Importance of Exercise

As a transplant recipient, you are faced with the usual human challenges of everyday life, but you have additional considerations given the unique impact that your immune suppression drugs have on you.

Immunosuppressant medications are a vital part of your new post-transplant life, however, these come with side effects and some are more severe than others.  This may put you at a higher risk of developing obesity, diabetes, osteoporosis, hypertension, cardiovascular disease as well as a decrease in normal muscle function.

Quality of life has become a major issue for recipients following their transplant surgery not only physically but also mentally.  A large percentage of recipients battle with various physiological ailments such as guilt, depression and anxiety. Studies have shown that an increase in physical activity not only increases physical but actively assists in the improvement of the recipient’s mental health.

Regular physical activity and healthy eating is universally recommended for all adults and children of the general public and yet these recommendations are not as commonly advised or explained to the transplant community even though the benefits of making these lifestyle choices are critically important.

Benefits of an increase in physical activity for a transplant recipient both physically and mentally include:

  • Increased whole body strength

  • Improved energy levels

  • Helps control body weight

  • Decrease in proportion of body fat

  • Increase in heart and lung performance

  • Reduces overall risk of cardiovascular disease

  • Lower blood pressure

  • Reduces risk of developing diabetes and assists in glucose management in those with diabetes

  • Improved circulation

  • Decrease in cholesterol levels

  • Increase in bone density / strength and balance

  • Increased muscle mass, muscle strength & muscle endurance, and joint flexibility

  • Improved aerobic capacity

  • Faster recovery post-surgery

  • Enhances your mental sharpness

  • Reduced stress, tension, anxiety and depression

  • Improved sleep

  • Helps motivate you to improve your lifestyle

  • Helps in rebuilding your social life and relationships

  • Improves emotional wellbeing and self-perception

  • Improves your sex life

Help your organ work better and live longer…
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