Exercise and Nutrition Warming Up and Cooling Down1
Most people don't take the time to properly warm up and stretch before and cool down after participating in a sport activity, and as a result, injuries often happen. This is a serious consideration for a person with hemophilia, since injury prevention is imperative.
Exercising With Hemophilia: The Warm-Up
Warming up increases the heart rate and stretches the muscles that will be used most during the activity. It is recommended that at least 5 to 10 minutes should be spent warming up, stretching muscles and performing activities similar to the sport itself, but at a much lower level of intensity.
Exercising With Hemophilia: Stretching
After warming up, make sure to stretch for 5 to 10 minutes – this increases flexibility and allows joints to move more freely.
Stretching Guidelines Provided By the National Hemophilia Foundation:
- Stretch slowly, holding each stretch for at least 30 seconds.
- Stretch to the point where you feel a steady pulling sensation, but no pain.
- Breathe regularly.
- Don't bounce; bouncing can damage your muscles.
- Gradually increase the number of repetitions and the duration of each stretch.
Exercising With Hemophilia: The Cooldown
After the activity, cool down muscles the same way they were warmed up – doing the activity at a greatly reduced level of intensity for at least 5 to 10 minutes.
Note: Be sure to consult your physician or treatment center before beginning any exercise program or participating in sporting activities. If an injury occurs, contact your physician or treatment center immediately for the appropriate treatment.
- Anderson A, Forsyth A. Playing it safe: Bleeding Disorders, Sports and exercise. New York, NY. National Hemophilia Foundation. 2005.