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Exercise and Activity Options

A regular exercise routine is an important part of healthy living. An effective routine should include aerobic exercise (the kind of exercise, like swimming, that makes your heart beat faster), strength training, and balance and flexibility components. This combination helps to improve mobility and strengthens the body to reduce the risk of falls.

To gain maximum benefits from your workouts, be consistent. Exercising moderately for 30 minutes every day will keep your body fit and minimize the likelihood of strain or injury from pushing your body too hard during infrequent workouts.

Combined with healthy eating, a varied, regular exercise routine can have a great impact not only on your health but also on how your body feels each day.

Here are some types of exercises and how they may help you:

  • Aerobic exercise. Burns calories and aids in weight loss, reducing the load on weight-bearing joints.
  • Strength training. Increases muscle mass and strengthens the tendons that support your joints.
  • Balance and flexibility. Improves your posture and range of motion.

Exercise aids in weight loss, which can contribute to the lessening of pressure on weight-bearing joints. If you plan to lose weight, one to two pounds a week is a healthy goal. Any faster pace of weight loss could be hard on your body and potentially unhealthy.

Types of Exercise

As time passes, you may need to switch from one activity to another.

When choosing an activity, it is important for you to consider your general body build, past bleeding history, and present condition of your joints. You’ll also want to think about how your joints respond to treatment. A physical therapist can help develop a good exercise regimen for you.

There are many exercise activities that may be appropriate for you. It may be possible to modify many of the exercises described below if you’re hesitant about trying them. Remember to consult with your hemophilia care provider before beginning any exercise routine.


Walking is the simplest way to get moderate, low-impact aerobic exercise. It doesn’t cost anything, you can choose your intensity, and you can do it pretty much anywhere.


Biking either outdoors or on a stationary bike, depending on your ability, is a great way to get aerobic exercise. If you have joint problems, you may want to consider looking into exercising on a stationary bike placed in a swimming pool. Buoyancy takes some pressure off the exercise motion, and the resistance provided by moving your body through the water is gentle on your joints.


Swimming provides excellent aerobic exercise. Like any other exercise in the water (for example, water aerobics), the resistance and buoyancy involved is easier on your body.

Tai Chi

This ancient Chinese martial art is great for improving balance. The emphasis on swaying and slow, gentle movements not only enhances balance but also can ease the pain of arthritis.


Yoga improves both balance and flexibility. It’s a great exercise option, because most yoga poses can be modified to adjust for limited strength and mobility. Stretching in poses improves flexibility, which helps prevent injuries.


Pilates is similar to yoga, but focuses more on muscle control.