Exercise and HIV/AIDS:
More and More studies are showing the importance of exercise in
living long and well with HIV/AIDS. Here is an introductory
article about HIV & Exercise. For more information check out
the web links below.
|Want to help get people
living with HIV/AIDS access to exercise facilities who otherwise
couldn't afford to go? Please consider making a
donation to: The Guardian Fitness
HIV & Exercise
By: Alex G. and James F. Taylor
Now that more people are getting the message and living longer, we
need to deal with the long-term side effects of HIV and HIV
medications, some of which can be hazardous to your health. As you
may personally know, or heard about, some of these side effects may
include the rise of bad cholesterol (LDL), lowering of the good
cholesterol (HDL), increased triglycerides, high blood pressure, the
loss of lean body mass, abnormal fat redistribution (lipodystrophy)
and unwanted fat loss (lipoatrophy).
Some people may even develop diabetes or hyperglycemia. It is
suspected that these problems with blood sugar (related to
developing insulin resistance) may be a significant contributing
factor in lipodystrophy.
Living with these side effects can be difficult and sometimes
depressing, especially when we see our bodies taking on changes that
are noticeable to others (i.e. facial wasting, muscle loss, or fat
But these conditions are not only of cosmetic concern, and may pose
very serious health risks to people living with HIV/AIDS. Did you
know, for example, it is possible to die of a heart attack from
having too little of the good cholesterol (HDL) as well as too much
of the bad cholesterol (LDL)?
We take HIV medications because they have been shown to reduce the
amount of HIV in our blood. HIV medications do not boost the immune
system, but by controlling HIV they give our damage systems a chance
So wouldn’t it be nice if they came up with a drug that would help:
Reduce the bad cholesterol (LDL) and blood fats (tryglycerides)
Increase the good cholesterol (HDL)
Help strengthen muscles and regain lost lean body mass
Help strengthen our cardio vascular system
Help lower blood pressure
Help improve the way we look and feel about our selves
Help boost the immune system
Well, at present there is no one drug that does all of the above.
However, research is showing that these are some of the possible
benefits of a good exercise program with added special attention to
diet for people with HIV/AIDS. In some areas there are programs that
offer assistance with access to exercise programs, health clubs, and
Many people think that going to a gym to exercise is a luxury. For
people living with HIV/AIDS it is a necessity. Many long term
survivors know that in order to living long and well with HIV you
not only have to take your medications, but you also need to pay
attention to your diet, exercise, rest, and stress management.
It is sad to think that only financially stable people can afford to
go to gyms and get the care they need. Hopefully as more people
learn about living with HIV and the side effects of HIV medications,
there will be help to make sure that everyone has access to exercise
facilities and nutritional guidance.
Until then, try to get out and get some exercise when and where you
are able. Take brisk walks, go hiking in the woods, do floor
exercises (push ups, sit-ups) or try some weight/resistance
training. Of course it is always best to consult your physician
first before embarking on any exercise program – they may even have
a few good tips or refer you to others who can help you.
For More Information:
CT Statewide HIV Community
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