HIV - Exercise


You say that you don't have a butt any more Have your muscles started to shrink right before your eyes DON'T pANIC! It will take a little work on your part in the form of exercising, but you can look good again. Why should you consider exercising at all First and most importantly, there are several studies that show exercise has a positive effect on the immune system and quality of life for people with HIV. Studies have shown that CD4 counts go up when people do simple, consistent exercise. Also, exercise will give you more energy and perk up your appetite and sense of will being. This lets you eat more and avoid wasting.

If you start working on it now, by the time it is shorts weather you should be looking buff again. There are two parts to bulking up: 1) eat the right amount of calories and protein to help build muscle and 2) do the right type of exercises to increase those all important muscle groups.

If you have been a die hard couch potato, start slowly, or your muscles will ache from overexertion. If any kind of exercise routine is new to you, start by doing some simple stretches while on the couch or before you get out of bed. Start with a whole body stretch by extending your arms over your head, s-t-r-e-t-c-h as you exhale. Next, bring your knees toward the chest with the hands grasping your legs just below the knees. Lengthen your neck and look straight up, breathe deep in and out a few times holding that position. You can alternate the legs, hugging one a time to your chest. With any stretching routine that you do, exhale as you stretch and inhale as you move into a new position. Stretch until you feel tension, then hold the position for 10 to 30 seconds. Don't jerk or bounce through any movements.

For some simple muscle building exercises try these ideas.

push-ups- yes good old-fashioned push-ups are wonderful for bulking up those arms. If it has been awhile since you have done a military press, start by doing push-ups against a wall, or by placing your hands on a counter. Start with doing 15 to 20 push-ups, keep adding a few more each day until you have reached 100 or more.

To work the abs, do some crunches. Start with 10 or 15, remember to just raise your shoulders off the ground. Work up to doing several repetitions of 40 - 50 each.

To work the thighs, place your back against a wall with your feet about 15 inches out from the wall, move down until you are in a sitting position. Keep your back pressed against the wall. Hold that for 30 seconds and work up until you can do several minutes.

This series of 3 exercises initially will take you about 10 to 15 minutes a day. Being creative with this will make it fun. Exercise with a friend, do it to your favorite music, do it while you watch TV, but just get off that couch and do it! There are several good books at the library or bookstore on how to exercise to build muscles or lose weight. Full Circle Fitness by Rebecca Eastman is very basic with simple illustrations and guidelines for exercise routines to follow. There are multitudes of videos you can buy or check out. Make sure that you find one on strength training, not aerobic exercise which is meant to help you lose weight, not add muscle.


Eating enough see Diet and exercising for at least 15 minutes each day is a great immune booster. Food, exercise and medicines all support your body's fight against HIV. You can't rely on just one or two, they work best as a team.

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