Ataxia UK
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What exercises and other benefits people find good for ataxia?

After reading Lits blog on 'find your passion' I have found that in the past I enjoyed and benefitted from going for a sauna and swim. Unfortunately though I can no longer do this for personal safety reasons. I would need someone to be with me in case I slip, stumble or fall.

Its a pity my wifes too busy and under pressure doing other things for other members of the family to take me. I have to say though that when I was independantly able, going for a sauna and a swim was brilliant. I found swimming to be great exercise and having a sauna is a great way to feel relaxed afterwards.

17 Replies

I have only been for a sauna twice, a long time ago, but it was lovely. I can really understand why you would like to go. I was trying to think of someone you could take. I think it would be embarrassing for you to go and ask if they have someone willing to go with you, I think I would? Do you have kids and if so how old are they? Could you suggest it for a trip for your birthday and that way you would get them to see how nice it was!

Good luck anyway and I really hope you think of someone because it sounds a great idea.


What a great idea for a birthday present Litty. My birthday is not until october when I'll be 50! I'll certainly give this a thought as my son is 18 or 19? and I think he would be obliging to take me. Thanks for the idea.


Kids are useful things! I have 2!

Even better thought, Father's Day. Looked it up, Sunday 17th June. Unsubtle hint time.


My local swimming pool has a special swimming group which is on a Sunday afternoon, the staff set up the disabled lifts for us to use to get into and out of the water, People in wheel chairs or with electic buggies take them into the pool and then transfer to the lift, the staff then move the equpiment out of the way until the person is back on "dry" land. We look out for each other in the changing room to avoid falls ect, you should check if your pool has a simular club.


My local pool has the facilities for disabled but getting there and getting changed safely is the problem for me. I don't know of any groups. Perhaps I should look into this. Thanks Nigel


Oh, I do 10 minutes on an exercise bike, most mornings. It is incredibly boring! I try to vary it but going quite gently for the start and end. I vary the tension quite a bit and try to do at least 2 minutes as hard as I can. I also pedal backwards every so often. I THINK it helps. I convince myself that it is helping my weight because I LOVE food, especially chips and chocolate!

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That was my favourite excercise when I was in hospital Litty. Perhaps I should save up and buy one. I also liked the rowing machine. Both excercises are good for increasing muscle strength in the limbs.


I am really lucky and have both a bike and rowing machine. They are brilliant, especially for winter exercise when it is too sloppy outside. My Dad bought them both second-hand (he was a farmer and HATED buying anything new!). He got them back in the 1980s and they still work really well. They are Tunturi, which is an expensive brand, but built very well! Dad had the ataxia I have, but he got scared when his younger brother died from a heart attack. Dad exercised on them for half an hour everyday and when he was in intensive care at the end, the doctors could not believe how strong his heart was and just would not give up.

Maybe try to get hold of second hand, but a good brand?


Sloppy is meant to be slippy!

Am I being stupid can you edit for a while like LWA?


Good point about editing (a very valid and not a stupid one). I think I was able to do this on an earlier post but can't remember how?

The problem I have with equipment is where to store them. I don't have enough room in the house. This is a good reason for me to have someone to take me to a local gym/swimming facility. It would be a good incentive and give me another interest to keep me occupied. Most of my excersises are done whenever my wife is able to drop me off at our local town centre where I am able to use my walker/rolator. It has a seat on it and I can rest whenever I need to.



I am on a bit of a learning curve with this one. The only other moderator at the moment, Ade, is on Annual Leave from the Ataxia UK office which leaves just me! I do not know an immediate answer to your question but will endeavour to find out as soon as possible. Tell me, when you have submitted your own blog or a question and then open it again, for example to view any answers or comments, do you see 'edit/delete' written in blue letters in the top left hand corner of your question/blog?



There is an 'edit/delete' bit at the top right hand side on all of my blog posts but not on my questions Harriet.


Thanks for that Iain. I would assume in that case you are able to edit your own blogs but not any questions. Do you have the 'edit/delete' bit on comments that you make on blogs, even if the blog is not your own?


I only have the 'edit/delete' bit on my own blogs Harriet and not on any comments I have made on other peoples blogs. I can't edit/delete on my questions.


hi lain 25,

im sorry to here you cant get to go swimming anymore on your own

i know what good exercise it is, haveing only just being told that i have

spinocerebellar ataxia type 2 since struggling since 2005 i now go to

my local hospital in colchester essex once a week for hydro therapy

and since im unsteady on my feet you have a physio in the pool with

you at all times , your only in there for about 45 mins doing different

exercises in the warm water but it realy helps , i dont know where your

from so i dont know if hydro is available in any hospitals nere you,


Hi Ray

I've actually been to a hydrotherapy pool before. This was when I was a carer for disabled adults quite a few years back. I really enjoyed the experience myself. I totally agree with you that hydrotherapy is a great way to excersise.


I exercise by:

Going to the gym

I go to the Wellness Gym at Coventry Sports Centre. I work with an instructor who is trained to work with disabled clients and he really knows what he's doing. I go three times every week; during sessions my instructor helps me use ankle weights in different ways and gym balls which I push against with my legs (in different positions depending on which muscle group we want to work on) - and my upper body by using the machines and dumbells, although my instructor has to 'guide' my movements as otherwise I would clonk myself on the head! All sessions I do from my wheelchair.

Using my bike

I bought my a MOTOmed Viva 2 Lower Body from a company called Medimotion (http:/ I first used one at my local physio department and was so impressed I decided to buy one myself. It is passive so it does the movement itself but you can actively pedal yourself at any time too. I still have some power in my legs because of going to the gym but I haven't done anything near as active with my legs as this for years. Even in passive mode I can feel it working my muscles in my calves and thighs and afterwards I get a sort of pins-and-needles feeling because it's getting the blood flowing.

I upgraded to a Full Body machine a few weeks ago so it now has a handcycle too. I love it!


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