Everyone can benefit from some form of exercise and experience a lift to their overall health and wellbeing. Moderate exercise is good for the immune system, and can also improve your mood and help you feel good about yourself.
Resistance training (using muscle strength, such as lifting weights) and aerobic exercise (that increases your heart rate and makes you breathe faster, such as running, fast walking and swimming) are particularly effective. Aim to do this sort of exercise for at least 30 minutes three times a week or more.
Resistance training (lifting weights) and aerobic exercise can help with body shape changes, called lipodystrophy, which are a side-effect of some of the older anti-HIV drugs.
People with HIV are at higher risk of developing bone problems, such as osteoporosis. Resistance exercise can reduce the risk of osteoporosis, and help once it is diagnosed by encouraging new bone to grow. This means any type of exercise in which your muscles are forced to work against gravity. (If you are at risk of bone fracture because of osteoporosis, you should get advice about the sort of exercise that may be safe for you.)
Your healthcare team at your HIV clinic or at your GP can help you with advice and information about exercise. There’s lots of information on different ways to exercise and how to do it safely on the NHS Choices website.