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MS Society Inverness and Nairn Group teams up with Curves Gym to change lives

By Ian Duncan

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Audrey Barnett from Curves Gym coaching Mary Mulroy.
Audrey Barnett from Curves Gym coaching Mary Mulroy.

A CHARITY is joining forces with a local gym to offer people living with multiple sclerosis (MS) the chance to get active.

The MS Society Inverness and Nairn Group is offering to fund three months of membership at Curves Inverness, following six free sessions over two weeks, to enable more women with MS to exercise regularly.

Anita Duffy, the charity’s group co-ordinator, said: “It was on Christmas Day I had a realisation that I wanted to get more active and, unlike most festive resolutions, I managed to stick to it.

“I made my way to the gym and, to be completely honest, it’s been miraculous.

“I just want everyone who might be in a similar position to me to have that opportunity because it’s had such a big effect on me.

“I’ve even managed to do things that, because of my MS, I’ve not been able to do in 10 to 15 years like getting on my tip toes or standing on one leg – and that’s enormously rewarding.

“Curves have been fantastic and really seem to understand MS. It’s also not the same kind of set-up as most gyms which I think really helped get me over the initial fear I had.

I’d urge other people who’ve been affected by MS to get in touch and get involved – it’s what this partnership is all about.

“Many gyms can be too expensive for some people so we’re delighted to be funding places for people that it could help to get up and running with some sessions.”

More than 11,000 people in Scotland live with MS which damages nerves in your body and makes it harder to do everyday things, such as walking, talking, eating and thinking.

MS affects a disproportionate amount of women compared with men – there are three times as many women living with the condition.

Mary Mulroy, who is a member of Curves Inverness, said: “I have MS and had closed myself off to the world, trying to hide it and it didn’t help me physically or mentally, but two months at the gym and I feel like I have my life back.

“I’m stronger, my balance has greatly improved, I’m no longer stumbling around like a drunk person, I've gained weight, which I’ve tried and failed at for years, which I didn’t think would ever happen for me. I’m also happier than I have been in what feels like forever and feeling much more confident about myself too.”

Research has shown that exercise can improve mood, mobility, muscle strength, as well as some MS symptoms such as fatigue, muscle spasms and balance.

* People living with MS can register their interest by contacting Curves Inverness on 01463 713400.

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