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Exercise and Liver Disease part 4 -The Types of Exercise for Liver Disease
Melissa Palmer, MD posted:
People with liver disease should take up both aerobic and weight-bearing exercises, as
they each play a different role in fighting liver disease. It is fortunate that there are an
abundance of books, videotapes, and television programs that teach, step by step, both
types of exercises. It is important to use these self-help materials prior to starting any
exercise regimen. Other helpful ideas include scheduling a few appointments with a
personal trainer to design a fitness routine that personally meets the needs of a person
with liver disease. Many fitness trainers will even work in their clients' or the trainer's
homes. And recently, one-on-one fitness training facilities have become widespread.
They offer both privacy and personalized attention. This is important, as many people are
too self-conscious or too shy to exercise in a crowded gym, and/or lose self-motivation
after the first few sessions at a gym. A welcome development has been the appearance
very recently, of gyms geared specifically to individuals who are not in good shape. In
these facilities, embarrassment is mitigated and the convergence of similarly situated
clientele creates an environment akin to a combination support group/health club. Finally,
the likelihood of success is increased if a person adopts an exercise program that she
already enjoys and that can easily be adhered to with consistency at least three times a
Timing is also important. It is fine to exercise at any time of the day that is personally
convenient. However, by the end of the day, most people are usually too mentally and
physically tired to do anything, least of all, run on a treadmill! That is why most people
with liver disease find that they need to do their exercises first thing in the morning.
While some people may find it difficult to get up in the morning in the first place, once
they get started with an exercise regimen, it will become easier and easier. And people
usually find that exercising in the morning helps give them an extra boost of energy to
make it through the day. Finally, don't overdo it. It's more important to maintain a regular
routine than to set any records.
Aerobic Exercises
Aerobic exercise trains the heart, lungs, and entire cardiovascular system to process and
deliver oxygen more quickly and efficiently to every part of the body. It's the kind of
exercise that gets the heart pumping. As one becomes more aerobically fit, the heart
won't have to work as hard to pump blood to the rest of the body, including the liver. The
pulse will begin to slow down, making it easier for the liver to send back to the rest of the
body the blood it has just filtered. The benefits of being an aerobically fit person include
an overall improved energy level, which translates into decreased fatigue. Fortunately, a
person does not have to purchase high-fashion workout clothes or go to a fancy gym to
get aerobic exercise. Walking briskly, bicycling (either stationary or regular), swimming,
or using a treadmill all provide solid aerobic benefits. Many people start off with
something easy, such as walking around the block. A helpful hint is to start by walking up
and down the street close to home. In that way, if a bout of fatigue suddenly occurs, it won't take long to get home.
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