Can exercise improve or cause anemia?

Do you often get bruises on your face due to anemia and are looking for a solution to overcome? So try to exercise. Let’s find out why with

Anemia is a condition in which your body does not have the required number of red blood cells. Red blood cells contain hemoglobin – a protein that transports oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body. If you have low red blood cell count, it is difficult for the organs in your body to function properly due to lack of oxygen. Recent research shows that regular exercise can help improve this condition. However, exercise alone can also cause anemia. To better understand the results of this study, let’s find out more with in the article below.

Improve anemia through exercise

Fatigue due to anemia

According to the National Heart Institute, extreme fatigue is the most common symptom of all types of anemia. This makes it impossible for you to complete your daily tasks and affects your quality of life quite a bit. The Ohio State University Medical Center, USA, says regular exercise can help prevent this manifestation.

The exercise routine helps to increase muscle strength and promote blood circulation to the organs; thereby increasing the energy level of the body. If you’re anemic, it’s safest to consult your doctor before starting any new exercise.

Positive effects of exerciseModerate exercise improves blood circulation

Sickle cell anemia

This type of anemia is an inherited disease in which red blood cells have a crescent shape due to the presence of an abnormal hemoglobin. These cells cannot carry enough oxygen to the body and lead to symptoms of anemia. According to the National Heart Institute, you should exercise at a moderate level to gradually get healthier. Drink enough water before and after exercise to avoid dehydration.

Anemia due to kidney disease

Regular moderate physical activity can also help improve anemia caused by kidney disease. Healthy kidneys normally make erythropoietin, a hormone that stimulates the body to produce red blood cells. Regular exercise keeps your kidneys healthy enough to make erythropoietin. If you have kidney disease, your exercise routine will help stimulate the production of red blood cells.


A recent study by the National Cancer Institute found that regular and moderate physical activity can improve anemia and the side effects caused by chemotherapy and radiation. also says that women with breast cancer who exercise regularly also help prevent dangerous anemia.

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Here are some moderate-intensity exercises:

  • Brisk walking
  • Swimming
  • Durable running
  • Cycling on the machine
  • Do housework like cleaning or mowing the lawn

Do housework like cleaning or mowing the lawn

Anemia due to exercise

Cardio exercise not only burns fat and carbohydrates, but also increases the need for iron stores in the body. This doesn’t matter if a diet has enough iron to give your body enough energy for exercise. However, exercise with a diet lacking in nutrients such as iron can lead to a condition known as “sport anemia”. This is also the cause of decreased red blood cell count.

Exercise affects red blood cells

Endurance exercises such as swimming, running, and cycling. Red blood cells – the “transport units” of oxygen to the muscles are damaged and destroyed when exercising for a long time without a break. If new red blood cells are created equal to the number of red blood cells destroyed, the exercise effect will be maintained. Motor muscles benefit from the loss of old red blood cells and the regeneration of new cells because the new cells work more efficiently.

Who is in danger?

According to the University of Rochester Medical Center, although red blood cell deficiency is rare in athletes. Due to the cyclical monthly blood loss, young female athletes were at the highest risk of anemia of all the subjects. Heavy menstrual periods, kidney problems, and vitamin A deficiency can also lead to anemia. People at risk for this anemia can be long-distance runners and vegetarians. Healthy adult men and postmenopausal women have the lowest risk of developing this condition.

Signs of anemia

Some signs include: shortness of breath, chest pain, headache, and leg pain. Iron deficiency for a long time can cause sores in the corners of the mouth, burning of the tongue. These symptoms as well as signs of exhaustion, paleness, and dizziness could be caused by anemia or another serious illness. See your doctor if you experience any of these symptoms.

Healthy eating mode

Adding iron-rich foods to your diet is a safe and healthy way to prevent this type of anemia. Meats that are high in iron are red meat, fish and poultry. Iron from meat sources is the most easily absorbed by the body. Vegetarians can get iron from beans, spinach and other green vegetables. If your body is getting iron from non-meat sources, be aware that black tea, whole grains, and some soy proteins will minimize absorption. Add foods high in vitamin C like oranges and tomatoes to increase the absorption of iron from plants.

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Healthy eating mode

Get more iron from foods like fish

Hopefully the above article helps you have a closer look at the link between exercise habits and anemia and has solutions for the body’s symptoms.

You want to find someone to advise you on how to exercise effectively, especially if you are also anemic? Load up the LEEP Coins Basic pack now and complete the PT-iMatch questions to let help you find the right trainers for you. From there, professional coaches will help you practice the right method to bring the effect you want.

Reference source

Does Exercise Help Anemia? Accessed date: 20/1/2021

Can Exercising Affect Anemia? Accessed date: 20/1/2021

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