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Healthy Living

Last updated: April 2022

Living a healthy life is something that is beneficial regardless of HIV status. Since it is so important to live a healthy life, there are several aspects to consider when deciding where to focus. Things such as healthy eating and nutrition, physical activity, and managing stress are important to living your best life despite being HIV positive.

Healthy eating and nutrition

One of the most important areas to focus on when trying to live a healthier life is revolves around healthy eating and nutrition. Regardless of health conditions, healthy eating is important for everybody.

Challenges with maintaining a healthy weight

Many of us have a hard time maintaining a healthy weight. There can be multiple reasons for weight maintenance challenges. Since HIV is an infection, our bodies need more calories than it would if we were without an infection. Our bodies need these extra calories to keep building our immune systems and to deal with the changes that occur to our metabolisms.

Issues such as nausea or lack of appetite can affect an individual’s caloric intake. Additionally, problems with diarrhea cause issues since it affects the absorption of nutrients.

When you have HIV, it is even more important to be sure your body is getting all the nutrition it needs. This makes it important for individuals to not only eat, but to eat complete meals. The meals also need to be diverse with proteins, carbohydrates, and healthy oils.

Physical activity

Another part of healthy living involves physical activity. An important thing to remember is that HIV-positive individuals can do the same physical activities as though who are HIV negative. The benefits of exercising include improving mood and sleep.

Exercise doesn't have to be extreme

A lot of people do not like considering exercise because they automatically think it must be extreme exercise. But when it comes to exercising, it is important to remember that there are no set requirements. Something as simple as doing stretches is beneficial to our bodies.

The exercises do not have to be physically intense. It is better to do what you can than to not do anything at all.

Stress management

Living with an HIV diagnosis can provide a lot of stress for an individual. It is important to effectively manage stress. Long-term stress can weaken your immune system, which reduces the body’s ability to fight off infections. Stress can also have negative impacts on mental health.

Talk to people that you trust or join a support group

Being able to talk to other people about what you are going through can be extremely helpful. Speaking with family and friends can be beneficial because they know you as a person better. On the other hand, joining a support group and speaking with other people who have had similar experiences can prove you with a different type of support.

Practice self-care

Learning to utilize self-care can help when managing stress. Taking time to yourself to unwind can be extremely helpful in managing stress. Spending some time away from technology and other people's demands by doing things such as taking a hot bath or curling up with a good book can be great ways to unwind.

What do you do to make sure you are living a healthy life?

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