What’s so good about working out with haemophilia?

What’s so good about working out?

It’s probably not the first time you’ve heard it: physical exercise is good for you. And it’s true. Moving your body on a regular basis rewards you with many health benefits. It improves your overall fitness, boosts your self-esteem and reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, osteoporosis and some cancer1. The benefits speak for themselves. 

Although exercise is good for everybody, regular physical activity, physiotherapy and exercise can be particularly beneficial for people living with haemophilia. This is mainly because these increase muscle strength and improve joint stability which can greatly reduce your risk of injury, bleeds and joint damage2, 3. So talk to your treatment team about the right sort of exercise for you: getting moving is a great way of taking care of yourself, for both today and tomorrow.

Get inspired

Clive’s story is just one of many that proves if you put your mind to something, you can accomplish extraordinary things – no matter how impossible it might seem at first. The story of Clive and his wife Clare, their drive and can-do attitude, is pure inspiration. What dream of yours are you ready to conquer?

How does exercise help my joints?

The joints in your body, including your knees, hips and ankles, are supported by different types of muscles. Reduced strength in these muscles can increase the risk of frequent joint bleeds, which as you know can lead to chronic swelling and pain. And this can result in a cycle of deterioration that continues with every bleed.

haemophilia exercise chart

Exercise can protect your joints from deterioration by strengthening those muscles, improving your coordination and increasing your flexibility. It can also help you maintain a healthy weight, which minimises the stress on your joints. All these benefits work together in perfect harmony to reduce the frequency and severity of joint bleeds.

Keeping Active - Haemophilia work out steps

Step 1: ask questions

No matter your fitness level, it is important to approach exercise thoughtfully so that you gain the most from it. Before you begin, there are a few factors to consider. These factors depend on things like your goals and your needs, physical or emotional or both. Here are some examples of the types of questions you might want to ask yourself:

What are my current physical abilities?
Do I have any injuries or issues to keep in mind?
What are my exercise and lifestyle goals?
What kind of exercise interests me?

Once you have given your needs and goals some thought, have a talk with your physiotherapist or care team. When it comes to haemophilia and moving your body, they’re the experts. They can then use this information to help you develop an exercise plan that works for both you and your haemophilia.
Together, you can do things like:

Assess any potential risks associated with different types of sports and exercise routines
Consider different strategies to help you manage those risks
Create a plan that will help you achieve your goals both physically and mentally

Step 2: pick a sport (or two)

As someone with haemophilia, you are generally advised to avoid high-contact sports that may increase your risk of injury. Sports like rugby and boxing are usually classified as the rough ones and injury rates are high. Instead, it’s better to try other, non-contact sports which will give you a good workout and still be just as fun and equally as competitive (if that’s what you’re after!).

To name just a few, these include swimming, golf, badminton, archery, cycling, rowing, sailing, table tennis and walking. With a little research on your own and the help of your physiotherapist, you can find out what activities are perfect for you.

Step 3: plan infusions accordingly

If it’s heading to a match, training or just a game with friends, it’s important you plan your infusions around that activity. One general rule to stick by is to know your factor levels and engage in more energetic activities when you know they are sufficient to provide the protection you need. Your haemophilia team will always help you coordinate your infusion and exercise schedules to suit your needs.

Step 4: Warm up. Cool down.

Once you’ve got your shoes and your game-face on, it can be tempting to jump straight into whatever it is you’re doing without warming up. However, not properly preparing your body for the exercise to come can greatly increase your risk of injury. Instead of speeding from 0 to 100, ease into your workout with a warm-up routine, incorporating gentle exercises and different stretches to help you improve your flexibility and prepare your body for what’s to come.

Once you’re covered in sweat and ready for a shower, it can be easy to forget to cool down. But just like warming up, stretching after your workout is also really important. It helps your muscles recover and prevents them from getting stiff. Easing in and out of your workout in this way will reduce the likelihood of developing an injury and keep you moving! Your physiotherapist will be able to advise you on stretches and other gentle warm-up and cool-down exercises best suited for you and your particular sport or exercise routine.

