Little dudes_cystic fibrosis

Cystic Fibrosis

 

Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a genetic disorder that affects mostly the lungs but also the pancreas, liver, kidneys, and intestine. Long-term issues include difficulty breathing and coughing up mucus as a result of frequent lung infections.

 

An active lifestyle is extremely important for children with CF, benefits include increased pulmonary function and overall quality of life. People with CF who exercise and keep fit are shown to cope better with the impact of CF, have fewer infections and generally have healthier lives.

 

For full information on Cystic Fibrosis Australia.

Why it’s important to exercise

 

Cystic fibrosis can affect children in different ways but there is one thing that is clear, exercise has numerous benefits to help improve their physical and mental health. A few examples include:

  • Improve their lung function and capacity
  • Increase their oxygen capacity
  • Help airway clearance
  • Reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease
  • Improve their muscle mass
  • Generally improve their quality of life
  • Improve self-confidence and mood

Things to remember:

 

  • CF is also associated with many different health issues, each of which can affect your child’s tolerance to exercise so it is vital to get the advice of a professional such as an Accredited Exercise Physiologist.
  • The ‘optimal’ intensity of exercise can vary from child to child so each case must treated uniquely.

Types of exercise recommended:

 

  • Aerobic exercise that raises your child’s heart rate, for example walking, swimming or cycling. This type of exercise also strengthens the lungs improving breathing
  • Resistance or strength training is also important as it can help build muscle and strengthen bones. It can also increase chest mobility making it easier to remove mucus in the airways.

Resources

References:
Oxygen Uptake Kinetics and Exercise Capacity in Children With Cystic Fibrosis, Paediatric Pulmonology 2015
Exercise programs for children with cystic fibrosis: a systemic review of randomized controlled trials, Disability and Rehabilitation 2010
High-intensity interval training in an adolescent with cystic fibrosis: A physiological perspective, Physiotherapy Theory and Practice 2011