Exercise and Physical Activity

Content From: HIV.govUpdated: April 28, 20222 min read


Physical activity can help boost your mood and reduce your stress!

Should People with HIV Exercise?

Yes! Being HIV-positive is no different from being HIV-negative when it comes to exercise. Regular physical activity and exercise are part of a healthy lifestyle for everyone, including people with HIV.

What Are the Benefits of Physical Activity?

Physical activity has many important benefits. It can

  • Boost your mood
  • Sharpen your focus
  • Reduce your stress
  • Improve your sleep

Physical activity can also help you reduce your risk of developing cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and several types of cancer. These are all health conditions that can affect people living with HIV.

How Much Activity Should You Do?

According to the evidence-based Physical Activity Guidelines (2018), adults need at least 150 to 300 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity, like biking, brisk walking, or fast dancing. Adults also need muscle-strengthening activity, like lifting weights or doing push-ups, at least 2 days per week.

How much activity do adults need?
Health.gov/Move Your Way: What’s Your Move

If you’re living with HIV or have another chronic health condition, talk to your health care provider or a physical activity specialist to make sure these guidelines are right for you.

The most important thing is to move more and sit less!

What Types of Activity Are Right for People Living with HIV?

People living with HIV can do the same types of physical activity and exercise as individuals who do not have HIV.

Physical activity is any body movement that works your muscles and requires more energy than resting. Brisk walking, running, biking, dancing, jumping rope, and swimming are a few examples of physical activity.

Exercise is a type of physical activity that's planned and structured with the goal of improving your health or fitness. Taking an aerobics class and playing on a sports team are examples of exercise.

Both are part of living healthy.

Take time to find a fitness routine that you enjoy. You may consider taking part in a group activity that allows you to engage with others. Make it fun and commit to being physically active regularly.