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Giving Blood and Exercising

I've just given blood and been told that I can't do any exercise today.

But I really want to go to the gym class I have booked. I feel totally fine and am going to have dinner before I go.

Very tempted to just go anyway and obviously stop if I feel ill.

Has anybody ever exercised after giving blood and know whether or not it was a problem?

I'm a new donor and didn't know any of these conditions. I had lunch and diet coke before going too which are both apparently no nos! Live and learn I guess.


  • visiri
    visiri Posts: 173 Member
    What's the time lag between giving blood and exercising? If you gave this morning and you've been hydrating all day and eating well, and you feel fine, then a light workout in the evening could work. But it's definitely not recommended. Do you normally work out daily? If you're new to exercise, then definitely no. My husband who is a cardio fiend and cyclist can manage a very light workout - 20 mins at 1/2 speed after giving blood - but he's a all bars to the top one hour on the stair stepper kind of person. I can't handle any exercise and sometimes get light headed climbing a flight of stairs.

    Since it's your first time, I strongly recommend that you take it easy today and see how it goes.
  • jellybaby84
    jellybaby84 Posts: 583 Member
    It would only be a 3 hour gap. Gave blood at 3 and class is at 6.

    I usually work out daily, yes.

    I fear you are probably right though, I shouldn't go.

    I already logged the class and verything - tempting fate! :( Maybe I could just go and walk on a treadmill (but then I'd look llike a loser). Arghh, don't know.
  • Crystalchaos72
    When I give blood I usually exercise in the morning before donating, then the workout is out of the way. I would reccomend since this is a first time that you skip the class, even though I give every 55 days, I still get a little drained and I drink a gallon of water a day(most days) and eat A LOT.......good luck
  • grannygethealthy1111
    General Exercise

    The American Red Cross suggests that blood donors wait at least five hours after their appointment to participate in strenuous exercise or heavy lifting. Based on this suggestion, you may be able to participate in some light to moderate aerobic activity shortly after donating. However, it is important that you follow the advice of the American Red Cross and drink plenty of fluids before and after your appointment to make up for your lost blood plasma. Exercising while dehydrated is not recommended.
  • jennajava
    jennajava Posts: 2,176 Member
    I would do light cardio. I wouldn't do any arm lifting.
  • brybre0413
    brybre0413 Posts: 212 Member
    Drink Lots of Water!!!!!!!!!
  • papastu
    papastu Posts: 737 Member
    im a regular donor and i have never exercised after giving blood, after all your a pint down, i just relax and drink plenty of fluids
  • carriem73
    carriem73 Posts: 333 Member
    I get dizzy if i do any strenous exercise the same day as giving blood- how about going for a long, swift walk? Bring someone along in case you get dizzy, but you shuold be fine!
  • Radcliffe83
    I went for a run without thinking one day and I was fine.

    Prob best to relax, perhaps go for a walk instead of usual exercise.
  • avaloneternal
    I fainted at the store just carrying a basket of groceries (super embarrassing) after donating blood. Listen to their advice. It is for your own safety.
  • SammyLynn010
    SammyLynn010 Posts: 293 Member
    I give blood frequently and if I were you I would not go to your class. You may feel fine and dandy now but once you heart is pumping and you are down a whole pint of blood your body really feels that. Give it a day or two and then hit it again, make sure that you take some vitamins or increase your iron intake to recover more quickly!

    Sorry you have to miss your class though, I know it stinks! But you just saved three lives and I think that's an GREAT day of work right there! =)
  • leannems
    leannems Posts: 516 Member
    I'm a galloneer (multi time blood donor) and used to work as a blood donor recruiter. I would not work out on the same day that I donated blood unless the work out was before the donation, and I knew that I was not dehydrated from the workout.

