Staying Healthy & Active

Being active for an hour a day is a really good way of staying healthy. A good thing to do is find and take part in activities that you really enjoy, involve your friends as much as possible and have fun.

Staying Healthy & Active

Sport and Exercise

Staying active with exercise is considered to be one of the most beneficial interventions for people with haemophilia. This will help protect the body against joint bleeds and joint damage, preserving healthy joints and improving long term quality of life. This should start in childhood to protect for the future and prevent early breakthrough bleeds, but it is never too late to make a positive change in lifestyle.

There are loads of sports you can take part in, just take a look at the list.
Sports we recommend

The importance of taking part in school sports

As a person with haemophilia, taking part in sports in and out of school is extremely important. Sport helps to strengthen your joints and muscles, and improves your coordination and stability, which can help to reduce your risk of developing a bleed. Because bleeds can damage your joints and muscles, it is important that you do everything you can to reduce the number of bleeds you have.

These days there are lots of different school sports to choose from. All sports involve an element of risk, and some are safer than others for people with bleeding disorders; however, for most school sports the benefits you get from taking part outweigh the risks. Please discuss with your haemophilia centre which sports are suitable for you.

If you suspect a bleeding episode, you should let your parent or teacher know that they need to contact your local Haemophilia Centre immediately and/or treat with factor.

Take a look at the sports we recommend

Football

Fast and physical
Football is an aerobic, skilful and popular sport. Players spend some of their time sprinting and other times running fast or slowly, so a game can be an excellent cardiovascular workout.

Basketball

Slam dunk
Basketball requires players to run, jump, catch and throw and demands a good level of fitness and strength. It is an excellent way to build endurance, develop concentration and build up muscle.

Weight Training

Strength and Endurance
Weight training has a number of benefits: it can improve general fitness, increase muscle strength, increase limb girth, assist with weight loss and improve flexibility. It is however important to only weight train within appropriate limits.

Surfing

Hang Ten
Surfing is a great fitness activity. It requires the surfer to work the upper body by paddling through the water to get out on the waves and demands balance and control to stand on the board and ride the wave to shore.

Blading

Fun on wheels
Roller blading provides a complete workout involving all the body's muscles. It burns calories, reduces body fat and develops good balance and strength.

Swimming

Jump in
Swimming is one of the few ways of getting exercise that improves your all-round fitness because it can boost strength, stamina and flexibility all at the same time.

Jogging

Head out for a jog
Recreational running / jogging is one of the most popular aerobic activities across the world. Running can be done individually, with friends or part of a club or running group and is a great way to maintain fitness.

Cycling

Skill and power
Cycling is highly recommended for people with haemophilia because it enables you to develop muscle strength in your legs without putting weight-bearing stress on your joints.

Hiking and Walking

Take in scenery
Hiking can be done almost anywhere at any time and requires only good hiking boots or shoes. Aerobic efforts, impact and muscular workouts increase with more challenging terrain. Hiking can be a good social experience when done in groups!

Golf

Get on the green
Golf is a low-impact, sport that can improve strength and flexibility.

Qigong

De-stress yourself
It is thought to be over 5000 years old and is great for reducing stress and dealing with chronic illness. It's thought to improve microcirculation to the brain, vital organs, intestines and endocrine glands.

Tai-chi

Balance and form
Tai Chi is the most well-known and popular moving form of Qigong. It's accessible to all ages and physical abilities.

Exercise Bands

Snap back into shape
Exercise bands are 1.5 metre long latex bands that are used for low-impact exercises that maintain general activity and flexibility.

Why is good dental care important?

Haemophilia doesn’t directly affect the teeth. However, like everyone else it is important to brush and floss your teeth every day to protect against decay. Neglecting these basics can also have a significant impact on the gums. If people with haemophilia develop gum disease, as a result of poor oral hygiene, they can experience gum bleeds that may last for some time.

What can I do to look after my teeth?

Some general tips and advice on how to look after your teeth and gums include:

  1. Avoid sugary snacks and drinks between meals. Sweets, chocolate and sugary drinks tend to encourage the build-up of plaque in the mouth, which damages the teeth and gums. The best option to satisfy any sugar cravings is to choose healthy foods like fruit instead; the natural sugars found in fruit can cause less damage than refined sugars in processed foods. You can also ask your doctor to prescribe sugar-free medicines.
  2. Brush your teeth twice a day, for at least 2–3 minutes each time. A brushing routine that cleans the gums and teeth in the top and bottom of your mouth is the best way to protect you from gum disease and tooth decay.
  3. Use a medium texture toothbrush with a small head, or an electric toothbrush. Having a smaller head on the brush makes it easier to reach all parts of the mouth. Electric toothbrushes tend to be more effective at removing plaque compared to brushing with a manual toothbrush.
  4. Use dental floss, dental tape or inter-dental brushes daily to remove particles of food between the teeth. Ask your dentist to show you how to use these products if you are not sure.
  5. Visit your dentist for regular check-ups every six months, so that any problems you may have with your teeth or gums can be identified early. You should always contact your dentist if you notice anything unusual in your mouth (e.g. dark spots on your teeth; this is an indication of tooth decay), or if you experience any pain or discomfort.
  6. Fluoride toothpaste with or without mouthwash is recommended, although you should check with your dentist first. The best products to use have a fluoride content of 1350-1500 parts per million (ppm), although 1000 ppm should be used for children under 3 years.1

What is an ideal brushing routine?

Place the toothbrush against your gums with the bristles pointing towards the roots of your teeth at a 45 degree angle. Next, twist the brush so that the bristles sweep over your gums and towards the biting surfaces of your teeth. Repeat as necessary.

Clean behind the front teeth by holding the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle, and using an up and down brushing motion with the whole length of the toothbrush head.
Brush the top surface of the teeth by holding the toothbrush horizontally, and using a back and forth scrubbing stroke. Apply a little pressure when brushing, to make sure the bristles of the toothbrush reach into the furrows of the teeth.

References

  1. Delivering Better Oral Health - An evidence-based toolkit for prevention - Second Edition. April 2009. Department of Health & British Association for the Study of Community Dentistry. [http://www.dh.gov.uk/en/Publicationsandstatistics/Publications/PublicationsPolicyAndGuidance/DH_102331]
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