Physical activity and exercise

Doing regular physical activity or exercise is important for everyone’s health. It helps reduce the risk of developing other serious conditions including type 2 diabetes and heart and circulatory diseases. And it’s good for your mood and mental wellbeing too.

Advanced liver disease (cirrhosis) can lead to muscle wasting and people can become frail at an earlier age. Being physically active is an important way to help keep your muscles and body strong. Do what you can manage each day – doing something, even something small, is much better than nothing.

Physical activity also has direct links with non-alcohol related fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Along with eating a well-balanced diet and keeping to a healthy weight, physical activity is one of the main treatments for NAFLD. And all these things can reduce the risk of developing NAFLD, including for people who already have a different type of liver disease.

The NHS recommend doing at least 2½ hours of moderate aerobic activity (cardio) each week and to do strengthening exercises on 2 days of every week. Don’t worry if that’s too much for you at the moment. Make a start by doing what you can.

Start gently and build up how active you are slowly over time. Walking and seated exercises are good places to start, especially if you have symptoms that like being easily tired (fatigue). Try to do some activity every day, even 10 minutes counts.

If you aren’t sure what type of activity is good for you to try, speak to your doctor and they can give you personalized advice. They may also be able to refer you to local services that can help you get more active, like a walking group or community gym.