Fit and Strong Despite Multiple Sclerosis: “Giving up Was Never an Option!”

In 2015, my life changed. I used to be a fun-loving girl working and living in Chicago. But in the beginning of that year, I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. I had just turned 29 and was in the prime of my life. The diagnosis hit me like a ton of bricks. Anger, fear, and despair were my new companions. Soon, the disease began affecting my balance and mobility. The impairments I suffered from were caused by wounds inside my spine and blockage in my neural pathways.

Before my diagnosis, I had been a passionate half marathon runner, but suddenly I had difficulties even walking straight! My active, adventurous life was over and I moved back to my hometown of Bangalore in India.

“Being active has always been important to me. Now more than ever!”

Even though there is no cure for MS and I’m not taking any medication, I have tried to find a way to stay positive and active. Exercise challenges me and my body in a positive way. I’ve tried many apps that promised me training sessions without weights or equipment that I really enjoyed. In the end, I liked Runtastic Results best.

“Training keeps me active, physically and mentally!”

For me, training is like physical therapy — even though my doctors tell me that it’s not a valid substitute for it. I do feel, however, that bodyweight exercises are helping and give me energy.

I usually start my workout routine with a 20-minute cardio session. After that, I do some core exercises, which help me train my balance and core strength. Other exercises like jumping jacks, squats, and Burpees boost my stamina and strengthen my coordination skills.

Not only have I improved my form — in the beginning I must have looked quite clumsy when I was exercising — I also managed to strengthen my leg muscles. When I repeat the exercises, I’m training my brain how to execute continuous movements. This improves my day-to-day life and boosts my self-confidence.

“I feel physically fit and more confident.”

Even though it will still take a long time for me to be able to move in a somewhat normal way again, I enjoy seeing myself getting better and better. The Runtastic Results app has become my digital partner that helps me plan and structure my training sessions and choose great exercises. I’m glad my family supports me and my passion, even though they aren’t very active themselves. Their support gives me more strength.

“My motto: get sweaty every day, no matter what!”

I love the feeling of accomplishment I get after finishing a workout. It motivates me to go on. I find the workouts refreshing, and building muscle and strength boosts my confidence. Exercise is like meditation for me. I feel good and listen to music while training. Of course, there are some days I don’t feel so great and can’t complete my usual workout routine. Unfortunately, there is no way to control my disease. There are good and bad days, I have learned to accept that.

But I won’t let this discourage me. I’m enjoying my life as much as possible. This summer I went to Ladakh, which is near the Himalayas, and went on rafting and camel riding adventures like I used to. And there are so many more things I want to experience. My bucket list is very long and includes kayaking in the Antarctic, rafting on the Nile, and swimming with dolphins.

“I’ve become a happy person!”

My diagnosis has taught me perseverance and made me very calm, but also helped me discover the deeper meaning of life. It may sound strange, but I’ve grown into a stronger, happier, and kinder person.

I decided to enjoy my life to the fullest whenever possible. Every moment counts! That’s the advice I want to give others. Life is too short to just watch it pass by.

“Follow your dreams, muster the courage to tackle difficulties. Try new things. Be strong, grateful, and proud of what you achieve! MS isn’t holding me back. What’s your excuse?”

Do you have a success story you’d like to share? Write us and motivate others with your story.

Anjali uses the 12-week training plan, and works out up to 5 days per week. You can do it too! Be active and find your perfect plan in the Runtastic Results App!

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Credits: Runtastic

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