In general exercise has benefits for a patient with cystic fibrosis. The risk of significant adverse effects is low if appropriate precautions are made.

A patient with less severe disease is more likely to engage in exercise than someone who has severe disease. This must be taken into account in any analysis to avoid bias.


Potential benefits may include:

(1) improved quality of life

(2) improved aerobic capacity and pulmonary function

(3) less depression

(4) improved muscle strength


Adverse effects may include:

(1) pneumothorax

(2) fracture

(3) hemoptysis

(4) infection

(5) cardiac arrhythmia

(6) hypoglycemia

(7) acute shortness of breath and cough

(8) loss of consciousness

(9) arthritis with joint pain during exercise


Risk factors for adverse effects:

(1) osteopenia or osteoporosis

(2) history of pneumothorax

(3) medications

(4) bronchiectasis and/or frequent lung infections

(5) asthma

(6) malnutrition


Many patients with cystic fibrosis can engage in exercise and sport. A patient should be evaluated before starting an exercise program and monitored thereafter. The type of exercise should match capabilities and personal goals.

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