Can I exercise if I have anemia?

With a diet rich in iron and a routine plan approved by a specialist doctor, it is possible for you to exercise while suffering from anemia. Discover with us the simplest routines to start.

Last update: 02 March, 2022

Anemia is a condition caused by drop in the number of red blood cells or in the concentration of hemoglobin (Heb). Hb is an iron-containing protein found in red blood cells; its essential task is to transport oxygen from the lungs to all tissues. That is why it is essential that you know that you can do some exercise if you have anemia, even if gas transport is decreased.

Anemia is usually caused by a lack of iron. The decrease in body performance is usually one of its characteristic symptoms. Due to poor muscle oxygenation, the heart is forced to pump faster to cover the deficit.

If you present some of the common symptoms of the disease (pale skin, frequent headaches, hair loss, sleep disorder, muscle weakness), you have probably wondered if you can exercise with anemia. We invite you to read this article to understand which routines you can practice.

Exercises that I can do if I have anemia

Depending on the degree of anemia, you may become short of breath and have difficulty performing certain activities. This condition causes several effects that limit physical capacity. even at rest cardiac output may be increased.

Before performing any type of routine, we recommend that you go to the doctor to review and approve the plan. He may suggest movements on the condition of least effort, always starting slow and taking breaks. Yes, you can exercise with anemia, although considering that it is a special situation.

jog and walk

Start with short distances. It is even valid to do it from your home, going and returning between two distant points.

After one rep, walk the same length faster. Remember the importance you must give to rest so as not to overexert your body. Alternate 2 minutes of jogging and another 2 minutes of walking.

You can go jogging with anemia, but do not exceed the distance or the intensity with which you run.


Dare to go out with your bike to cover distances that you will establish according to your resistance capacity. To start, Ideally, you should not exceed 15 minutes of activity and increase that time in 5-minute intervals. Don’t forget to take a break.

It also works on the stationary bike, because by working as a simulator, it allows you to execute the movements without moving to another place. Set short execution times, between 5 and 10 minutes, prioritizing rest and recovery.


This is a discipline that deals with exercise in harmony your body, your mind and your spirit. Through different posture and breathing techniques, you will be able to train in a serene way.

Although there are many types of yoga, you can choose the vinyasa. You will do the postures together with inhalations, exhalations or air retentions.


Swimming reduces the damaging effects of stress, helps correct posture and promotes the development of a defined physique. It consists of movements through the water with the main use of your arms and legs.

It is also a recreational sport that will benefit your aerobic abilities. That is, it will improve your correct breathing.

Anemia does not contraindicate swimming. In fact, swimming will increase the transport of oxygen to your tissues.

Benefits of a good diet to exercise with anemia

After checking that you can exercise if you have anemia, you should take care of your diet. This is essential to prepare your body for resistance. The diet should be rich in iron, in order to benefit the increase of red blood cells in the blood.

Iron-rich foods can be of animal or plant origin. Among the meats, the liver stands out. Fish and shellfish, dark green vegetables such as broccoli and spinach, legumes and nuts are added.

Remember that perseverance is essential to achieve your goalsdespite how difficult the journey may be. Allow exercise to become a permanent source of good health.

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