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Is It Safe to Exercise After Having Blood Drawn?

Posted on Thursday, 21 February 2013   |   Written by

Blood. It's something that none of us can live without and yet, for many, the very sight of it can make one totally queasy. It's not that we're not thankful for the life-giving fluid. It's simply that we'd prefer to not have to see it, if at all possible.

Besides, it only adds to the stress factor if we have to see our blood because we're having it drawn for medical reasons. Sometimes, the only way to get through the moments of having the needle in our skin is to think about what we can do after the doctor's appointment: go to dinner, watch a movie or perhaps even exercise.

Then the question comes to our minds: Is it even safe to exercise after having blood drawn? Actually, the answer is not a total black-and-white as you might think and so we wanted to provide you with some tips to consider before getting on your treadmill or going to the gym:

 

Take Some Time

Your blood is filled with all kinds of proteins and antibodies that you need for energy. So, when there is some that is drawn from your system, your body needs some time to adjust. It's a good idea to wait a couple of hours to listen to how your body is responding to the procedure. If you feel lightheaded or dizzy, that a surefire flag that pushing your body further is not the best thing to do.

 

Eat Something

Honestly, it's smart that you make sure that you eat a healthy meal the night before as well as the morning of having your blood drawn. Among all of the things that you can add to your diet, iron-rich foods are the most important because a lack of iron is usually what brings about the woozy kind of side effects that come with having blood drawn. Iron-rich cereals and fruits like raisins, apples and strawberries are all good options. Once you have had your blood drawn, in order to replace the fluid and iron that you lost (especially if you were actually donating blood), try drinking some grape juice or eating a salad or a meal that has chicken breast or salmon included with the entrée.

 

Ease into Exercise

According to the Red Cross and many other comprehensive health test panels, if you had blood drawn to donate in order to save someone's life, you need to wait approximately five hours before engaging in any form of strenuous exercise. If you simply gave blood, wait a couple of hours and still try and keep it light for the remaining part of the day. You probably should avoid doing any kind of heavy cardio or weight lifting but you can do things like yoga, Pilates, walking and some mild cycling. The main thing to keep in mind is that our bodies are made in remarkable ways. When something is not quite right, it will usually send signals to let us know. So, if you start exercising and you find that you don't quite feel like yourself, drink plenty of fluids, lay down a bit and try again the next morning. If you're still uneasy, it's best to notify your physician. Remember, exercise is to make you feel better, not to cause further complications. After having blood drawn, ease into exercising; don't force it.

 

 
Leon Harris

Leon Harris is a contributing writer for Hire Direct. Harris lives in Southern California, and enjoys eating healthy and exercising with his two Golden Retrievers. 

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