Trails are Calling: Embracing Physical Activity While Living with Hemophilia
For individuals living with hemophilia, a rare condition in which a person’s blood does not clot properly,1,2 regular exercise has historically been avoided due to physical and emotional challenges, such as fear of bleeding or joint pain.2,3 But today, due to treatment advances and innovation, certain physical activities can be embraced and enjoyed more readily.2,3
The benefits of exercise have long been documented, including improvements in mental, physical and emotional health.4 In parallel, getting outdoors can enhance attention span and mood while reducing risk of mental health challenges.5 In fact, stretching or going on a short walk can act as a balm for our brains.5
Chris, Nicholas and Anthony* are welcoming physical activity while living with hemophilia by participating in Sanofi’s Trails are Calling initiative, an open invitation to the hemophilia community to embrace the outdoors and find the adventures, or trails, that call to them.
Chris’, Executive Director of Save One Life, love for nature and mountaineering has driven him to expand his comfort zone while living with hemophilia. After finding a path to managing his condition, Chris has redefined what was once off limits while growing up with hemophilia by conquering new heights. In fact, Chris was the first person with hemophilia to conquer all Seven Summits, including Mount Everest. This will not be the appropriate path for all, and people with hemophilia should always consult with their doctor before starting new activities.2
“It’s important for everyone to prioritize physical and mental wellness, but having a chronic medical condition like hemophilia makes it even more critical. I motivate myself to stay active by doing activities I genuinely enjoy.”
“I feel grateful for how I get to play sports. My grandfather has hemophilia, too, and he never had this opportunity. Now that I know how to manage my hemophilia treatment, I have more confidence to go out in the world and explore.”
"Every morning, I instill the mantra, ‘yes, I can,’ to my students. Growing up, I put limitations and dwelled on what a life without hemophilia could be. Now, I want others to believe they can explore the world as they want, in their own body and mind, with or without any disease."
Learn more about Anthony’s journey with martial arts and how it has helped him craft a life he loves here
*Every person is different, and the range of Chris, Nicholas and Anthony’s physical practice may not be appropriate for everyone.
- What is Hemophilia? Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/hemophilia/facts.html. Accessed: November 2023.
- Srivastava A, et al. WHF Guidelines for the Management of Hemophilia Third Edition. Haemophilia Wiley. 2020; 26 (Suppl. 6): 1-158. doi: 10.1111-hae.14046.
- Goto A, et al. Strategies to encourage physical activity in patients with hemophilia to improve quality of life. Journal of Blood Medicine. 2016; 7: 85-98. doi: 10.2147/JBM.S84848.
- Sharma A, Madaan V, Petty FD. Exercise for mental health. Prim Care Companion J Clin Psychiatry. 2006;8(2):106. doi: 10.4088/pcc.v08n0208a.
- Weir K. Nurtured by nature. American Psychological Association. https://www.apa.org/monitor/2020/04/nurtured-nature Accessed: November 2023.