise strengthen muscles. They work for everyone. Good exercises can and should be shared.

This woman watches my walk, my feet, how I turn and then her
associates contact me to practice exercise appropriate for her observations.

it’s not a general exercise good for everyone. It’s a specific exercise tailored for my balance abnormality. I think others could be hurt. My
message is to find a doctor who can observe you and begin a healing process as opposed to reciting their body of knowledge.

Thank you for the information. I have to agree with you that no exercise will “cure” ataxia but it will help psychologically. Endorphins released during any exercise is the body’s own way of calming it. I think that’s very important. Do you have any favorite exercises to share?

Personally, I think it’s very important to do exercises that work on the core. They can be done in a chair. You don’t need to walk. The internet is full of them. Just do a Google search.j

Hi all, I am very happy that everyone here vales the work of a good exercise program. I guess I am the odd one in the group. For someone who would love to get up early and go to the gym for at least 2 hours, three days a week to pretty much zero on the exercise track. My legs are constantly giving out from muscle weakness. I’ve done my share of PT with my Ataxia only getting worse. I hate being a guy Debbie downer!

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I find that calf raises help. I do them twice a day. Sets of 25. I stand facing a wall for support, place my palms against the wall, then push up my feet so I’m only standing on my toes. Come back to flat feet and push up to my toes again.

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I am happy that you and Patsy above are like me - balance is a brain problem and my ataxia stems from damage to my neurons and I am also too weak to exercise. My poor balance and double vision are so severe that I cannot sit on a gym apparatus. I get fatigue also like Patsy. I never did get euphoria from exercising even when I was well, but I did like to walk and hike and had jobs where I was on my feet…No, exercise is not the answer for me…

I have similar problems to you, Patsy and I am almost 30 years younger than you are. My problems are actually worse than yours because I am unable to stand on any apparatus. The problems come from our brains not our muscles alone…

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yes, as I understand it, we need brain training as well ‘use it or lose it’ muscle power. Unfortunately it’s not same as retraining the brain after stroke, as some neuro physios seem to think. For me it is just keep moving and lots of rest


:thinking: We have so many variations of ataxia here, it’s inevitable not everything works for everybody. To get the best benefit from any exercise it’s important to work within your capabilities. Overdoing things is only going to lead to fatigue and setbacks, the main thing to remember is…just keep moving :slightly_smiling_face:


Keep in mind that your ataxia symptoms will temporarily worsen if you start exercising after being sedentary for too long.

You just have to stay the course, and continue to lightly challenge yourself to see the difference.

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Completely agree! You must work up to a certain level of exercise or you just might do yourself harm if you start at too high a level . Start slowly but make sure you do it as a regular thing.

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