Fitness & Equipment Guides > Cystic Fibrosis: What It Is & How Exercise Can Help

Cystic Fibrosis: What It Is & How Exercise Can Help

15th Jun 21

Sometimes, when it comes to getting fit and exercising regularly, things can get in the way of that. Things like health conditions or genetic conditions can make daily life that little bit more difficult. One of those genetic conditions is Cystic Fibrosis (CF). It can massively impact a person’s everyday life, but where possible, keeping active is a great way to help manage the condition.

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What is Cystic Fibrosis?

You may have never heard of Cystic Fibrosis, or you know very little about it, but it is a genetic condition that affects more than 10,600 people in the UK. Cystic Fibrosis occurs in a child when both parents, usually unknowingly, carry the faulty gene. 1 in 25 of us carry the faulty gene and are completely unaware and unaffected. If both parents carry the gene, there is a 1 in 4 chance that the child will be born with the condition.

a diagram of two parent carriers of CF, and the possible outcomes if they have children. There is a 1 in 4 chance the child will be unaffected, a 2 in 4 chance they will be an unaffected carrier, and a 1 in 4 chance they will be born with the disease.

The condition itself causes mucus to build up in the lungs, digestive system and other organs. This means that those with CF can experience a wide range of symptoms. For some people, these can limit a person’s life. However, no two people with Cystic Fibrosis will have the same experience with the condition. Some people can have severe CF, and they may require round-the-clock medication and care. Others can have mild CF and live a relatively normal life focused on a healthy diet and active lifestyle.

Exercise & Wellbeing

group of young children playing outside

There are many ways to manage the symptoms of CF, from medication and physiotherapy to nutrition and exercise. Exercise can have massive benefits. The main one is that it helps keep the lungs clear of any mucus buildup but also helps to improve muscle strength and overall health.

As CF is a genetic condition, it helps if children are as active as possible. Being active will help to improve their overall health now but also benefit them in later life. Cardio exercise such as running, football or cycling is a great place to start. This is because cardio works the lungs and leaves you out of breath, making it a good way to clear any mucus. For children, many of these activities can be a part of daily life. They could bike to school or play out with friends.

It is important to keep this level of activity up into adulthood. This can be done by exercising regularly, or you could have an active job, as long as you are regularly active enough to maintain a good level of health. If you are unsure of what exercise is best, check with your hospital physiotherapist, and they can point you in the right direction.


Cystic Fibrosis is a condition that needs more awareness as it can affect anyone, sometimes without you knowing. We hope this has helped provide some understanding and help if you are looking for knowledge or guidance. Find out more information on how to stay active with CF here.

For more in-depth information, try the CF Trust website.

Before beginning any exercise or nutrition program, consult your physician, doctor or other professional. This is especially important for individuals over the age of 35 or persons with pre-existing health problems. assumes no responsibility for personal injury or property damage sustained using our advice.

If you experience dizziness, nausea, chest pain, or any other abnormal symptoms, stop the workout at once and consult a physician or doctor immediately.