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Our bodies are our temples and taking care of them is paramount if one wishes to have anything resembling a healthy, active life. This is true for everyone, even more so for those diagnosed with HIV. The many leaps and bounds made by medicine and science have enabled those living with HIV to live as long and as actively as the next person, provided that they still take care of all the physical nutrients that the body needs. That is why physical therapy and exercise is so important, particularly for people who live with HIV.
It is widely accepted that people living with HIV should avoid exhaustive exercise and look for a regime that combines the right kind of moderate intensity with enough happiness and positivity to release those endorphins that keep us coming back for more. Some medium intensity resistance training is a great way to tone up and improve muscle strength. Combining this with aerobic training, which increases cardio-respiratory fitness and keeps us feeling active, has a profound effect on improving our quality of life.
Start your exercise session with a light warm up. Stretching before a workout is a really great way to get your body ready for the next 45 minutes to one hour. Get your aerobic exercise with the treadmill, stationary bike or elliptical machine. Resistance training is another way to say weight training; it is recommended that you use free weights or weight machines to do a fixed number of sets or repetitions (8-12 is recommended) that target all muscle groups. If you are on a trying medicine regime, it is recommended that you start with a really low intensity workout and then, when you’re ready for it, move to a slightly more intense workout.
When your workout is set to end, wind down exercises and stretches are always recommended before you leave the gym. And remember: listen to your body; it will tell you if it is pumped to keep going or if it is ready to stop.