Sickle cell anaemia (SCA) is characterized by reduced red blood cell (RBC) deformability and nitric oxide (NO) bioavailability. The aim of the study was to investigate whether exercise might affect these parameters in SCA. SCA patients and healthy controls (AA) performed an acute submaximal exercise test until subjects reached the first ventilatory threshold (VT 1). Blood was sampled at rest and at VT 1. At rest, free haemoglobin level was higher and RBC count, haemoglobin and haematocrit were lower in SCA compared to AA. RBC deformability was lower in SCA. Exercise had no effect on the tested parameters. RBC NO level was higher in SCA compared to AA at rest and significantly decreased after exercise in SCA. This might be related to a reduction in RBC-NO synthase (RBC-NOS) activation which was only observed in SCA after exercise. Free radical levels were higher in SCA at rest but concentration was not affected by exercise. Marker for lipid peroxidation and antioxidative capacity were similar in SCA and AA and not affected by exercise. In conclusion, a single acute submaximal bout of exercise has no deleterious effects on RBC deformability or oxidative stress markers in SCA, and seems to modulate RBC-NOS signalling pathway.