Well, I’m back to give more questionable advice for lymphoma survivors. Below are some general guidelines for exercise as it relates to platelet counts. It’s pretty good stuff and should keep you out of trouble – at least as far as muscle tears and bruising goes.
I have tried everything over the past four years to get the lean muscle mass back I lost after my chemo battle. I’ve biked, I’ve run, I’ve walked, and I’ve even jump roped (an incredibly bad thing to see). As much as I tried to avoid it, it turns out – for me -- that the only sure way to build a foundation for getting back in shape is – and I hate to say it – the pushup.
The painfully boring pushup – it seems to me – is the king of all recovery exercises. It works just about all the major upper body muscle groups (including stomach). The variations are enormous, the results are undeniable, and they require no special equipment. For those of us who’ve dodged the pushup this link gives 82 verities from beginner to crazy.
The Leukemia/Bone Marrow Transplant Program of British Columbia provides specific exercise recommendations for different levels of low platelets. Limit all activity when the count is less than 15,000. When platelets are 15 to 20, you may do gentle exercising that does involve resistance. This could include exercising while sitting or standing, gentle stretching or taking an easy walk. A platelet count of 20 to 40 allows you to use some light resistance, such as weights or latex bands. You can walk faster and climb stairs. At platelet levels of 40 to 60, add exercises such as stationary cycling and golfing. Higher levels, that are still considered too low, allow for aerobic exercise such as biking and jogging, but require wearing proper gear and taking caution against injury.