    It is very important to make sure that you remain very well hydrated both before and after donating blood. If you feel thirsty, you are already dehydrated. Since working out tends to release a lot of fluids, it is often difficult to maintain hydration the entire time - most people are fine during routine work outs, as they simply make sure they drink water during and after the workout. The problem is that once you've donated blood, you're likely already starting out dehydrated - so the work out make aggravate that and you can feel headachey, overly sore, crampy, and in the worst cases - light headed (and potentially faint).

    Drink lots of water today, get a good night's sleep, and work out tomorrow. If you really must workout today, I would recommend some light activity that would not cause you to sweat a lot - which will just depend on you. For me, it would be something like light stretching and easy yoga, but everyone's activity/sweat level is different.
  • Flissbo
    Flissbo Posts: 302 Member
    I sooooo wouldn't risk it.

    I'm a regular donor (just given my 26th pint) and can sometimes still fell wobbly up to 3 days after. Maybe do a gentle walk or some yoga if you really must but nothing else. If you try anything more energentic you will feel awful (well if you are anything like me anyhow) Sometimes even walking up the stairs the day after is hard work!

    Just chill tonight and feel good about saving someone's life and you can make up for it in a day or two.
  • jellybaby84
    jellybaby84 Posts: 583 Member
    Okay, thanks everybody , I will screw my sensible head on and not do it. Like the idea of going for a walk.
  • agentscully514
    agentscully514 Posts: 616 Member
    I almost always exercise the same day I give blood (several times a year). I don't do lifting since that can start a blled, but I do light cardio. sometimes I feel a tiny bit weaker, but most of th time it is fine.
  • Flissbo
    Flissbo Posts: 302 Member
    It's annoying isn't it! But you will feel a fool if you pass out (once after giving blood I had to get wheelchaired out of the canteen at work in front of like 100 people - not cool!!) :embarassed:

    You may also find you feel wobbly when you wake up tomorrow, so make sure you have something in the house for breakfast.

    Well done you for giving blood :drinker:
  • WiiFitFan
    WiiFitFan Posts: 156 Member
    Thank you all for giving blood and especially to those regular donors! You are all wonderful!:flowerforyou:
  • love22step
    love22step Posts: 1,103 Member
    In my blood-giving days, I noticed that if I worked out before I went to give blood, my iron level would be too low. No one seemed to know why that was. These days, I've given up on trying to give blood. They tell me I may be a carrier of Mad Cow Disease because I was in Europe in the early 80's. I may be a little crazy, but I don't think I have Mad Cow!
  • djswan54
    djswan54 Posts: 4 Member
    I've given blood and then done cardio, and it didn't bother me. However, you need to listen to your own body. It's best to stay very hydrated and not overdo it.
  • mzpurpl
    Let me tell you about my experience today. I have been a regular blood donor for 2 years. And just started exercising 8 weeks ago an average of 3 times a week (yoga, TurboKick, walking, Zumba), sometimes 2-3 of those in an evening. With other blood donations, I've never had any problems or issues afterwards. Today, I donated blood about 4:00, asked about my activities for the night (yoga, Turbokick, walk, adult tumbling class, and then a drink as it was the final tumbling class). I was told by the blood donation folks to do NO turbokick (else I couldn't donate), nor tumbling, nor of course drinks. So I'd decided I would do the yoga class and then walk a couple miles instead of Turbokick class, prior to going to the tumbling class and a drink. :-) (My daughter does tumbling and trampoline so this was mostly moms in the class!)

    Well, I only made it thru half of the yoga class before I got lightheaded while standing doing a lunge. I had to leave the class to get a drink and then sit for awhile, before deciding I could even walk to the bathroom, where I stayed for another 15 minutes.

    I realized my mistake was not having drank enough water between donation and yoga class - not strenuous but still some activity nonetheless. I realized I hadn't drank an entire 16 oz bottle of water, as I came back from the blood donation (and OJ afterwards) and then immediately left work and drove 30 minutes to class. Once I drank about 3 more bottles of water, I was able to do the walking and rest of the activities for the evening.

    Moral of the story - DO drink plenty of water in between donating and even light exercise the same day!!!!