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What sports do you think I should play?

There are many benefits from sports for children and young people with bleeding disorders. An important reason to be physically active is that it will help to strengthen muscles which may help to prevent bleeds and speed up recovery after a bleed.

It doesn’t have to be expensive or take up a lot of your time. Find something that suits you and that you enjoy.

Everyone is different and has their own interests, as well as their particular severity and bleed history. You will need advice that is individually tailored to you. 

Discuss this with your treating team. It is important to be informed about both your choice of sport and your individual physical profile to make sure you have enough core strength and balance to take part in your chosen sport without putting excess stress on your joints and muscles. Your physiotherapist may be able to work with you to design a specific conditioning program to meet your goals.

Try and think what appeals to you and might not aggravate any injuries or problem joints you have. That way you will find you perform better, have less frustration due to limitations and days off with injuries allowing you to just enjoy your sport. 

Generally low impact or non-contact sports are most recommended. Any sport where the risk of a head strike is low would be considered a good option – ask your HTC if you have any questions. Some popular ideas include:

  • Swimming or hydrotherapy
  • Gym based programs
  • Wii Fit
  • Rock climbing (with a safety rope!)
  • Hiking
  • Rowing
  • Paddle boarding
  • Dance
  • Pilates or yoga
  • Surfing
  • Cycling
  • Tennis

However, this would not exclude you from choosing running as an activity to keep fit, strong and lean if you have no history of bleeding or arthropathy in your knees or ankles. 

Australian and New Zealand Physiotherapy Haemophilia Group:
Original answer (2012): Auburn McIntyre, Women’s and Children’s Hospital, Adelaide; Emma Paterson, Royal Brisbane & Women’s Hospital; Wendy Poulsen, Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital, Brisbane
Revised answer (2022): Cameron Cramey, Royal Adelaide Hospital; Elise Mosey, Queensland Children’s Hospital

Answered by: Physio

Date last reviewed: 19 January 2022

Important Note: This information was developed by Haemophilia Foundation Australia for education and information purposes only and does not replace advice from a treating health professional. Always see your health care provider for assessment and advice about your individual health before taking action or relying on published information. This information may be printed or photocopied for educational purposes.

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