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Germany’s Challenge MS: Virtual MS Fitness Program


The German Multiple Sclerosis Society (DMSG) has recently launched an innovative programme called “Challenge-MS”. This initiative brings together twenty young people (aged 20-40) living with MS across Germany for a virtual, year-long challenge that combines physical and psychological components.

A Supportive Training Program

The program kicked off in April 2024 and will continue until the end of the year. Led by the DMSG Academy, Challenge-MS provides participants with online training sessions guided by a personal trainer. The DMSG Academy is renowned for its educational programs that empower people with MS to harness the potential of lifestyle factors in managing their condition. As research has consistently shown, regular physical activity, healthy nutrition, and effective stress management strategies can significantly improve physical, psychological, and social well-being for people with MS.

Overcoming Obstacles, Together

Despite being geographically dispersed, the twenty participants will train collaboratively through online sessions before culminating in a final, in-person event this autumn. The chosen challenge? Completing an obstacle course race, with options for 3km, 6km, or 12km distances.

Motivation Through Shared Experience

Challenge-MS is designed to provide a realistic yet ambitious training goal for a group of young people with MS. Regular physical activity can be a powerful motivator, and the peer support fostered by a group setting can be crucial in maintaining a consistent exercise routine. The program goes beyond simply informing participants about the benefits of exercise; it allows them to experience firsthand the positive impact it can have on their lives despite dealing with a chronic condition.

A Sustainable Model for the Future

The vision for Challenge-MS extends beyond the autumn team event. DMSG plans to continue facilitating regular online workouts and reflection sessions for the participants, allowing them to maintain their fitness levels and share their learnings from the program. With its successful implementation, Challenge-MS has the potential to become a permanent fixture within the DMSG Academy’s portfolio of patient education and youth self-help programs.

Project Funding

Challenge-MS is made possible through generous funding from the German Federal Ministry of Health. This support ensures that all twenty participants have access to regular online training sessions with a personal trainer, yoga sessions, individual training plans, and all associated costs for professional trainers and the final team event.

We applaud the German MS Society for its innovative approach to supporting young people with MS. We look forward to following the progress of Challenge-MS and its potential to inspire similar programs across Europe.

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