Cystic Fibrosis: Lifestyle Mangement Make an Appointment Refer a Patient Ask a Question Reviewed by Sara Brayshaw, RN, MSN (October 01, 2019) A healthy lifestyle is important for everyone. There are challenges to living with cystic fibrosis. Here are steps you can take to protect your health and live well with CF. Your cystic fibrosis team will create a plan to help you live your best life. Exercise regularly as directed by your health care provider. This helps you breathe easier by improving your muscle strength and tone and helps improve clearing the mucus from the airways. Eat a well-balanced healthy diet and drink plenty of fluids. This may include specific recommendations by the team. Get a flu shot every year in the fall. Get the pneumococcal vaccines as recommended by your health care provider. Give up smoking and avoid exposure to passive smoke. Ask your health care provider for techniques to help you give up smoking. Living with cystic fibrosis is a unique and special challenge that you and your family must deal with on a daily basis. Management is a long-term commitment. But the more you know about CF, the better suited you are to managing the various aspects of your disease. As you take control, your quality of life will improve. Be sure to talk with your health care provider if you have questions or concerns about your plan. Write down any questions you have and ask your health care provider at your next appointment. Managing symptoms You will learn how to care for your lungs and stomach, and identify when you are having problems, and when you need to see a physician. We can help you learn about CF and: Lung care Sinusitis Basics of infection control Digestive tract Nontuberculous mycobacterium (NTM) CF-related diabetes Emotional Wellness Living with a chronic illness like CF can be very challenging. Patients and their loved ones need to find healthy and constructive responses to the stress of living with a chronic illness. Sometimes, even with excellent coping skills and strong social support, patients and their family members may feel anxious or depressed. Psychological and social issues include: Anxiety Depression Coping Skills Social Support Giving Up Smoking Insomnia Memory & Other Cognitive Difficulties Fitness and Nutrition Regular physical activity and good nutrition are important — especially when you have cystic fibrosis. Evidence shows that regular exercise helps people with CF improve lung function; manage diabetes and heart disease; and prevent a host of other diseases and health issues. People with cystic fibrosis need to eat foods that are high in calories and protein, and take vitamin and mineral supplements. Your care team will work with you to create a fitness and nutrition plan that works for your needs and lifestyle. Resources for Cystic Fibrosis Cystic fibrosis is a life-long disease. It’s important to know what resources are available for patients and families. Learn more about resources for CF. Cystic Fibrosis: Life Expectancy Clinical Trials For more than 100 years, National Jewish Health has been committed to finding new treatments and cures for diseases. Search our clinical trials.