Exercise is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. It’s especially important if you have cystic fibrosis (CF). Exercise is not only safe for those with CF, it also provides many benefits including:
- Improved fitness
- Increased exercise tolerance
- Decreased breathlessness
- Improved lung muscle strength and endurance
- Improved activities of daily living
- Improved quality of life and overall well-being
Before starting any exercise program, talk with your CF treatment center team about what exercises and intensity levels are right for you or your child. The goal is to just get out there and have fun.
Children with CF.
Children with CF should find activities they enjoy, such as riding a bike or playing basketball. It will help them stick to their exercise plan.
Many parents may have concerns about their child with CF joining sports or activities. Be sure to discuss these feelings with your CF treatment center care team. It is important to note that studies have found that parents who embrace an active lifestyle, encourage their child’s involvement, as well as join in the activity, find their children reap health benefits and are more likely to stick to the program.
Adults with CF.
For adults with CF, the freedom of an unsupervised, individual exercise program can make you feel more in control over your CF and make it easier to stick to your treatment plan. Activities should include:
- Aerobic exercise like running or biking
- Resistance training like lifting light weights or doing squats
- Stretching and flexibility activities like yoga
In addition to improved lung fitness, activities such as jogging, walking and other weight-bearing exercises, especially early in life, can help you build strong, healthy bones.
Finding an exercise or activity you enjoy makes it more likely you will stick with it. Participating in a variety of exercise activities can help prevent injuries, maximize benefits and add variety to your routine, helping you stay motivated and active.
Remember, if you have an active infection, you may be advised to decrease your activity level or refrain from activity for a period of time. For the most part, make exercise a part of your overall CF care plan.