Short workouts and patience are key to my exercise regimen

With bleeding disorders, caution is king

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by Jennifer Lynne |

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I’ve generally had an all-or-nothing mindset when it comes to working out. In the past, anything under 30 minutes would feel like a waste of time. The problem with my fitness regimen has been sustainability and consistency. However, I’ve found that starting slowly and gradually building up has been effective for me, with one recent exception.

This year, I’ve been ramping up my Peloton bike routine, aiming for 20 minutes of cycling, three to five times a week. But last week, I made a seemingly innocuous decision that ended up causing some trouble. Accidentally selecting a 30-minute workout instead of the usual 20 minutes, I felt confident enough in my progress to go for it.

Despite completing the longer workout without any immediate issues, the next few hours brought a familiar sensation of pressure and swelling in my knee. Recognizing the signs, I reached for my knee brace, knowing it would be a few days before I could resume biking.

Because I have hemophilia B and von Willebrand disease, any injury can complicate my recovery. It wasn’t until a whole week later that I felt comfortable enough to get back in the saddle.

Opting not to infuse my medication for my bleeding disorders, I relied instead on my brace and ice to manage the discomfort and swelling. My past experiences have instilled in me a sense of caution when it comes to using factor products, so I only use them as a last resort.

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I must be cautious

What struck me the most about this incident was how a seemingly minor change — a mere 10 extra minutes of exercise — could have such significant repercussions. Moving forward, I’ve resolved to strictly adhere to 20-minute sessions. When I feel ready to increase, I’ll do so slowly, perhaps adding just two or five minutes at a time rather than jumping straight to 30.

This setback was a poignant reminder that, regardless of my eagerness to push myself, I must proceed cautiously. It has underscored the importance of knowing my body and respecting its limits. While eager to progress, I’ve learned that patience and incremental changes are key to avoiding setbacks and maintaining my overall health and well-being. My 20-minute workouts are sustainable and have helped to prevent injuries.

For now, these shorter workouts must play a crucial role in my fitness journey. They offer numerous benefits, including convenience, efficiency, mental well-being, injury prevention, accessibility, habit-building, and long-term sustainability. By incorporating regular 20-minute sessions into my routine, I can achieve my fitness goals while managing my bleeding disorders effectively and respecting my body’s limits.

Note: Hemophilia News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Hemophilia News Today or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to hemophilia.


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