Exercise & Physical Activity

Being physically active is one of the most important things you can do for your health. Not only can it help prevent many health problems, but it can also help muscle growth, balance, and flexibility. No matter your age or health condition, doing little to no physical activity can be bad for you.

When taking warfarin you can perform all normal daily activities, but you may be at risk of bleeding if you are injured. Certain situations can pose a greater risk if you are taking warfarin, so you may wish to limit certain activities that increase the likelihood of injury. But, taking warfarin shouldn’t prevent you from exercising or doing a physical activity you love.

Work with your doctor to come up with a physical activity or exercise plan that you enjoy and that matches your abilities. For adults, the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) recommends at least 2 hours and 30 minutes of “moderate-intensity aerobic” activity every week, that’s only 20 minutes per day! On two or more days per week, they also recommend muscle-strength activities that work all major muscle groups.

Make Physical Activity a Part of Your Life

Try to do a variety of activities and pick ones that you enjoy. Some local community or activity centers may have some free classes available, often organized by age and degree of difficulty.

  • Tai chi – effective at decreasing the number of falls and improves functional balance.1
  • Yoga – new study showed yoga-based rehabilitation workout may help improve balance following stroke.2
  • Walking & Stretching – build up the amount of time you spend walking, then build up the difficulty.
  • Swimming – allows you to strengthen your body without bearing too much weight on the bones and joints.
  • Dancing – taking a dancing class with a partner or a danced-based aerobic exercise may improve balance and agility, while reducing your risk of falling.3, 4
  • Lifting weights & Working with Resistance Bands – according to the CDC, muscle-strengthening activities need to be done to the point where it’s hard for you to do another repetition without help.

Being physically active can also help you stay strong and fit enough to keep doing the things you like to do as you get older.

  1. Fuzhong Li, et al. Tai Chi and Fall Reductions in Older Adults: A Randomized Controlled Trial. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci (2005) 60 (2): 187-194. DOI: 10.1093/gerona/60.2.187.
  2. Schmid AA, et al. Poststroke Balance Improves With Yoga. Stroke AHA. 2012. DOI: 10.1161/STROKEAHA.112.658211.
  3. Milan Chang, et al. Dance‐based aerobic exercise may improve indices of falling risk in older women. Age Ageing (2002) 31 (4): 261-266. DOI: 10.1093/ageing/31.4.261.
  4. Engels H-J, Drouin J, Zhu W, Kazmierski JF. Effects of Low-Impact, Moderate-Intensity Exercise Training with and without Wrist Weights on Functional Capacities and Mood States in Older Adults. Gerontology 1998; 44:239–244. DOI: 10.1159/000022018.