If you have been prescribed blood thinners, you may wonder if it is safe to exercise while taking them. The answer is a little tricky, because it depends on what type of exercise you are referring to. Plus, the reasons why you need to use caution may not be what you expect.
The first thing to consider is why you were put on the medication in the first place. Blood thinners, or anticoagulants, are used to treat a variety of conditions, including deep vein thrombosis (a blood clot that forms in the large veins of the legs or arms), pulmonary embolus (a clot that travels to or forms in the lungs), atrial fibrillation (an irregular heartbeat) or after receiving a mechanical heart valve. Depending on your condition, your doctor may recommend engaging in specific types of physical activity and refraining from others.
Regardless, taking a blood thinner puts you at high risk for bleeding. This means any type of accident that creates bleeding—no matter how minimal—may be hazardous. Those individuals taking anticoagulants should avoid high-impact or injury-prone activities, such as hockey, soccer, skiing or football.
On the other hand, it is important to stay active to keep your heart and vascular system as healthy as possible. This is where we can be your best ally.
- We can determine which of your current physical activities are safe and which need modification.
- We can recommend safer alternatives to the riskier activities you love. For example, while a road bike puts you at too much risk for scrapes, bruises and more serious injuries that are complicated by blood thinners, a stationary bike is a great substitute.
- We can give you pointers to reduce your risk of blood clots by staying hydrated and stretching regularly during exercise.
There are plenty of activities that are safe to perform even when you are taking anticoagulant medication, so there is no need to sit life out on the sidelines. Contact us today to find which activities may interest you and help you to stay safe and active.