If you have anemia, exercise can be an excellent way to increase your energy levels and reduce symptoms such as tiredness and weakness.
Regular exercise can be beneficial for reducing anemia symptoms and improving overall your health, though it’s essential to develop a routine for your specific needs.
Keep reading to learn over a dozen safe and effective ways to exercise with anemia and tips to develop an appropriate fitness plan.
Before starting an exercise program, consult with a healthcare professional to determine the most suitable exercises for your needs and any necessary modifications and safety considerations.
Start slow, especially if you’re new to exercise or have had a break. If you have low energy, do shorter sessions and choose gentle, relaxing exercises.
Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water before, during, and after exercise.
To design an exercise plan, consider your needs, fitness level, and overall health.
Below is a sample workout routine you can modify and adjust to suit your needs. Begin with the easiest exercises at a lower intensity and gradually increase the intensity and duration as you progress.
Low impact cardio exercises include:
Strength training involves using:
Strength training can help improve your:
For each exercise, do 1–3 sets of 8–12 repetitions.
Strength training exercises include:
Mind-body exercises include:
- Tai chi: This gentle exercise combines deep breathing and slow, flowing movements. The moving meditation practice improves balance, flexibility, and strength. Plus, it encourages relaxation and alleviates stress, which may boost your mood.
- Yoga: This practice combines physical postures, breathing techniques, and meditation to improve flexibility, strength, and balance. Gentle styles such as yin and restorative may be especially effective in enhancing relaxation and reducing stress.
- Pilates: This method focuses on controlled movements and breathing techniques to improve stability, core strength, and body alignment. It also increases flexibility, enhances body awareness, and reduces stress.
A gentle stretching routine can help increase flexibility, mobility, and blood flow, which may alleviate tension, stiffness, and weakness. It can also enhance relaxation and reduce fatigue, stress, and anxiety.
You might consider exercises that stretch the following muscles:
If you have anemia, regular exercise can offer several physical and mental benefits that improve your health, well-being, and quality of life.
One of the most common symptoms of anemia is fatigue, which can make it challenging to stay active. However, exercise increases energy levels by improving oxygen delivery and endorphin production, which reduces feelings of tiredness.
Strength training can improve muscle mass and endurance, allowing you to exercise and perform daily tasks with greater ease. Exercise also enhances heart health by strengthening your heart and improving blood flow.
Additionally, exercise positively affects mental health by reducing stress, improving mood, and boosting confidence.
Is it better to rest or be active if you have anemia?
If you have anemia, healthcare professionals usually recommend moderate physical activity over rest.
However, if you have severe anemia and symptoms such as extreme fatigue, shortness of breath, and chest pain, you may need to rest until your condition improves.
Can exercise cause anemia?
Exercise does not directly cause anemia, but certain types of exercise can increase your risk of developing iron deficiency anemia, especially if you do not take certain precautions.
How do you know if an iron deficiency is affecting your workout?
If an iron deficiency is affecting your workout, you may have symptoms such as fatigue, lower leg cramps, and shortness of breath.
You may also have an increased heart rate during exercise and find it challenging to recover afterward.
Is it safe to exercise or work out if you have anemia?
In general, exercise is safe for mild to moderate anemia if you get the green light from a healthcare professional.
Are there certain types of exercise or movement that you should avoid if you have anemia?
In general, moderate exercise is safe and beneficial if you have anemia as long as you avoid or modify certain sports and movements.
For example, long distance running and high intensity interval training could increase your risk of exhaustion and iron loss.
Incorporating exercise into your daily routine can help manage anemia symptoms, increase strength, and boost fitness. It can also be an enjoyable way to boost your mood, reduce tension, and improve your well-being.
Choose low or moderate intensity activities to avoid overexertion, complications, and injury. The ideal intensity level depends on your needs, overall health, and factors such as the type, severity, and underlying cause of anemia.