Diet and Exercise

Regular exercise and a healthy diet are important for people with bleeding disorders. These lifestyle habits can help you maintain a healthy weight, which can help prevent added strain on your muscles and joints.1

Dietary Measures

No specific nutrients or foods have been identified as specifically helping or hurting people with bleeding disorders. However, a sensible diet is always recommended. If you have a severe bleeding disorder, you may want to avoid:

  • Foods with sharp edges that could cut the mouth
  • Foods and liquids that are extremely hot and could burn the tongue or roof of the mouth

Physical activity

Physical activity can help keep muscles strong and flexible and prevent joint damage. What’s more, engaging in physical activity can help build self-confidence, teach teamwork, and create a sense of community. This is especially important for children and teens with bleeding disorders.

However, it is important to choose activities that are safe for you. Studies have shown that children with strong musculoskeletal systems have fewer spontaneous bleeding episodes. And the best way to develop strong muscles is through regular physical exercise that allows children to build strength, endurance, and agility.2 In general, most sports and activities are safe long as you take the proper precautions. These generally include stretching before exercise and wearing a helmet and other types of protective coverings, such as knee and elbow pads. If you have a more severe condition, you will have more limits, such as avoiding contact sports or any other activities that may lead to injuries that cause bleeding.

The table below, developed by the National Hemophilia Foundation, highlights some common activities by risk of potential injury for a person with a bleeding disorder. This is not a complete list, and you should consult with a healthcare professional before undertaking any physical activity. Your healthcare professional or physical therapist can help you develop an exercise program that is appropriate for your needs.

Physical and recreational activities and their risk level for people with bleeding disorders1

Source: National Hemophilia Foundation

Low-risk activities

Low-risk activities

  • Archery
  • Aquatics
  • Bicycling
  • Body Sculpting
  • Circuit Training
  • Elliptical Machine
  • Rowing Machine
  • Ski Machine
  • Stationary Bike
  • Treadmill
  • Fishing
  • Frisbee
  • Frisbee golf
  • Golf
  • Hiking
  • Pilates
  • Physioball
  • Snorkeling
  • Spinning
  • Swimming
  • Tai Chi
  • Walking
  • Weight Lifting (resistance training)
Moderate-risk activities

Moderate-risk activities

  • Aerobics
  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Bowling
  • Canoeing
  • Cheerleading
  • Dance
  • Diving (recreational)
  • Stepper
  • Frisbee (ultimate)
  • Gymnastics
  • Horseback riding
  • Ice skating
  • Inline skating
  • Jet skiing
  • Jumping rope
  • Karate
  • Kayaking
  • Kung Fu
  • Mountain biking
  • Racquetball
  • River rafting
  • Rock climbing (indoors)
  • Roller skating
  • Rowing/crew
  • Running/jogging
  • Scooter (non-motorized)
  • Scuba diving
  • Skateboarding
  • Skiing (cross-country)
  • Skiing (downhill)
  • Snowboarding
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Surfing
  • T-ball
  • Tae Kwon Do
  • Tennis
  • Track and field
  • Volleyball
  • Water skiing
  • Yoga
Dangerous activities
(not recommended)

Dangerous activities (not recommended)

  • BMX racing
  • Boxing
  • Challenge course
  • Diving (competitive)
  • Football
  • Hockey (field, ice, street)
  • Lacrosse
  • Motorcycling/motor scooter
  • Motocross racing
  • Rock climbing (natural)
  • Rodeo
  • Rugby
  • Snowmobiling
  • Trampoline
  • Weight lifting (power lifting)
  • Wrestling

REMEMBER, BEFORE BEGINNING ANY PHYSICAL ACTIVITY, CONSULT WITH YOUR DOCTOR TO MAKE SURE THE ACTIVITY IS RIGHT FOR YOU.

Gettin’ in the GameSM

JNC- Gettin' in the Game

Gettin’ in the Game (GIG) is a program developed by CSL Behring to help children with bleeding disorders exercise, play sports, learn about their disease, and share their experiences with others. At GIG events, children and their families get sports tips from our GIG athletes, who also have bleeding disorders. These athletes show the children how important exercise and sports are for building muscles—and self-confidence!

The program also allows participants to meet other children with bleeding disorders who face the same challenges they do.

References

  1. Playing It Safe: Bleeding Disorders, Sports, and Exercise. New York, NY: National Hemophilia Foundation; 2005.
  2. Tiktinsky R, Falk B, Heim M, Martinovitz U. The effect of resistance training on the frequency of bleeding in haemophilia patients: a pilot study. Haemophilia. 2002;8(1):22-27.
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