Cystic fibrosis while still rare, is one of the world’s most common genetic disorders.
There are more than 30,000 people in the United States that live with cystic fibrosis. Patients with cystic fibrosis (CF) have problems in their respiratory, digestive and reproductive systems. They also have issues with temperature regulation and fluid balance.
There is no cure for CF, but according to an article on Cystic Fibrosis News Today, recent studies have shown that regular physical exercise may improve the quality of life in CF patients.
Exercise activates the adrenergic and purinergic pathways of the body, which regulate activity of ion channels on airway cells and sweat glands which leads to overall system improvement. Exercise improves respiratory muscle function and helps clear mucus from the lungs, allowing for easier breathing. It can slow the rate of decline in lung function. Improvements in fluid balance and electrolyte retention are also benefits of exercise.
The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (CFF) recommends CF patients talk with their doctors for advice and support when it comes to exercise.
Patients should consider at least three things when it comes to exercise: Does the exercise fit in their schedule? Does exercise connect them with family and friends? Does the exercise make the heart, lungs, muscles and bones stronger?
According to the CFF, children should participate in exercise that involves different types of activities and they should be rewarded when they join events involving a group or team.
Teens should participate in exercise that makes them feel good around their friends because they are most likely to continue a regular exercise routine that increases their self-esteem.
Adults should choose a comfortable activity that keeps the lungs and heart engaged and to find an exercise accountability partner. These activities should not super competitive so the CFF recommends biking, swimming or running, that can be done for a lifetime.