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benefits and/or precautions for exercise in the patient with HIV/AIDS
Sep 25, 2000

Can you please discuss and/or refer me to any articles/research that discusses the benefits, precautions, guidelines or contraindications of exercise (aerobic, strengthening, stretching) for a person with HIV and the person with AIDS? Has any research been done with these populations in regards to T-cell count, subjective reports of health , well-being, and/or functional independence/quality of life issues? Thank you in advance for your input.

Response from Dr. Frascino


I strongly recommend exercise for everyone HIV+ or not! It may be even more crucial for those of us with HIV disease or other chronic conditions because we are prone to lose vital lean body mass. Exercise has been shown in multiple clinical trials to increase lean body mass. Preservation of lean body mass is associated with improved survival.

From a fatigue perspective, exercise improves energy level. The endorphin surge can also significantly elevate mood. As far as restrictions on specific activities you should check with your physician about your individual case. In general for best results we recommend a program involving both aerobics and resistance weight training. Don’t look for exercise to significantly increase your T-cell counts, but it certainly can improve your well-being, quality of life, and functional independence and perhaps best of all you’ll look better naked! See you at the gym!



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