Staying Active: DVT and Exercise

Many people wonder about moving around too much after a DVT, especially if standing or walking is still painful. But if your healthcare professional is encouraging you to be more active, try and walk a little more each day, as light activity may improve any symptoms you may still be feeling and even prevent post-thrombotic syndrome (chronic pain in the legs following a DVT).

Tips to make walking a daily habit

  1. Buddy up!

    Walking is more fun if you have a partner. Ask a friend or family member to take a walk with you around your neighborhood or in a local park. Take it slow, especially within the first month after a DVT, and follow your healthcare professional’s instructions about wearing compression stockings.

  2. Invest in comfy shoes

    Find sneakers or walking shoes that are supportive and comfortable. If you have foot issues, consider asking your healthcare professional about orthopedic inserts.

  3. Dress the part

    It’s cold out? Bundle up in layers. You can always take off a heavier jacket or sweatshirt if you get too warm. For hotter climates, loose-fitting clothing in breathable cotton or sweat-wicking material will help keep you cool and comfortable.

  4. Hydrate

    Bring a bottle of water with you to make sure you’re replenishing fluids as you walk.

  5. Build toward your goals

    Talk to your healthcare professional and listen to your body to determine how much walking you feel is manageable, even if it’s just in 5- to 10-minute increments. You can increase your time as you start feeling better and your confidence builds.