Stretching and exercising with haemophilia
Responsive banner

Find a rhythm

 

An exercise routine should incorporate activities that help to maintain and enhance your endurance and cardiovascular fitness, as well as your coordination, muscle strength, flexibility and balance. Exercising for approximately 30 minutes at regular intervals throughout the week often has good results. However, your physiotherapist will be able to advise what would be most suitable for you.

Slow and steady

 

… wins the race. Don’t do too much too soon! Overdoing it can result in injury and may increase your risk of bleeds. And who wants that? Ease into your exercise routine and build up slowly as the weeks progress.

Stop right there!

 


If you at any time experience any pain, immediately stop what you are doing. If you suspect you are bleeding during exercise, contact your care team. Whatever you do, do not push yourself to finish the workout. Your body will thank you for it.

Restarting exercise after an injury

 

Had an injury? It’s not the end of the world. You’ll be back out there in no time. Your physiotherapist and care team will be able to evaluate the severity of your injury and guide you through any rehabilitation that you might need. Generally, joint sprains, bleeds and muscle strains require approximately 4-6 weeks to heal2. Following a joint bleed, all activities should be gradually reintroduced4.

Talk to your healthcare team
 

Regular follow-ups with your physiotherapist and the rest of your care team are important. These appointments allow those managing your care to assess how both your joints and body as a whole are responding to physical exercise and whether you need to make any changes to your routine. If you’ve found this information helpful, you can download it here, including inputs for an exercise plan.

REFERENCES:

1. Wittmeier K and Mulder K. Haemophilia 2007;13(2):31-37.
2. Negrier C, et al. Haemophilia 2013;19:487-498.
3. Tiktinsky R, et al. Haemophilia 2002;8:22-27.
4. World Federation of Hemophilia. Guidelines for the management of haemophilia. 2nd edition. 2012.

 

 

NP-7859

What’s so good about working out?

It’s probably not the first time you’ve heard it: physical exercise is good for you. And it’s true. Moving your body on a regular basis rewards you with many health benefits. It improves your overall fitness, boosts your self-esteem and reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, osteoporosis and some cancer1. The benefits speak for themselves. 

Although exercise is good for everybody, regular physical activity, physiotherapy and exercise can be particularly beneficial for people living with haemophilia. This is mainly because these increase muscle strength and improve joint stability which can greatly reduce your risk of injury, bleeds and joint damage2, 3. So talk to your treatment team about the right sort of exercise for you: getting moving is a great way of taking care of yourself, for both today and tomorrow.

Get inspired

Clive’s story is just one of many that proves if you put your mind to something, you can accomplish extraordinary things – no matter how impossible it might seem at first. The story of Clive and his wife Clare, their drive and can-do attitude, is pure inspiration. What dream of yours are you ready to conquer?

How does exercise help my joints?

The joints in your body, including your knees, hips and ankles, are supported by different types of muscles. Reduced strength in these muscles can increase the risk of frequent joint bleeds, which as you know can lead to chronic swelling and pain. And this can result in a cycle of deterioration that continues with every bleed.

haemophilia exercise chart

Exercise can protect your joints from deterioration by strengthening those muscles, improving your coordination and increasing your flexibility. It can also help you maintain a healthy weight, which minimises the stress on your joints. All these benefits work together in perfect harmony to reduce the frequency and severity of joint bleeds.

Keeping Active - Haemophilia work out steps

Step 1: ask questions

No matter your fitness level, it is important to approach exercise thoughtfully so that you gain the most from it. Before you begin, there are a few factors to consider. These factors depend on things like your goals and your needs, physical or emotional or both. Here are some examples of the types of questions you might want to ask yourself:

What are my current physical abilities?
Do I have any injuries or issues to keep in mind?
What are my exercise and lifestyle goals?
What kind of exercise interests me?

