For all of us, especially those of us living with HIV (PLHIV), maintaining our fitness is important for physical and mental health. Fitness keeps your body active and mind healthy. PLHIV experience anxiety and depression more often than other people without HIV and these often impacts on other issues like weight, heart disease, high cholesterol or diabetes, especially as we age.
Exercise is one option to ‘stack the odds’ in your favour and increase the likelihood of keeping your body and mind in condition. Exercise strengthens your muscles and bones, immune system and builds endurance, which in turn helps manage fatigue.
Exercise as a way to connect, socialise and make some new friends with others in the same boat is a great way to improve your health. It improves more than just your physical health. It also increases the ‘feel good’ chemicals in your brain which in turn can protect against depression and anxiety.
Supporting each other as we exercise can help take our minds off every day struggles and think better about ourselves. Exercising as a pair, a group or even alongside 20 other people, offers an opportunity to talk about our lives, have fun, and build new friendships.
No matter what level of fitness you are, it’s never too late to start. Every small step improves your physical health. When you exercise, you take control and build a more confident relationship with your body.
If you have any concerns about HIV, or your health you can contact the Treatments Officers at Positive Life NSW by calling (02) 9206-2177, 1800 245 677 (freecall) or email firstname.lastname@example.org