Exercise after DVT

I'm a newbie here and had a DVT approximately 4 weeks ago, behind knee and extending down to my calf. I am an extremely active 74 year old and had been line dancing 2x a week and doing Zumba 3X weekly for years. GP has told me not to do either of these until I am stable with my inr (checked 2X so far, 2.7 and 3.7). She said I could walk slowly on my treadmill which I have been doing but I'm nervous about not doing my usual exercise since sedentary lifestyle is a risk factor. Just would like someone else's opinion on this as I'm anxious to get back to my "real" life. Thanks for any help.

10 Replies

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  • Hi,

    I agree with you GP, until your levels are stable you could risk moving the blood clot up into you groin and then heading up wards.

    Gentle exercise should be fine, walking at a slow to medium pace. You need to keep moving, as you said staying sedentary can increase the risk of another blood clot.

    It shouldn't take too long for your levels to become stable. Best person to speak to is the nurse who takes your blood INR levels, they can advise you as to what to do.

    Hope that helps.

    Take care

    Jo xx

  • Thanks for your reply, Jo. It is actually the nurse who does my INR who advised me not to go back to my regular exercise. I haven't seen my gp often since my diagnosis, just the nurse most visits. That kind of bothers me and I'm wondering if it is usual. Nurse did not actually explain that the clot could go up to my groin so I thank you for that explanation. Makes sense.

    Ginny xxx

  • Hi: I had a stroke on March 1st and I was also a very active 67 yo doing zumba and weights at the gym, etc. and walking a lot where I live in NYC--esp living in a 5th floor walkup. I have eased back into exercise but not at the gym. I bought a couple of dvds with exercise for my age group (Jane Fonda gentle yoga) and aerobics for seniors. I have my own light weights too. I'm not sure if I'll ever go back to the gym but I will exercise and listen to my body. If I feel too tired or feel dizzy or have any abnormal symptoms, I just stop.

    It's hard when you've been as active as us, but take it slow and do what is recommended.

  • Thanks for your reply Loretta. I did Jane Fonda DVDs years ago, also aerobic classes (low impact), but those are too slow for me now plus I need the social contact with a like group of women which Zumba and line dancing gives me. I am just hoping I will get the ok to get back into my activities soon. My Zumba teacher has a "chair" upper body workout which I think should be a good way to ease into it. I appreciate your reply...

    Ginny x

  • I totally understand and I admire you. I walked over two miles today and started the day with a short strengthening exercise (with weights -- also on dvd). I also understand the need for social contact as that is crucial for us--esp as we age and deal with these illnesses and meds, but we must stay strong and do all we can instead of giving up. I live in New York City and I don't drive here so I do walk a lot. Take good care and gradually increase as you can but don't overdo--which is advice I need to take myself. Be well.

  • Your welcome Ginny,

    There is no reason why you can't get back to your regular classes. My consultant recommends exercise as it keeps the blood flowing, energy levels up and reduces depression because you with others.

    If your not happy with the advice your getting from the nurse, then I'd recommend you get a second opinion from your GP.

    When I had my first blood clot, I was told to rest for 2/3 weeks for the swelling to go down and for the meds to take effect. After that I was recommended to ease myself back into exercise.

    I walk alot and have joined a walking group in my local area so I get to socialise and get fresh air.

    You know your body and your limitations so start slowly and build up from there. You'll soon learn to listen to your body and know when to slow down or even stop.

    All I'd say is to stay active, listen to your body and get a second opinion if your unsure on anything.

    Take care.

    Jo xx

  • I can understand your concern and confusion about exercise. I have had a couple of blood clots in the popliteal vein at the back of the knee and a smaller one in the calf. I researched the issue of exercise and asked every doctor and consultant that I met. I didn't get a clear answer. There was a suggestion that vigorous exercise whilst the clot is still in place might dislodge it and cause a pulmonary embolism. Others said that I could exercise as soon and as much as I like. I decided that I would do the latter and last summer, with the popliteal clot, I considerably increased my exercise - of swimming (every day) , biking ( a couple of hundred miles a week) and walking. because I felt on balance this would help blood flow, reduce swelling and maintain other aspects of my health, including my mental health. This worked for me, without any adverse consequences. I get the impression that there is no definitive medical conclusion about this issue.

  • Thanks so much for your reply and encouragement. I'm so ready to exercise; will see what my inr is tomorrow and speak to gp about this issue again. I feel really good and swelling has been gone for a couple of weeks. I can see that vigorous exercise could cause a clot to break off, but I'm hoping mine has dissolved already. Feel that if I just listen to my body (which says go for it) and take it slow to start, I will be fine.

  • You are welcome. Good luck!

  • Good news! Gp gave me the go-ahead to start back to my exercise routine, slowly at first. I promised to take it easy and stop if I felt it was too much. Plan to go to Zumba class Saturday am. My inr was 2.8, perfect in the range gp wants and I don't have to go back to her for 3 weeks. Yeah!! Thanks again for your encouragement! And thank you to everyone who responded to my original question.

    Aloha from Hawaii -- Ginny

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