Physical activity

can help you get a good night’s sleep

Being Active

How can physical activity help my HIV?

How can physical activity help my HIV?

Exercising has many mental and physical health benefits. Although physical activity does not fight or control HIV, it can help you feel better and improve your overall health.

There are two main types of physical activity:

  • Aerobic training, such as walking, running, swimming, gardening and cycling which can improve cardiovascular health
  • Strength training such as weight lifting or body weight exercises (press-ups, sit-ups, squats etc.), which can increase muscle growth

Both types of activity are beneficial to your health, but strength training is one of the best ways to increase lean body mass and bone density, which could be lost through HIV, as it has been shown to encourage muscle and bone growth in the general population.

Some more general health benefits of regular exercise include:

  1. Improved quality of sleep

    And extra energy throughout the day
  2. Improved mental and emotional wellbeing

    Through the release of chemicals (endorphins), which can help relieve depression and stress
  3. Stimulation of the brain

    Which can improve your memory
Benefits of being active
  1. Reduced risk of heart disease

  2. Increased strength and flexibility

    Making daily tasks and activities much easier
  3. Maintenance and control of your body weight

    Helping you achieve a body image that you are happy with
How often should I be active?
How often should I be active?

The average adult should try to engage in physical activity every day. Find out what you can do to try and stay active each week below:

At least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity such as cycling or fast walking every week, and strength exercises on two or more days a week that work all the major muscles (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms)
Or
75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity, such as running or a game of singles tennis every week, and strength exercises on two or more days a week that work all the major muscles (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms)
Or
A mix of moderate and vigorous aerobic activity, such as two 30-minute runs and 30 minutes of fast walking

A good rule is that one minute of vigorous activity provides the same health benefits as two minutes of moderate activity.

One easy way to do your recommended 150 minutes of weekly physical activity is to do 30 minutes, 5 days a week.

8
Tips

To help you get started

  1. Take the stairs
    Instead of the lift or escalator
  2. Park further away
    Or get off the bus a stop early
  3. Use a shopping basket
    Instead of a shopping trolley
  4. Find an activity/sport you love
  1. Use YouTube to learn some new stretches or exercises
  2. Start a new challenge
    To give yourself a goal and keep you motivated
  3. Remember to enjoy yourself!
    You are more likely to continue if you are having fun!
  4. Download apps that can help you monitor your health
    Such as recording your eating habits or staying on top of your exercises