Top 10 Exercises For People with Anemia

Exercise is a great support system for people with certain health issues. It can help their bodies work more efficiently and even help them recover from what ails them. As a personal trainer, I'm required to do my research on how to properly teach each person to exercise according to their specific health issues.

I wanted to start diving a little deeper into how fitness can be used as a way to prevent further decline in health. Of course, you must consult your doctor before engaging in any kind of physical activity.

What is anemia?

Anemia is a condition that occurs when your blood lacks a healthy amount of red blood cells and hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is a main part of red blood cells and binds oxygen. When your hemoglobin is low, your body is not able to get enough oxygen. This can cause symptoms like fatigue, rapid heart beat with exercise, shortness of breath and headache with exercise, difficulty concentrating, dizziness, pale skin, leg cramps, and insomnia.

You have to be careful when exercising with anemia. Because your blood lacks the proper amount of oxygen that it needs, it can cause tightening in the chest, inability to catch your breath, and fatigue. When you exercise, the oxygen in your muscles is very low because of the strain. You have to take it slow and steady.

10 Exercises to Try

Start your workouts slow at only 15-20 minutes and start to add on an extra 5 minutes when you're ready building up to, ideally, 45-60 minutes. This could take months so be patient with your body.

Make sure you are cleared by your doctor to exercise, stop exercise if you feel tired or chest pain, and make sure you are hydrating properly throughout your workout.

1. Alternating Walking and Fast Walking

Walking is great for increasing endurance a little bit at a time. Work your way up slowly and try fast walking if you feel up to it. Try walking normally for 1 minute and fast walking for 30 seconds.

2. Swimming

Swimming is wonderful for increasing cardiovascular endurance as well as gently increasing strength and flexibility. Try different strokes to work different parts of your body. Don't push too hard or too long.

3. Pilates Roll-up

Start by sitting tall with your feet straight in front of you and your arms lifted overhead. Slowly roll down through your spine until you are flat on the floor. Pull yourself back up rolling through your spine again until you are sitting up tall. Repeat this about 10 times for a great ab workout.

4. Bridges

Start by laying on the floor with your knees bent and hands down at your sides. Lift your butt off the floor using your glutes and squeeze at the top. Lower back down hovering over the floor. Repeat this about 10 times for a great glute and hamstring workout.

5. Bird Dog

Start with your hands and knees on the floor. Slowly lift your right leg and left arm, hold for a few seconds, and then lower back down. Slowly life your left leg and right arm, hold, and release. Repeat this about 10 times for the glutes, back, and hamstrings.

6. Leg Circles

Lay with your legs stretched out and your arms at your sides. Lift your right leg and circle it 10 times and then reverse the circle 10 times. Repeat on the left leg. This exercise is great for your quads.

7. Triceps Dips on the Floor

Sit with your hands behind your back and your feet planted into the floor. Lift your butt off the floor and dip down putting all your weight on your arms. Repeat this for about 10 times for your arm workout.

8. Biceps Curls

Stand with your glutes and abs tight. Using small, light weights, curl your arms up and lower keeping your arms slightly bent. Repeat this about 10 times for your arm workout.

9. Inner Thigh Pulses

Start by laying on your right side with your head in your right hand and your left leg bent and crossed over your right. Lift your right leg and pulse it up and down. Repeat this exercise about 10 times for your inner thighs.