Can I Still Exercise?

Posted by Pozziepinoy on 8:06 AM

(Source: The Number  95 of the 100 Questions and Answers About HIV and AIDS, 2nd edition by Joel Gallant, MD, MPH)

You can and you should. Mainly because it's a healthy way to live, and it's important to maintain your overall health if you're HIv positive. But there are some reasons to exercise that are specific to HIv as well.

1. Some antiretroviral drugs can cause fat accumulation, insulin resistance, and elevations in cholesterol and triglycerides, which in turn can increase the risk of heart disease. Aerobic exercise helps to reverse all those conditions.

2. Although we don't know the cause, we're seeing loss of bone density in people with HIV infection. Exercise, especially resistance exercise can help to maintain bone density.

3. Some of the older antiretroviral drugs cause lipoatrophy (fat loss) involving the legs, arms and buttocks. Resistance training can increase the muscle mass in those areas, which can help to compensate for the loss in fat.

4. HIV-positive people are at greater risk for depression. Exercise is a great natural antidepressant.

If you're not used to exercising, start slow. Walk more. Take the stairs. Park in the far corner of the lot. If you're a fair weather walker, join a gym. Don't do the same exercise each day, but mix it up so you don't get bored. Exercise with a friend, or listen to music or a recorded book.A slug-like existence may be more likely to kill you than HIV, so don't be a slug!

NO PLHIV is alone with his or her struggle with HIV!"


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