Benefits of exercise
Everyone can benefit from some form of exercise and experience a lift to their overall health and well-being. Moderate exercise is beneficial to the immune system, and can also improve mood and offer an important way of maintaining a healthy self-image.
Aside from popular forms of exercise like swimming, cycling, aerobics, running and weight training (sometimes called resistance training), there are a number of movement-based exercises, such as yoga, which help maintain muscle tone and suppleness whilst also having meditative or relaxing qualities.
Blood lipids are the name given to fatty substances in the blood, such as cholesterol and triglycerides. Having high levels of these substances in the blood raises your risk of coronary heart disease. Taking anti-HIV drugs may lead to raised blood lipids.
Raising the heart rate for at least thirty minutes three times per week through aerobic exercise (such as cycling, running, swimming, or even brisk walking) reduces these fats, and so lowers risk of heart disease.
People with HIV-related wasting often have low levels of a type of cholesterol called HDL, sometimes referred to as ‘good' cholesterol. Resistance training has been shown to significantly increase HDL cholesterol in HIV-positive men with normal testosterone levels.
Regular exercise has been shown to reduce total body and trunk fat among HIV-positive men with body fat changes (lipodystrophy). Resistance exercise reduces raised triglycerides and cholesterol levels.