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Exercise: Weight training vs Cardio While Dealing With Anemia ~ Neha Govindarajan

Updated: Jan 7, 2023

Exercise is a crucial part of many people’s daily routines as many of us are trying to become the healthiest version of ourselves. Common types of exercise for many people as they enter the gym include cardio (running and going on cardio machines at the gym) and weight training become more popular forms of exercise. Building lean muscle is very important for improving posture, reducing risk of injuries to ligaments and tendons, improving the immune system, and of course providing the “toned” look most people are chasing. However, cardio and weight training can lead to negative effects with individuals suffering from anemia, meaning exercise can actually do more harm than good.

  • Cardio - cardio requires intense focus from the body and a lot of endurance.

Exercising too intensely, especially at the beginning of your workout can lead to dizziness and fatigue due to the lack of oxygen circulating the body. Therefore, an intense HIIT workout will leave you feeling less energized than a lower intensity workout such as yoga, weight training, pilates, etc. However, cardio is vital for heart health, and sometimes our bodies crave that sweat. It is important to take frequent breaks, in between your run or HIIT workout to prevent passing out.




Weight training: weight training intensity can be adjusted to an individual’s preference, but intense sessions may not be suitable for those with anemia. Iron is vital oxygen to be circulated to the body’s working muscles and tissues to help recovery and keep a person going. Hemoglobin levels are associated with muscle growth and strength, so training with low iron levels will not be as beneficial because muscle growth and strength will be hard to achieve, and may put excess stress on the body.


No matter what type of exercise you are engaging in, it is important to make sure you are fueling your body to feel energized. When there is a lack of oxygen circulating the body, and a lack of energy from food, it can be a really dangerous situation for an individual. Setting your workout to a specific time in the day can also be beneficial if you notice you have more energy during certain parts of the day. Taking supplements and prescribed medicines to keep your iron levels at a proper level can be beneficial for you physical appearance, as you may see the results you are looking for when you increase the iron levels in your body.






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