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Tips for Making the Most of Spring with MS

By Matt Cavallo

If you look out the window in some parts of the U.S., you might not know it but spring has arrived. It begs the question: Do April snow showers bring May flowers? Spring is the season that those of us with MS must take advantage of because before we know it, the dreaded dog days of summer will be here. The following are tips for making the most of spring with MS.

1. Get outside. Many of us with MS suffer from heat intolerance making spring the perfect time to get outside and take advantage of moderate temperatures. Keep in mind that the mornings are chilly and that the temps can spike in the afternoons. It is always wise to get the weather forecast and pack a light jacket when heading out in the spring because you never know when the unpredictable weather will change. However, after a winter of being trapped inside the house, it is critical to get outside and enjoy the fresh air before it gets too hot to do so.

2. Spring cleaning. After a winter of closed windows and forced hot air, your living space is full of dust and allergens. This build up can lead to breathing or allergy issues, which lead to increased fatigue. Changing the air filters, eliminating the dust, cleaning the carpets and upholstery and giving your space a good overall cleaning will make you feel energized. If you are unable to do so, ask someone to help you. Also, open the windows to get some of that refreshing spring air to circulate. You’ll feel better if you do.

3. Declutter. A result of spring cleaning should be a pile of stuff to either pitch or donate. Not only does this clear your space of unwanted items, but it also removes trip hazards making your space easier to navigate. My wife has a rule of thumb that if we haven’t worn something in more than a year, it is an eligible donation. Donating makes you feel good and also clears up space.

4. Start an outdoor hobby. Spring is the perfect time to take up an outdoor hobby like gardening or bike riding. When you have MS, you want to try and take up hobbies that keep you moving. Bike riding is a rewarding, low-resistance hobby that has very good health benefits. Gardening or landscaping is nice because of the reward of the hard work. For those who can’t get out there and dig in the ground, there are hanging planters for strawberries and tomatoes. These low maintenance plants will give you the same reward as traditional gardening without having to dig. Hobbies such as biking or gardening will get you outside and active during spring, which is key to winning the battle against MS.

5. Attend an MS event. This time of year, there are often social educational opportunities for those of us living with MS. Follow MS organizations like the MS Foundation online to find out when an MS event will be held near you. These events are a great way to meet and socialize with others while learning more about MS.

Spring is a great time of year for those of us living with MS. The weather is not too hot, so we can get outside and take advantage of the pleasant temperatures before it gets too hot. Get outside and enjoy the fresh air and take up a hobby that is outside and active. Not only will you feel good, but you’ll be taking steps to win the battle against MS. Spring is also the best time to clean and declutter your living space. This will improve the air quality and overall health by eliminating all the toxins that have built up during the long winter. Finally, try to attend an MS event near you. These events are educational and can connect you with others in the MS community. By following these tips, you can make the most out of spring with MS.