Keeping Active

Types of exercise

Walking is one of the best forms of exercise. It helps build strength and keeps joints flexible.

So too are watersports such as swimming, which help to ease stiff joints and relax your muscles while the water helps place less stress on the body. Yoga can also help relax stiff muscles and ease sore joints.

Cycling is a good, low impact exercise option and the great advantage is that it can be done outdoors or inside using an exercise bike.

There are lots of sports and other types of exercise you can choose from. Have a look below at some specific sports and activities, divided into three groups according to their benefits and risks. Remember this is only a guide and you should check with your specialist first.

Low risk

These are all great sports, which will give you hours of exercise and enjoyment with little risk of injury or bleeds.

Sport Joints involved Remarks
Athletics, Gymnastics Various, depending on type of activity. Helps develop strong muscles, which protect joints. Good if care is taken in selection of activity.
Basketball, Netball Shoulder, elbow, wrist, knee, ankle. Individual skills such as dribbling and shooting can be enjoyed without contact. Proper basketball shoes, knee pads and wrist supports should be worn. Assess level of contact and avoid if too rough.
Cricket, Rounders Shoulder, elbow, wrist, knee, ankle. Outfield positions can be selected to minimize contact. Bowling should be avoided.
Cross-Country Skiing Shoulder, knee, ankle. Excellent overall body conditioning. Less chance of collision or injury than downhill skiing.

Medium risk

Though the risks are a bit higher with these activities, for many people with haemophilia they are worth taking because of the benefits you can get from them.

Sport Joints involved Remarks
Athletics, Gymnastics Various, depending on type of activity. Helps develop strong muscles, which protect joints. Good if care is taken in selection of activity.
Basketball, Netball Shoulder, elbow, wrist, knee, ankle. Individual skills such as dribbling and shooting can be enjoyed without contact. Proper basketball shoes, knee pads and wrist supports should be worn. Assess level of contact and avoid if too rough.
Cricket, Rounders Shoulder, elbow, wrist, knee, ankle. Outfield positions can be selected to minimize contact. Bowling should be avoided.
Cross-Country Skiing Shoulder, knee, ankle. Excellent overall body conditioning. Less chance of collision or injury than downhill skiing.
Cycling Knee, ankle, hip. Can start at a very young age and continue through to adulthood. A helmet should always be worn.
Football Hip, knee, ankle. Proper footwear and shin pads should be worn at all times. “Heading” the ball should be avoided because of the risk of subdural haematoma.
Ice Skating Knee, ankle. Protective equipment such as a helmet and knee-pads should be worn while learning. Risks lessen as proficiency grows.
Jogging Hip, knee, ankle. Excellent cardiovascular conditioning. Softer surfaces are easier on joints.
Martial Arts (non contact) All. Little or no risk when there is no contact.
Roller Skating / Blading Hip, knee, ankle. Protective equipment such as helmet, knee pads, elbow pads and wrist pads should be worn at all times.
Tennis, Badminton Shoulder, elbow, wrist, knee, ankle. Improves upper and lower body strength. Good cardiovascular conditioning.
Ten Pin Bowling Shoulder, elbow, wrist, finger, knee. Probably should not start too young, when upper body is still developing.
Volleyball Wrist, knee, finger, ankle. Risk of bruising of the hands wrists and forearms as a result of repeatedly hitting the ball increases as the level of competition rises.
Weightlifting All, depending on exercises performed. Using lighter weights with more repetitions is recommended. Not recommended for young children.
Windsurfing Back, shoulder, elbow, wrist. Rough conditions should be avoided. Proper training and instruction are important.

High risk

Some other sports are considered high risk and you must discuss them with your centre before taking them up. Your centre care team will help you properly assess the risks and how to keep them to a minimum.

American football Rock climbing
Boxing Motorcycling
Downhill Sking Rugby
Hockey Skateboarding
Horse riding Snowboarding
Ice hockey Squash
Lacrosse Water-skiing
Martial arts (contact) Wrestling