Having a healthy lifestyle – eating well and getting exercise – is important for everyone, but if you are HIV positive you have to look after your health even more. Being healthy means eating the right kinds of food, not smoking and drinking too much and getting exercise if you can. We know that not everyone likes exercise or eating vegetables, but we have given you some simple ways to help people lead a more active, balanced lifestyle. Staying healthy in your body and your mind helps your body fight HIV and other opportunistic infections like TB.

Some tips:
Can you get out of the taxi before the robot instead of after? These few extra steps of walking will make a difference.

Make your meals as colourful as possible by adding fruit and vegetables.

We know that fresh food is expensive sometimes: why not grow your own vegetables, or set up a gardening group in your community?

Playing with your children is a good way of getting exercise whilst spending time with your family.

Getting enough sleep isn’t easy, especially when you’re stressed. Go to bed at the same time every night and you’ll start to feel happier and healthier. You’ll have more energy too.

Example SMS:

You might want to send messages like these.

What is your favourite way of staying healthy?  Do you like playing sport or did you stop drinking alcohol?  Share your ideas with the group!

What are your top tips for eating healthily on a small budget?  Do you grow your own fruit and vegetables or have you found a great promotion at a local store?

Drinking alcohol changes our behaviour and can make us forget our medication.  Don’t forget your ARV’s if you are going to phuza!

HIV can cause us to feel sad or stressed.  If you need to talk to someone, khuluma with your support group, friends or clinic staff.

Exercise may feel difficult, but will help you be more energetic.  Start by walking to a neighbour’s house and walk further each day.