Moderate exercise is beneficial to everyone, regardless of whether they are HIV-positive or negative. Moderate exercise is known to stimulate the immune system and can boost your mood, while keeping fit reduces the risk of a range of illnesses.
Exercise’s benefits to the immune system have long been established, with numerous clinical trials finding a positive effect, although the effect typically only lasts a few hours and very intense exercise can actually have a negative effect on immunity. Exercising at moderate intensity for up to an hour can boost the activity of a range of immune system cells including NK cells and macrophages, which should help your body fight infections and could reduce the risk of cancer. Exercise has not, however, been shown to significantly boost CD4 T-cell counts in people with HIV.
Regular aerobic exercise can help reduce levels of blood fatsA type of fat in the blood. Elevated triglyceride levels may be a side effect of some anti-HIV drugs. (cholesterolAn essential component of cell membranes and nerve fibre insulation, cholesterol is important for the metabolism and transport of fatty acids and the production of hormones and Vitamin D. Cholesterol is manufactured by the liver, and is also present in certain foods. High blood cholesterol levels have been linked to heart disease and may be a side effect of some anti-HIV medications. and triglycerides), which are often elevated in people taking anti-HIV treatments. ResistanceHIV which has mutated and is less susceptible to the effects of one or more anti-HIV drugs is said to be resistant. training can help too – this type of exercise has been shown to increase levels of HDL (‘good’) cholesterol in people with HIV. Maintaining a healthy level of blood fatsA fat. is important for people with HIV as it reduces your risk of heart and arterya blood vessel which carries oxygenated blood away from the heart. disease and may reduce the risk of lipodystrophy.
Exercise is just one strategy in relation to lipodystrophy. If you are concerned about lipodystrophy, talk to your doctor about avoiding ARVA medication or other substance which is active against retroviruses such as HIV. drug combinations that have been associated with it.