Benefits of Regular Exercise for People Living with HIV
August 03, 2022

Benefits of Regular Exercise for People Living with HIV

Regular exercise is vital whether you’re HIV positive or negative. However, physical activity is much more critical to the HIV positive because it helps them control some side effects of the HIV treatments. Certain HIV medications can reconfigure your body composition and raise cholesterol and blood glucose, all of which are long-term side effects.

You need regular physical exercise while taking these medications to maintain a good body shape. However, before you start the training, consult your doctor because the type of exercise you perform will depend on your HIV treatment progress. 

Now that you have a glimpse of why you need to exercise as an HIV patient, let’s look at some of the benefits of regular exercise. 

What are the benefits of regular exercise to people living with HIV?

If you have HIV, the best thing you can do is to make yourself a priority by strategizing on how to stay healthy. I have given you one strategy, “regular exercise.” There are many forms of exercise that you can try out. 

But to be most effective, combine cardiovascular, mass strength-building, and flexibility exercises. You can schedule a 20-minutes workout daily to get the best out of it. Let’s now look at the benefits of regular exercise:

Exercise improves heart health. 

People living with HIV are at high risk of developing cardiovascular, and heart disease, which is worsened by the medication they take that increases their body weight. 

However, incorporating cardio exercise with resistance training in your lifestyle can reduce your chances of developing these chronic diseases. Exercise will raise your heart rate, which helps in burning excess cholesterol.  

If you are living with an HIV patient who might develop these heart problems, you should consider CPR and AED certification, which will help you save lives in emergencies like a heart attack. 

It boosts appetite

One of the challenges HIV patients have is appetite loss which is contrary to what is expected because they need to eat to boost their immune system and for the medications to work well. 

Exercise comes in handy if you’re a victim of poor appetite because it can stimulate your appetite. Exercise consumes a lot of energy and leaves you hungry, thus boosting your urge to eat. 

It builds muscle mass.

We tend to gradually lose our muscle masses as we grow older, which means we need to build muscle mass cut across; those with and without HIV. Though retaining muscle mass is more challenging in people with HIV. 

Regular training will increase your muscle mass and strengthen, making you stay healthier.

Improves sleep 

One of the components of a healthy lifestyle is adequate sleep, which sometimes is a challenge for people with HIV, and this is due to stress and depression. Did you know that good sleep can make a difference in your health and well-being?

Besides helping you fight diseases, adequate sleep helps maintain a healthy weight. Keeping your weight in check means reducing the risk of heart disease like a heart attack and improving your mood. 

You can get adequate sleep after an exercise because your body will be tired and you’ll need a good rest. 

It may boost the immune system. 

HIV is a condition that severely affects the body’s immune system, which puts you at risk of contracting STDs and other infections. That’s why an HIV patient should go for regular STD test.

But, you can improve your immune system by doing regular exercise.  

It helps in building bone density.

Like muscle mass, bone density also reduces in size as you age. Unfortunately, HIV speeds up the process. This bone density deterioration can lead to osteoporosis leading to weak and brittle bones. 

Exercise regularly to make your bone more robust and build bone density to avoid developing this condition associated with bone deterioration. 


It is crucial to exercise, especially if you’re HIV positive. Exercising has many benefits like boosting the immune system, preventing the development of chronic diseases, improving sleep, etc.