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Real Life Nutrition Questions Answered

Real Life Fitness Questions Answered

Emma Brown

Janet Aylott

Kelly Marshall
Fitness Consultant


Advice about exercising with DVT

Hi I just wondered if you have any good exercise tips for someone with deep vein thrombosis above the knee. I contracted it whilst pregnant, my son is now 6 months old and I would really like to exercise more. I've tried running but my leg swells, also Davina Macalls post natal exercise DVD but again with the lunges involved my ankle and leg became painful. The worst thing about it all is my legs and bum are my most fatty areas. I am currently doing 15 press ups, 20 sit ups a day and that's it. Please help.


Our expert says...


You need to find an appropriate activity and intensity level so you can get the muscles contracting and support the pump of blood back to the heart but so not to cause swelling due to pressure build up.  I would suggest that the first stage you need to focus on involves walking and non-impact, weight bearing exercise. The impact of running when you are 6month post-natal and deconditioned will just be too much for your blood vessels at the moment.

IF you go to my ‘Home Exercise Articles’ on the ‘Resources’ page of the web site there are some exercises you could do, in particular I would recommend looking at the following articles:

- 'Target your chest for shape and tone' – both varieties of press ups in this article will be a good progression from ‘classic’ press ups, be more demanding and burn more calories.

- 'Activate your butt. Protect your back' – the shoulder bridge and single leg touch exercises in this article would provide a non-impact but weight bearing approach to targeting the legs and bum area you mentioned. The single leg toe touches will be the most challenging and the only one I would say you should be prepared to potentially experience a bit of swelling after doing the first time. If you find you are not strong enough to do this one then just miss it out for now.

- 'Simple exercises to achieve a leaner middle' – try the 2-arm / 1-leg crunches as an excellent alternative to standard sit ups.

If you can increase the volume and frequency (amount of time per session and number per week) of your training using walking and the aforementioned options then you will be on the right track to start progressing your back to higher levels of exercise without DVT symptoms.

Try this suggestion for 3-4 weeks and then try a walk-jog-walk style method but start slow with short bouts of gentle jogging. See how you body reacts to each session and view your training like a staircase, i.e. if you get symptoms then next time take ‘a step down’ in session intensity/demand, if you have no symptoms and feel good post-session then next time try taking ‘a small step up’ in terms of demand and intensity.

Hope the helps


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