4 Reasons People with HIV Should Engage in Regular Exercise

Posted on: 7 November 2016

If you've been diagnosed with HIV, a proper exercise regime should be seen as part of your treatment strategy. As well as improving your mood, exercise comes with plenty of benefits, especially for anyone who is HIV-positive. Here are just four reasons why you should dust off your running shoes, pick up a gym membership, or pump up the tires on your bike.

1. Exercise May Improve Brain Functioning

One study published in the Journal of NeuroVirology has indicated that exercising on a regular basis can help prevent the neurocognitive impairments commonly associated with HIV. 335 HIV-positive participants took part in the experiment, which showed significantly reduced rates of neurocognitive impairment in those who had been physically active within the last three days. Tests measured various factors, such as memory and verbal fluency. Ultimately, participants who engaged in regular exercise were found to be half as likely to experience neurocognitive impairments.

2. Exercise Can Increase Muscle Mass

One of the things that people tend to worry about when they are first diagnosed with HIV is developing the thinner appearance that is often associated with the virus. There are many things that you can do to prevent this from happening, but exercising is one of the best. You'll be able to add muscle to your body, and the increased blood flow to all muscles will help reduce any loss of muscle mass.

3. Exercise Can Help Control Blood Sugars and Fats

Not all people with HIV experience increased levels of blood sugars and fats, but this is still a relatively common complication. Having higher levels of fats and sugars can increase your risk of developing further health problems, including heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Regular exercise helps control those fats and sugars by using them up through strenuous activity. One overview of numerous studies demonstrated that exercise is an effective way of improving the metabolic profile and fitness of people living with HIV and AIDs.

4. Exercise Might Prevent HIV Progressing to AIDs

There are many factors that influence how quickly HIV progresses to AIDs, but one study by the Department of Health and Environmental Control in South Carolina demonstrated that exercising regularly can help slow that progression. 156 HIV-positive and 259 HIV-negative men participated in an ongoing study, and it was ultimately found that exercising 3 to 4 times each week was associated with a slower progression to AIDS after one year.


Vaccination fact and figures

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