When you hear the word sports you probably think basketball, baseball, or football. When you read fitness you may imagine intense daily workouts at a gym. As a person with a bleeding disorder you may not be able to participate in these activities.
The next time you hear the words sports and fitness, consider that physical activity—through safe sports and exercises—will strengthen your musculoskeletal system and reduce extra weight. The real benefit: your joints will become more stable and you’ll be less likely to have bleeds and pain.
A Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) study showed that being overweight was strongly associated with limited joint range-of-motion. This was true regardless of the severity of the bleeding disorder. However, it’s not just about being overweight. Do you ever get tired just from climbing up a flight of stairs or does that walk down the hall feel like it keeps getting longer and longer?
Just a few of the benefits of being physically fit:
- It increases your energy level.
- It boosts your mood and attitude.
- It helps your body adjust to even routine activities that can cause a bleed and other complications, especially in joints and muscles weakened by lack of movement.
Some considerations when thinking about getting active:
- Your current fitness level and goals.
- Don’t compare yourself to others. This is about you and not your peers.
- How comfortable are you with physical activity? Just like a car, you can’t start off at 55 mph. You’ll need to work your way through the gears. Everyone has to start at zero and work up at different rates. You will get there! Do you have some limitations? An honest assessment of your fitness level will help you reach your goals quicker
- What do you want to accomplish by being active? Make a list: Is your goal overall health or weight management? A specific event (like a Hemophilia Walk)? Or do you just want to play sports with your friends? Just like in other areas of your life, setting goals (fitness goals in this case) gives you something to work toward; you can create a plan and chart your progress, so you know when you’ve accomplished your goals.