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Exercising After Stem Cell Transplant

stem cell transplant

Regular exercise both before and after your stem cell transplant will prevent you from losing your strength and overall activity levels. Exercising effectively is significant in order to promote a sense of well-being and cope with cancer-related fatigue. However, before starting any new exercise routine, it is important to check with your doctor.

Note: It is very important that you know your latest blood cell counts (lab values) before exercising.

Your Platelet counts and hemoglobin (HEE-mo-glo-bin) levels, and hematocrit (hee-MAT-oh-crit) levels will determine your training routine.

 Platelet Count vs. Exercise

Platelets are blood cells that help your blood to clot and prevent spontane-ous bleeding. If your platelet count is low (below 5,000), exercise may cause internal bleeding and so should be avoided. If your platelet count is above 10,000 but under 50,000, exercise is permitted, but should be limited.

Your Platelet count will determine your exercise routine and duration.

Watch for symptoms such as dizziness, leg cramping, shortness of breath, rapid heart rate.

Signs of Over-exertion

Once all your blood counts are getting back to normal you can do just about whatever you like.

Precautions to Prevent Bleeding:

Hematocrit & hemoglobin levels vs. Exercise
If your hemoglobin or hematocrit levels are too low, your body will lack enough oxygen to meet the increased demand required for exercise. It is important to check your most recent hemoglobin and hematocrit levels before you exercise.

Follow the guidelines below for hemoglobin and hematocrit lab values when you choose an exercise or other activity.

Monitor for signs of bleeding or bruising.

Signs of Overexertion:

Exercise is good for recovery but needs to be closely monitored in patients recovering from treatment.


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