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Weight Loss NHS
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Disabled and overweight. Help!

I'm new to this forum and I'd like some advice.

I'm 5ft 4in tall and weigh 13 stone 2lb. I have multiple sclerosis and am disabled. I used to be able to walk up to 2 miles per day. It took me an hour, but I 'recovered' enough to do it again the next day. Now I am worn out by walking to my GP and back, less than half a mile each way which takes 20 minutes. It takes several days to recover from a single visit to the doctor, or a trip to the shops.

Being overweight is causing me additional health problems that are making everyday life difficult. In the past I've relied on exercise to help me to get my weight down. Can anyone suggest some exercises suitable for someone disabled? Standing or sitting exercises are preferred as I have trouble getting down on the floor. I'd also like to be able to do some kind of aerobic exercise, if possible.

My target is to lose at least 3 stone in total, but right now I'd be happy to get down to 12.5 stone.

10 Replies

I think disabled people all have different exercises that we can do. I do pilates-based physio and I like swimming but only if the water is really cold. More recently, I've got into wheelchair hiking and adaptive skiing. You need to start with what you enjoy and then work out what is doable.

What's the problem with walking? Is it painful or does it leave you too tired? Which bits of your body are strongest? Could you find an aerobic exercise that uses your strongest parts?

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I suffer from foot drop, a condition that makes my left foot harder to control. It hits the ground hard and the impact jars my leg, making walking painful. The attempt to control my gait makes walking tiring. As I tire, my foot starts to drag, increasing the risk of tripping and falling. Unfortunately my strongest parts have always been my legs. Ain't life a b!tch?

I'd love to go swimming. There's a pool within walking distance (Ha!), but it's used by the local schools so it's only available to the general public at certain times of day during term time. My ability to get there is variable due to my MS, which is why I rely on exercises I can do at home.

I'm investigating exercise bikes. We have limited space to set one up, so it would probably have to be a folding one. If anyone can recommend an exercise bike, I'd be grateful.

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I have foot drop, though it's improved a little since I had spinal surgery. I can't walk without pain in my left leg and lower back. I stuck it out for a while but ended up being really restricted in what I did. Eventually I tried a wheelchair and now I love it. I do walk a little, mainly with crutches or a walking stick which helps with balance and stability. My arms were very weak but over the last year, I've worked on strengthening them and now I can do more with my arms than my legs.

I got a little exercise bike from Lidl a few months ago. It's basically just the pedals but it doesn't take up much space and I can sit in my comfy chair to use it.

Hope you find something suitable and get exercising again.

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Hello CheerfulDragon ☺ Welcome to the Weight Loss Forum ☺ Have a good look around the site and ask if you have any questions, we are very friendly group ☺ Things are a little up in the air at the moment with a change of Admin happening so please bear with us ☺

As Finnberry says exercise has to fit in with your lifestyle so it depends on what works for you. For example I can walk farther and with less pain if I use a stick. Do you like to swim? Or use an exercise bike?

At the end of the day weight loss is more about food than exercise 😕 You are not alone in gaining weight due to health issues and related inactivity. But as my Grandmother used to say, there is no point looking back, you're not going that way ☺

Good luck and best wishes


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I've always thought of weight loss as being calories out > calories in. Years ago, before I got MS, I went from being overweight to weighing 9 stone 6lb, just by walking to and from work. I find that calorie counting tends to make me obsessed with food.

Don't get me wrong. I am planning to change my eating habits so that I eat more healthily. It's just that I prefer to back up calorie reduction from food with calories burned by exercise.

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Hi and welcome to this friendly forum.

Firstly I can sympathise with you my husband was diagnosed with MS Dec 2015 and I have noticed how he now has poorer balance, slobs his feet for fear of falling and is so tired. Are you taking vit D? My husband was prescribed vit D 2000 mu a day I think it is. His nurse gave him Mr Motivators MS exercise programme it's very good and I actually down loaded it before she gave him the DVD onto my IPad.

His problem is the muscles from your thigh down to your calf feel like they are constantly being stretched also his legs feel cold all the time.

We have a exercise bike which is brill for him I also have a treadmill he does go on it but has to be careful only to keep it on very slow speed overall the bike is best.

There is an MS health unlocked site too if you wanted to join for advice on MS issues

Glad to have you here and I hope we can help in some way or other. 😊👍



Thanks for the tip about Mr Motivator's exercise DVD. I googled it and found that the exercises are available on YouTube. I managed to do the warm up and sitting exercises, which took a total of 20 minutes. I knew I'd had some exercise after that!

At the end of the sitting exercises a physiotherapist advised starting with a limited number of exercises and adding to them as you get fitter and stronger. I'll stay with the warm up and sitting exercises for at least a week or two before adding other segments to my 'routine'. Maybe one day I'll be able to get down on the floor for the 'Tums and Bums' segment.

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Good plan!! Gently does it with regards to exercise 😊


Brilliant you managed to do 20mins of it even I would be tired from that. 👍

My husband also asked to see the physio at our hospital and he went on a short course 1/2 hr a week for 6 weeks he devised exercises specifically to strengthen the legs obviously MS affects people differently.

Slow and steady is the way to go and listening to your body telling you to stop is key.

Just a little tweaking to your diet will also help with weight loss too trying to stick to the BMI recommended calorie allowance for your height, weight and activity levels.

Good luck shout out if help needed, take each day as it comes obviously some days will be better than others.

I may be asking you for advice as we are relatively new to MS and it's effects on the person and family life.

Tanker care Bev 💐


I have the symptoms of MS but not actually the disease, I find walking and balance difficult so am trying to build up my upper strength. I have purchased two Dumbbells which are quite easy to use. I was also talked into using a Walker, felt a bit conspicuous at first, but find I have better balance than with a stick and don't feel so tired so quickly. Also you can do your leg excercises while standing in the supermarket queue and nobody notices.

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