Once you have given your needs and goals some thought, have a talk with your physiotherapist or care team. When it comes to haemophilia and moving your body, they’re the experts. They can then use this information to help you develop an exercise plan that works for both you and your haemophilia.
Together, you can do things like:

Assess any potential risks associated with different types of sports and exercise routines
Consider different strategies to help you manage those risks
Create a plan that will help you achieve your goals both physically and mentally

Step 2: pick a sport (or two)

As someone with haemophilia, you are generally advised to avoid high-contact sports that may increase your risk of injury. Sports like rugby and boxing are usually classified as the rough ones and injury rates are high. Instead, it’s better to try other, non-contact sports which will give you a good workout and still be just as fun and equally as competitive (if that’s what you’re after!).

To name just a few, these include swimming, golf, badminton, archery, cycling, rowing, sailing, table tennis and walking. With a little research on your own and the help of your physiotherapist, you can find out what activities are perfect for you.

Step 3: plan infusions accordingly

If it’s heading to a match, training or just a game with friends, it’s important you plan your infusions around that activity. One general rule to stick by is to know your factor levels and engage in more energetic activities when you know they are sufficient to provide the protection you need. Your haemophilia team will always help you coordinate your infusion and exercise schedules to suit your needs.

Step 4: Warm up. Cool down.

Once you’ve got your shoes and your game-face on, it can be tempting to jump straight into whatever it is you’re doing without warming up. However, not properly preparing your body for the exercise to come can greatly increase your risk of injury. Instead of speeding from 0 to 100, ease into your workout with a warm-up routine, incorporating gentle exercises and different stretches to help you improve your flexibility and prepare your body for what’s to come.

Once you’re covered in sweat and ready for a shower, it can be easy to forget to cool down. But just like warming up, stretching after your workout is also really important. It helps your muscles recover and prevents them from getting stiff. Easing in and out of your workout in this way will reduce the likelihood of developing an injury and keep you moving! Your physiotherapist will be able to advise you on stretches and other gentle warm-up and cool-down exercises best suited for you and your particular sport or exercise routine.

Stretching and exercising with haemophilia
Responsive banner

Find a rhythm

 

An exercise routine should incorporate activities that help to maintain and enhance your endurance and cardiovascular fitness, as well as your coordination, muscle strength, flexibility and balance. Exercising for approximately 30 minutes at regular intervals throughout the week often has good results. However, your physiotherapist will be able to advise what would be most suitable for you.

Slow and steady

 

… wins the race. Don’t do too much too soon! Overdoing it can result in injury and may increase your risk of bleeds. And who wants that? Ease into your exercise routine and build up slowly as the weeks progress.

Stop right there!

 


If you at any time experience any pain, immediately stop what you are doing. If you suspect you are bleeding during exercise, contact your care team. Whatever you do, do not push yourself to finish the workout. Your body will thank you for it.

Restarting exercise after an injury

 

Had an injury? It’s not the end of the world. You’ll be back out there in no time. Your physiotherapist and care team will be able to evaluate the severity of your injury and guide you through any rehabilitation that you might need. Generally, joint sprains, bleeds and muscle strains require approximately 4-6 weeks to heal2. Following a joint bleed, all activities should be gradually reintroduced4.

Talk to your healthcare team
 

Regular follow-ups with your physiotherapist and the rest of your care team are important. These appointments allow those managing your care to assess how both your joints and body as a whole are responding to physical exercise and whether you need to make any changes to your routine. If you’ve found this information helpful, you can download it here, including inputs for an exercise plan.

REFERENCES:

1. Wittmeier K and Mulder K. Haemophilia 2007;13(2):31-37.
2. Negrier C, et al. Haemophilia 2013;19:487-498.
3. Tiktinsky R, et al. Haemophilia 2002;8:22-27.
4. World Federation of Hemophilia. Guidelines for the management of haemophilia. 2nd edition. 2012.

 

 

NP-7859