Exercise promotes lung function, muscle development, strength, and endurance. Being physically fit can help you stay more alert and energized, and can even help strengthen your immune system. A regular exercise regimen can also help you control your weight and manage stress and anxiety. As always, ask your doctor if you have any limitations related to exercise before starting.1
Step it up
The good news is if your PI condition is well managed, you can have an active lifestyle. Pick a variety of activities you can do 30 minutes a day…every day. If the best you can manage is a leisurely stroll, by all means, start walking. Swimming, biking, and walking will all help you stay physically fit, allowing you to be in the best position to manage your immune disease.1
Go out for the team
If you’re a high schooler itching to join a team, but are limited by your PI, Debra Sedlak, pediatric nurse practitioner at Duke University, urges you to get involved in non-active ways. “Become the team mascot or manager. Sports are very social at this age and it’s to your benefit to be part of it.”
Do drink water, but only your own
No matter how thirsty you are, for PI patients it’s especially important to remember: do not drink from other people’s water bottles due to the risk for infection.
- Blaese RM, Winkelstein J. Patient & Family Handbook for Primary Immunodeficiency Diseases. Towson, MD: Immune Deficiency Foundation; 2007