Getting in control of exercise

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Getting in control of exercise

Leigh Gordine considers himself lucky to have found the Chilterns Neuro Centre so soon after his MS diagnosis.

“Following discharge from hospital, I had quite a road to recovery. I wasn’t sure how this would work or what it would look like. The Centre provided all of the services I would require along with planning and advising. Without the Centre, I genuinely don’t think I would have made half the progress I have.”

Pilates has really helped me improve my balance, stability, and ability!”

“I feel the key for me has been focusing on foundational elements that allow me to build into other areas. It fits into my lifestyle well, allowing me to regularly complete at least some exercises frequently, and I really enjoy focusing on each movement and engaging with how my body responds and moves. This awareness has been great when considering how to approach day-to-day activities.”

“I have found simple exercises that focus on the range of motion and strength in my ankles have been incredibly beneficial as I feel more ‘grounded’ when walking. Previously, I would have to focus on where I was walking as uneven ground could easily throw me.”

“Work on the reformer and other equipment has been fantastic as it has helped me feel more supported (I suppose ‘in control’ of the exercise would be a way of explaining it) which allowed me the confidence to do exercises I would have otherwise not wanted to do.”

“Matt has also shown me some great exercises that have helped with vertigo-like symptoms of a spinning head when looking around or suddenly changing direction – these have been a game changer, and these dizzy moments are now incredibly rare where previously they were happening multiple times a week.”

“I have to say the little spiky Pilates ball of joy is great for just helping fire up sensation – I never really knew what they were for before!”

Leigh is now more stable on his feet and feels much stronger and more capable. The physical benefits of doing regular Pilates have meant he has been able to include running and swimming into his fitness regime – two forms of exercise he hadn’t done for over a year.

“Swimming was difficult for me as I did not have the core strength to float in the water and the change in head position and movement would trigger dizzy spells. I am now able to swim a few short lengths and this will be fantastic for me as an exercise route going forward.

“As for running – I didn’t dare try it, as I feared falling and didn’t feel like I had the strength to remain stable on uneven ground. Now, I am having short runabouts and playtime with my dog Lacey – a wonderful feeling that I had missed considerably and will continue to build on.”

There are three main areas of support that have had the biggest impact for Leigh.

“Firstly, I found the staff to be so knowledgeable and their guidance and advice on all aspects of living with MS is invaluable. Secondly, I am absolutely convinced that my physical rehabilitation would be significantly further behind without my Pilates classes with Matt, and lastly, the Centre has been an incredible support base for my partner – to the extent that she probably attends the Centre as often as I do, if not more!”

Leigh has two words for anyone out there considering getting support from the Chilterns Neuro Centre, “DO IT!”

If you have MS, or Parkinson’s or experienced a stroke, and feel you would benefit from the services offered by the Centre, or you know someone who would then please get in touch by phoning 01296 696133 or by emailing info@chilternsneurocentre.org