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  1. The 4 Best Exercises for Sickle Cell Warriors Who Want to Have Fun While Getting Fit

    July 17, 2017 by Andrea
    Photo: CreateHer Stock

    Photo: CreateHer Stock

    Regular exercise is good for everyone -- it keeps your heart healthy, your body in shape, and it can boost your overall mood. If you're living with sickle cell, though, it can be difficult to determine what types of fitness routines will be beneficial without sending you into a crisis.

    To help with that, we've rounded up four fun and effective low-impact workouts (the consensus among doctors and researchers is that low-impact is best for those with SCD) that will get you started on a warrior-friendly exercise regimen.

    1) Go for a hike. A brisk walk for 30 minutes to an hour a day can help tone your legs and glutes and also help you drop inches from your waistline. Instead of the typical walk on a treadmill or around your block, opt for a change of scenery and try out a walking trail at your local park. Here are some of the best places to hike in every state.

    2) Try a spin class. This low-impact yet intense workout covers your cardio and strength-training goals. Also, you get to decide what level of intensity is most comfortable for you by setting your bike's resistance and your own pace. A great alternative to biking outside, you'll never have to worry  about bad weather ruining your plans -- plus, you won't have to purchase a bike if you don't already own one. Be sure to monitor your heart rate, though, so you stay in your safe zone.

    3) Dance your way to better health. Dance fitness classes, such as Zumba, which combines moves from a variety of Latin-inspired dances set to the latest music, are also great low-impact options. As with other choices we've mentioned, you can Zumba at your own pace and take breaks as needed. Why choose dance fitness over a few minutes on the elliptcal? Honestly, it's just more fun. It's good to switch things up and keep challenging yourself with something new, too.

    4) Row your boat. Taking a vacay this summer? Why not spend some time enjoying nature while getting some exercise at the same time? Rowing is a great way to work not only your upper body, but also your legs and back muscles. This sport can also be done with friends and family for even more fun. Even if you can't make it out on the water, the indoor rowing machine at your local gym can give you the same benefits.

    No matter which workout(s) you choose, always remember to stay hydrated and stretch your muscles before and after your activity. Did we miss your favorite routine? Tell us how you love to stay fit in the comments below!

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