Platelets are distinctive elements in the body that form a clot in the wounded area to prevent the flow of blood. They are manufactured in the bone marrow, and there should be enough of them to perform their primary function. Therefore, we should maintain a platelet count between 150,000 to 450,000 per microliter of blood if we want to avoid the problems associated with getting lesser platelets.
These elements may be the smallest components in the blood, but they play a significant role when people got wounded. They participate in the hemostasis, the first healing process that prevents the bleeding. These particles have a lifespan of 7 to 10 days, and we can consider this as too short. It also means that the bone marrow should continue to produce them to replace the lost ones. Without enough of them, the body can suffer from the symptoms brought by having a low platelet count.
Having a low platelet count can be scary most especially when you don’t know the exact activities that can trigger bleeding to exist. We are also aware of the importance of exercise. It has a lot of benefits, and that includes giving us a healthy body. Physical fitness gives us strong and toned muscles.
Can I still lift weights?
Many studies show that any strenuous activity and physical exercises affect the function and level of platelets. But how?
Several studies have shown that vigorous exercises temporarily increase the person’s platelet count. One of its reasons is due to the hemoconcentration, a decrease in the volume of plasma, leading to the increase of the concentration of the other components of blood, including platelets. As a result, the spleen contracts to respond to the elevated amounts of these particles.
Be aware that spleen captures some of them while the others circulate in the bloodstream. But, as the person is doing an intensity exercise, the spleen will store more amount of platelets that the usual. Therefore, there are only a few of them that travel in the body systems. If an injury happens, there are not enough platelets to form a clot.
What happens to my platelets while lifting?
If you can notice while you exercise, you tend to inhale more oxygen compared to when you are resting. The maximal intake of this substance can result in metabolic stress which can influence the function of platelets. An intensity exercise can also increase the levels of catecholamines, hormones produced by the adrenal glands which function as neurotransmitters to regulate the physiological processes happening in the human body such as breathing and heartbeat.
As a result, it increases the oxidative stress that activates the platelets in the body. When these elements become activated, it also triggers the production of nitric oxide, a substance that counteracts with the platelets and other cells. This aspect will then enlarge the vessel and increase the blood flow, affecting platelets functionality.
You also need to be aware that even healthy people are experiencing injured internal organs such as joints, tissues, and muscles while they are doing any activity, may it be a gentle or strenuous exercise. However, this issue is not noticeable to them because they have enough amount of platelets to gather together and clot in the affected area.
Weightlifting is one of the most common exercises that people used to perform because of the several benefits it can give to the body. It can provide toned muscles and enables us to be strong. It can also be considered as a strenuous exercise because your body moves freely while exerting strength. Although weight lifting is good for the body, there is still a limitation in doing this activity most especially if you have a low platelet count.
What is the minimum healthy platelet level for weight lifting?
By looking at the effects of exercise in the platelet level, we can say healthy people can do that weight lifting. In some cases, the use of elastic tubing or band for weightlifting still depends on your platelet count. People with a platelet level between 20,000 to 40,000 per microliter of blood is allowed to perform this action.
Whether you are undergoing treatment or in the stage of recovery, you have to start the exercise more lightly. It is best to stop if you feel some symptoms like dizziness, weakness, or bruising. But if you can feel the positive response by your body or it is not giving you any additional problem and your platelet count is also increasing more than the mentioned threshold, then you can gradually progress until you can endure the exercise.
Just remember that taking care of yourself is still crucial if you want to recover from your condition fast. Limiting your activity or not doing any exercise only applies to patients with a platelet count lower than 15,000. On the other hand, there are still suitable exercises for different levels of the platelet. You are allowed to walk daily or every morning when your platelet count is between 15,000 to 20,000.
You can then progress to cycling or golfing when you reach 40,000 to 60,000. Do the best that you can to exceed to this level so you can do some vigorous exercises like jogging or biking. And finally, it is a success if you already have a normal platelet count because you can go back to the hobbies that you used to do.
Just make sure to wear protective gear when you are just starting once again to prevent any injury that can decrease your platelet level. Remember that extra precaution is still required. It is also advisable to monitor your platelet count regularly to ensure that you are still on the right track.
Don’t lose hope when you have a low platelet count because it is just a matter of knowing the things that are appropriate for you to do. You still need to keep in mind that exercise can keep our body healthy as long as we perform it based on what our body can do and how it affects our health.