Making healthy habits stick, with help from

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With everything that life throws at you, it’s not always easy to make healthy habits stick. But for people with a bleeding disorder, diet and exercise are two important ways you can help keep your body—and especially your joints—healthy.1,2

Here are a few quick tips from that could help you maintain a healthy weight and prevent joint damage.

Eating right and staying strong

An apple a day might not actually keep the doctor away, but eating right is a key element of living a healthy lifestyle. And that might be even more true for people living with bleeding disorders.1

While there isn’t a special diet recommendation for people with bleeding disorders, many of the same guidelines from the USDA apply: more fruits and veggies, less solid fat and sugar.3 But that doesn’t mean you can’t eat the foods you love. Try looking up new recipes that include more healthy ingredients. Cauliflower pizza crust might be your new weeknight favorite!

You can get more info about healthy eating habits at And before starting any diet, remember to check with your healthcare provider (HCP) or Hemophilia Treatment Center (HTC).

To keep your body healthy, keep it moving

Exercise is another key aspect of maintaining joint health and staying at a healthy weight.2 While people with bleeding disorders used to be discouraged from participating in sports, modern treatment means that many people can continue to be physically active. In fact, it’s encouraged.2,4

Keep in mind that not all physical activities may be safe for you to do. The National Hemophilia Foundation’s Playing It Safe pamphlet includes a helpful list of physical activities and the level of risk associated with them.4 Here are some examples of low- and high-risk activities.

This is another area where it’s important to talk with your HCP or get in touch with a Hemophilia Treatment Center before getting started. And if you want more info about different types of exercises and how they may help you, check out

Stay connected

Feeling inspired to making some healthier life choices? Your first step might be to get in touch with your Hemophilia Treatment Center, where you can get expert advice about managing a bleeding disorder. Your healthcare provider team can also help with any questions about diet and exercise. And of course, connect with the Bleeding Disorders community on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter, and sign up to get the latest news and updates.


  1. Thomas Smith K. Weighty matters. HemAware website. January 30, 2015. Accessed January 27, 2021.
  2. Goto M, Takedani H, Yokota K, Haga N. Strategies to encourage physical activity in patients with hemophilia to improve quality of life. J Blood Med. 2016;7:85-98.
  3. U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Dietary guidelines for Americans 2010. December 2010. Accessed January 27, 2021.
  4. Playing it safe: bleeding disorders, sports and exercise. National Hemophilia Foundation. 2017. Accessed January 27, 2021.

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Countdown: Three Weeks

Three weeks from today I will be settling into a sleeping bag on Mt. Kilimanjaro, gazing at what I think will be a billion stars overhead. But… back to today. I was supposed to go back to Mt. Washington to hike again, but the Auto Road was closed and… it’s a long way to drive up and back–about 6 hours that I don’t have right now.

But training continues!

I dusted off my Orbea Diva racing bike and took it for a 12 mile bike ride, thinking of Barry Haarde and thanking him for reigniting my love of cycling this year. Quite frankly, I am afraid of my bike. I’m used to the heavier hybrids, where you can really pump hard and fast, standing up even. But this thing.. it weighs about 13 pounds, is light and super fast, but moves when you do. The bike was shaking for 10 minutes when I realized it just feels every vibration in me. It has clip-in pedals, which also takes some getting used to. I survived and really enjoyed it!

My trainer, however, says the bike isn’t enough. Not enough cardio. Ten minutes with my trainer and I feel my heart bursting and pounding, just like it did on Mt. Washington. I see him twice a week and it’s made a huge difference. Dan suggested I increase the incline on my treadmill (what a concept! I’ve had it for years but never do that!), throw a ten pound weight on my back, lace up my boots and walk it. Sounds easy, but within 10 minutes, I was sweating and got the heart pounding again. This is a good thing. Eventually, someday, it will get easy. But not really before Kili.

As important as the training is what I am eating. Previously, I had fallen into a pattern of carbs, carbs, carbs, which gives me lots of energy. But also gives me points in the day when I am totally depleted. I’ve switched to a high protein diet, with minimum carbs. It was kind of hard at first, but now I am slowly losing my cravings for any carbs. This is great because not craving them allows you to think about what you are to eat, not just react. The protein helps repair the muscle tears (plenty of those) and carbs give you energy. This past week I ate so few carbs I found myself really depleted. After an hour with Dan, I went to run 4 miles, made it 2.5 and crawled the rest of the way home!

I am mostly vegetarian, and never eat red meat. No longer. All the working out has raised my energy levels, and I feel like a machine churning away calories! It seems I can’t eat enough, but I am slowly losing weight.

The treadmill says I burned off about 400 calories; how much could one little s’more that night cost?

Seriously, I’m learning so much about eating right, and exercising for maximum effect. If you want to learn about being fit, getting fit and raising your standard of life, check out Bayer’s Living Fit program that might be of help to you.

On Saturday I went shopping at REI and bought sleeping bags, day packs… a ton of stuff you need for six days on the mountain. We will start in tropical weather and end (hopefully) in winter weather with the temperature dropping to the 20 degree mark! It’s really getting exciting, now that the big day is coming!

Consider a sponsorship! I still need to raise more money. Go to and click on Donate Now. Then click Kilimanjaro and follow the directions. Let’s raise it for Africa! Asante Sana!

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