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Physical Activity for People with Multiple Sclerosis:
An Introduction to MS
for Fitness and Wellness Professionals

Welcome to the Fitness Professional training offered by the National MS Society.  We are very excited to have you join the hundreds of fitness and wellness professionals who work with those living with MS in their communities.  Access to instructors who understand MS is very important for individuals and increases their likelihood of engaging in an active lifestyle. 


Intro Video

Overview and Objectives
There is strong interest among many people with multiple sclerosis (MS) in physical activity programs. Those involved in exercise programs often experience an increased sense of well-being in addition to other benefits such as increased muscle strength and endurance, maintained and improved joint range of motion and flexibility, improved coordination, improved balance, increased cardio-respiratory endurance, as well as the social interaction that the experience provides.  Most people with MS learn to cope with the disease and continue to lead satisfying, productive lives.

Working with people who are dealing with MS can be a mutually-rewarding experience—for the participant and the instructor. This training is meant to be a resource for fitness and wellness professionals, including aquatics instructors, yoga teachers, personal trainers, and others who want to learn more about MS: it provides an overview of the disease and offers specific strategies for working with a diverse MS population.

After completion participants will be able to:

  • describe basic facts about multiple sclerosis
  • identify MS symptoms that affect movement and activity level
  • consider ways to modify exercise and movement to accommodate the functional issues presented by a person with MS.
  • interact more comfortably with people with disabilities
  • describe safety and accessibility issues important to people with MS

How this online Course Works

The Physical Activity for People with MS: An Introduction to MS for Fitness and Wellness Professionals course is divided into eight modules that can be accessed from the below links or from the above tool bar.  Move progressively through this course, starting with Module 1.  Each module is divided into different section topics, thus be sure to review each section within the module before moving on to the next.  This course does not need to be completed in one sitting.  If you like, you may exit and re-enter the course.  All of the content is available to you at all times while in the course, allowing you to go in and out of different modules. 

Each section contains text and may include links, pictures, slides and some video elements.  Within each module a printable version of the information can be found.  In addition, a complete manual of all the modules is provided at the end of the course for you to print.  Please print and keep the information for your reference.  If you would like to explore some topics further, click on the hyperlinks provided and/or visit: www.nationalmssociety.org

Module 1 - Understanding Multiple Sclerosis

Module 2 - Understanding MS-Related Symptoms

Module 3 - Benefits of an Exercise Program for People with MS

Module 4 - Roles and Expectations of the Fitness Professional

Module 5 - Working with the Student with MS

Module 6 - Ensuring a Safe and Effective Workout

Module 7 - Interacting with People with Disabilities

Module 8 - The Environment: Safety and Accessibility

The National MS Society thanks the following advisory committee members for their exemplary leadership and guidance in the creation of the Physical Activity for People with Multiple Sclerosis: An Introduction to MS for Fitness and Wellness Professionals online training program.