47 Steps to Healing ALS

Step 15: Exercise

  1. Why Do We Need Exercise?
    • Exercise is important for getting oxygen to the cells, organs, and muscles.
    • Exercise gets oxygen to the brain, helps you make better decisions and lessens anxiety and depression.
    • Exercise and movement are essential for the digestive system to work properly including moving food through the small intestine, the large intestine and out of the bowels.
    • If you are not having bowel movements regularly, exercise might be a part of the issue.
    • There is now evidence that a carefully structured exercise program may benefit T-cell function – this improves immune response.
    • Exercise, even passive exercise such as range of motion – is essential for detoxification. Toxins get stuck in tissues and movement helps release them.
    • Muscles will atrophy if they are not used.
    • The movement of the muscles causes electrical impulses in the body.
    • During exercise, oxygen levels increases and the core body temperature can rise; it is known that bugs such as Lyme, viruses, and bacteria are very heat sensitive and oxygen sensitive.
    • Regular exercise-related movements can help mobilize lymph and enhance circulation.
    • Help to reset the HPA axis more towards normal (see picture below) Hypothalmus – Pituitary – Adrenal Axis
Hpa Axis2
  1. Challenges With Exercise
    • Even if you cannot move at all, passive exercise, such as range of motion is a very important part of your healing for all of the reasons stated above.
    • Most PALS are entitled to physical therapy at home and if you cannot get a physical therapist, all of the exercises can be done by a caregiver, friend or family member at home.
    • Often, fatigue is prominent, does not clear with rest, and is made worse with exercise. This effect is worsened by the presence of EBV, HHV6, Babesia, Covid, CMV & mycotoxins. 

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Lazarus Ember (ALS Reversal, diagnosed ALS 2018) on Exercise

For most ALS Reversals, Exercise was a major component in their healing. Lazarus has an effective routine for home using low-cost equipment available at Amazon.

Here is the link to Lazarus’ routine, that shared on Sunday Webinars in April 25 and May 2, 2021:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1udxSxF-IA9KjcAAXqcRAkz82etPJZeOh8lCR4G790sA/edit?usp=sharing

For Sunday Recordings: https://healingals.org/recordings/

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Exercise Program with resistance bands and squeeze ball for ALS

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This Exercise Program for ALS was designed and written in collaboration with a Board Certified Neurologic Physical Therapist. Link to the exercise program

Designed as a step-by-step exercise guide for those suffering from ALS or other similar neurodegenerative diseases. The Program is organized into 3 main stages of ALS; Early, Middle and Advanced stages. Each exercise is clearly explained and easy to follow and include illustrations for the beginning and ending movements. Each exercise is designed to target specific muscle groups in a systematic manner to maintain mobility and avoid overuse of these muscles.

Foot Exercises for the Pelvic Floor (14 min)

The book, “Pushing My Harley” tells Bill Riffle’s success story after diagnosis of ALS. Diagnosed at the age of 53 and lived to at least 82.  There is hope.‚Äč

Kinetic DVD Routine has kept Bill and many others moving!

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Healing ALS Products 9 1

Carol Jensen exercised with short walks and bicycle rides.  She also used a TurboSonic (now SonicLife) machine for daily vibration therapy.

Use this link and the code HealingALS for 8% discount

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Other ways to exercise:

  • Walking
  • Stretching
  • Weights
  • Bands
  • Yoga
  • Qigong
  • Rowing
  • Massage
  • Isometrics
  • Stationary Bike
  • Cycling
  • Pilates
  • EWOT
  • Breathing Exercises
  • Tai Chi
  • Chi Machine
  • Vibration machine
  • Dry Brushing

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More tips on exercising with ALS

