#BrainHealth: on how-not to do it

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Are you a Brain Health yo-yoer? Brain Health should be about consistency. #BrainHealth #MSBlog


I taught on the 2nd annual specialist-neurology-registrar (SpR) master course on Friday. One topic I covered was brain health and the holistic management of MS. We go onto the subject of MSer-activation and making them responsible for their own care. One topic of discussion was exercise and how to prescribe it. Should we not be giving away gym memberships or a subscription to a personal fitness trainer? This is happening in some areas of the country. The problem with an exercise prescription is that very few MSers adhere to the prescription. Why and how can we change things? One thing for certain is not to do it the way I do.


The aim of the Barts-MS Brain Health Challenge was to make HCPs (healthcare professionals) take-up exercise and a healthy lifestyle so  that when we prescribe these things to our patients we have the moral high-ground. I have lost the moral high-ground; over the last 3 months I had gone from exercising 4-5x per week down 1-2x per week and as a result I am feeling awful. I am not sleeping as well (early morning wakening), I have put on weight and my mood has sagged. So when I got home on Friday evening, after the course, I went for a 10 km run in the dark. I have now put in 4 training sessions this weekend (3 runs and 1 session on the rowing machine) and I am now stiff and sore. I am feeling better for it; it is amazing how exercise makes you feel great. The message should be consistency and not stop-start, or yo-yoing. I aim determined to get back on track this week with my own Brain Health Challenge. What about you? 

About the author

Prof G

Professor of Neurology, Barts & The London. MS & Preventive Neurology thinker, blogger, runner, vegetable gardener, husband, father, cook and wine & food lover.

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