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Exercise

Everybody needs exercise, especially people with CF. Research has demonstrated that there is a clear link between regular exercise, weight gain, body mass, lung function and survival in Cystic Fibrosis.

Exercise as part of a daily CF treatment routine assists with airway clearance, helps build muscle mass and overall strength. Physical activities should increase the breathing and heart rate to be most beneficial. Exercise and stretching that involves the spine, ribcage and shoulders is encouraged so the body remains flexible and maintains good posture.

During sporting activities, people with CF may experience coughing, wheezing or breathlessness. This is normal and the coughing should not be suppressed as it is important for clearing the airway.

Avoiding dehydration and salt depletion during exercise is very important for people with CF as they lose more salt than normal in their sweat. Keeping up adequate water intake is important, as is balancing salt intake.

There is usually enough salt in their diet to counteract this loss in sweat, but if a CF person is sweating excessively, due to hot weather or exercise, then salt replacement should be considered. Eating salty foods like snacks and crisps is usually enough, but you should consult your physician if in doubt.