  • Exercise to the point of comfort – do not go into discomfort. Don’t push yourself too hard. If you feel pain, go to the edge of that pain, not into it.
  • Relieve pain and muscle spasms (Don’t forget LOTS of magnesium both internally and with Epsom salt soaks) utilizing multiple modalities as available and as indicated: massage, heat, ultrasound, and passive and active range of motion. Epsom salt baths or foot/thigh soaks can be quite useful. Poultices if there is inflammation.
  • –Absolutely no immunosuppressants, even local doses of steroids (intra-articular injections, for example).  Some common immunosuppressants are: corticosteroids, prednisone, cortisone.
    Immunosuppresants and steroids suppress the immune system. You need your immune system to be working properly to fight off infections. Steroids and immunosuppressants can last up to one year in the body. Side effects are sometimes not temporary.
  • Drink clean, structured water. Step 7 Half your body weight in lbs to ounces is normal. If you are exercising, sweating in the sauna or doing other strenuous activities – you need more water.
  • Make sure you are not breathing in mycotoxins from toxic mold. Step 6.
  • Make sure you are getting enough vitamins and minerals. Go back to Step 13.
  • Don’t stop your exercise program if you are experiencing long recovery times. Back off on some part of the exercise. Do less resistance, less weight, less reps.
  • It can be very helpful to keep records of what you are doing for exercise.
  • Take 2-5 days for recovery There is now evidence that a carefully structured exercise program may benefit T-cell function: this function will depress for 12 to 24+ hours after exercise, but then rebound. This T-cell depression is more pronounced after aerobics which is why aerobics are not recommended until you can sustain one hour of resistance training without needing a nap and 2 days to recover.
  • The goal is to exercise intermittently, with exercise days separated by days of total rest, including an effort to have plenty of quality sleep. The trick is to time the exercise days to take advantage of these rebounds in T-cell function. For an example, begin with an exercise day followed by 3 to 5 rest days; as stamina improves, then fewer rest days will be needed in between workouts. However, because T-cell functions do fall for at least one day after aggressive exercises, be sure to never exercise two days in a row.
  • Start SLOW! If you tire after 5 minutes, rest. See how much of an hour you can exercise. If it’s 5 minutes on and five minutes rest, you just exercised 30 minutes. Then, you have 2 days to rest.
  • Start with 5 minutes and eventually work up to a gentle hour of exercise with rest periods. Then have a hot bath or shower, then take a nap if needed. Initially, you may need this sleep, but as you recover, the exercise will energize you and then a nap will no longer be needed. A gentle hour is preferable to a strenuous half-hour. If unable to continue for the whole hour, then decrease the intensity to continue with the hour or write down how long you could exercise and try to beat that time in 2 days.
  • If you always tire quickly, look for bacteria, viruses, parasites, mycotoxins, mold, heavy metals.
  • Natural antioxidants are naturally antiinflammatory. Japanese Knotweed, Resveratrol, Grapeseed Extract – find what works for you.
  • If necessary, begin with physical therapy, then progress when appropriate to a whole-body conditioning program. Physical therapy can involve massage, heat, ultrasound and simple range of motion exercises to relieve discomfort and promote better sleep and flexibility. The role of physical therapy here is to prepare for the required, preferably gym-based or resistance-based exercise program. Plan on several weeks to possibly several months of classic PT then transition to the gym or home based exercise program.
    NOTE: a cardiac stress test may be necessary prior to exercising to ensure safety.
  • Increase mobility, tone and strength while protecting damaged and weakened joints, tendons, and ligaments, and use your body’s response to limit yourself and don’t push yourself too hard.
  • Use minimal resistance but a lot of repetitions in any exercises done.
  • Avoid free weights At the start of the exercise program, especially if you are weak, avoid free weights, bands and large exercise balls, and favor machines (especially hydraulics) that can guide limbs through a prescribed arc; free weights, etc. can risk hyper-extension and uncontrolled movements that may cause or add to injuries. Always have someone with you, a spotter.
  • You can find great free YouTube videos put out by private trainers. You can also get a private trainer for careful direction and education.
  • Learn correct exercise technique, including proper warm-up, breathing, joint protection, proper body positioning during the exercise, and how to cool-down and stretch afterwards.
  • Please work one muscle group at a time and perform extensive and extended stretching to each muscle group immediately after each one is exercised, before moving on to the next muscle group.
  • A careful assessment should be performed at the start of each exercise session to make apparent the effects, both good and bad, from the prior exercise session, and adjust exercise accordingly.
  • Aerobic exercises are NOT recommended, not even low impact variety, until you can easily do gentle strength and weight training for at least one hour without needing a nap and 2 days rest.
  • Resistance exercises: Even when you get stronger most integrative experts suggest you do not work out the same muslcle groups 2 days in a row.
  • Conditioning: work to improve strength and reverse the poor conditioning that results from ALS, through a whole-body exercise program, consisting of light calisthenics and/or resistance training, using light resistance and many repetitions. This can be accomplished in exercise classes called “stretch and tone”, or “body sculpture”, or can be achieved in the gym with exercise machines or carefully with free weights (see cautions above).
  • If you tire, you need to rest every other day in order to keep T-Cell production. You may need to start by exercising every 4th or 5th day initially, and as abilities improve, work out more often, but NEVER two days in a row. The non-exercise days should be spent resting.

Physiotherapy Exercises for ALS and MND Patients – YouTube (9 min)

Foot Drop Exercises

Foot drop is weakness in the ankle muscles that lift the foot and is a symptom of medical conditions including ALS, MS, traumatic brain injury, idiopathic polyneuropathy, CMT, nerve compression injury. It can also occur after a total hip replacement. In this video you will learn the best exercises to strengthen weak ankle muscles (19 min)

You may experience stiff and tight muscles due to your body moving less on a daily basis. When the muscles around your joints tighten and contract, this can cause stiffness and pain, which can reduce your mobility, flexibility, and ability to complete daily tasks. You can alleviate joint pain and maintain greater flexibility by doing range of motion (ROM) exercises. Range of motion refers to how much movement you have in each joint.

Range of Motion Exercises for ALS –  Your ALS Guide Full guide with many tips and videos

The goal of these exercises is to stretch your muscles and keep your joints loose to preserve maximum movement. (2 min)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=djg3HvUcWpY

OPTIONAL VIDEO FOR SPEECH THERAPY

OPTIONAL VIDEO FOR SWALLOWING

2024: Click Here to View the Recording of Step 15

2023: Click Here to View the Recording of Step 15

Check for Understanding and Completion of Step 15:

understand that exercise is important for many reasons.

have decided to add or continue an exercise plan – and make exercising a habit

perused the information on this page and put together an exercise plan that works for me

started exercising.

am committed to continuing with an exercise program.

will never quit on myself or stop exercising.

If you have checked all boxes, Congratulations! You have completed Step 15.

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