Regular exercise improves the health of people who have
cystic fibrosis. Exercise helps loosen mucus,
encourages coughing, improves oxygen flow, and makes you feel better. Upper
body exercises, such as swimming or rowing, increase the strength and endurance
of the muscles that are used for breathing.
After talking to your doctor about how much exercise is good for your
child, encourage your child to participate in sports and recreational
activities. Team sports are great ways for your child to stay fit and to
interact with other children. Talk to the coach or supervisor about your
child's abilities and the important role of physical activity in the treatment
of cystic fibrosis.
Some people who have cystic fibrosis may not be strong enough to
take part in certain activities. Your doctor can recommend the right amount
and type of exercise for you. Or you may work with a
physical therapist to plan your own exercise
routine. For more information, see the topic Fitness: Getting and Staying Active.
Caution: People who have cystic fibrosis need more salt than people who do not have cystic fibrosis. Your body may lose salts and not be able to cool off during exercise. This happens especially when the weather is hot or during intense or lengthy exercise. So make sure that you replace salt lost during exercise. Drink plenty of fluids before, during, and after exercise. Sports drinks that contain
electrolytes are especially good to help replace lost salts.
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