Working Out!

I was wondering since I am diagnose with AVM on the left frontal side of my brain can I still exercise? The arteries or veins haven't rupture yet, but will there likely be a chance that it will when I exercise? If so I will likely to get an answer from all of you (which are the survivors of AVM). My exercise will consist of stretching, cardio, and weight lifting.

Doua, in general, raising blood pressure puts an AVMer at greater risk for a rupture. Please make sure your neuro approves your workout.

Hi Doua - I would make sure to check with your Doctor. If anything, yoga may be something to look into and ask your doctor about, as it's more meditative than the activities you are interested in doing. Definitely check with your Doctor who diagnosed you to make sure you don't aggravate your AVM.

Hi Doua,

Dancermom is right - anything that raises your blood pressure and your pulse rate puts you at a higher risk for a bleed or even a rupture. The stretching isn't a problem but, cardio and weight lifting can put you at a higher risk.

You need to remember, we already have extra pressure in the avm due to improper blood flow and.. the blood vessel walls are thinner than what a healthy blood vessel is.

I admire you for wanting to live a normal life. The truth is - you are not normal. You are not as healthy as you feel. I know. -- I was once you. :) What ever you decide to do, just be careful and sensible about it.... Please


Please dont.... not until you get complete approval from your Neuro...

I LOVE working out and have been keeping fit since i was 16. I was a runner, and always been very active and in great shape. I worked out at the gym, and did programs like P90X at home as well. 2 years ago, I had my first bleed while doing the famous program "Insanity". I loved it. It was intense, which i wanted, because a great workout for me is a workout that leaves me completely drained out ;) However, on my week 2 of Insanity, i started feeling very very ill everytime i would do the workout. I would say to myself "its because its intense", yet, i would actually become ILL, with fevers, chills, vomiting, and severe, aweful migraines. My brain was bleeding and I didnt know it. One day, I passed out on my basement floor and when i woke up, i knew something was wrong. I was alone and nobody knew what happened. I went to the Dr. and found out I had a severe ear infection. My brain bleed went undetected because this "bleed' actually ruptured my ear drums but the infection was blamed. I was very dizzy all the time, but it was associated to the eardrums, not a brain bleed. I recovered after i had ear drum graft surgery and slowly started working out, but just at the rowing machine at the gym, or a quick run. I would have severe headache everytime i was done working out. My day job was also very physical, so i attributed my new "weaknesses" to the fact that my job was stenuous and maybe me getting old. EVERY day, when i was out of breath from work, or working out, i didnt know it, but i was bleeding, very small, but enough to cause a lot of symptoms. I started being numb, tingly for no reasons at all etc. One day, after a particularly harsh night, I woke up and coldnt feel my left side anymore.... FINALLY had a MRI done and was properly diagnosed.
I am not saying that me being physically active like this is what caused the bleed, but what i do know, is that i am 100% sure that it triggered something for sure. It is proven that rising your heartrate/ blood pressure, is not good with this sort of things. Of course, i didnt know, but YOU know....
My neurologist told me i was not to rise my heart rate. Its obvious that it makes my brain bleed. I was blessed to not have a stroke yet, but I am currenty facing a very hard decision and I may not be here much longer. I hope i make it thru, but if I had knows that my intense workouts triggered this thing in my head, i would of stopped.
I know we are all different.... but at least get approval first and listen to your body. Your AVM may never bleed, i really hope so for you....
I have heard so many times of athlete and very active people getting AVM burst and i dont think its coinsidence....

It was very hard for me to accept that i could not workout anymore. I felt like i couldnt be me anymore. even today, i cant do much physically. the room starts spinning as soon as my heart rate elevate a bit.

ok i went on your profile and read your story. I really wouldnt workout .... looking back.. do you remember if you had just worked out the 2 times you passed out? or ran? anything? I have felt ill a lot of timse before too before my first bleed... Dont wait until it ruptures... Your AVM truly is telling you to be careful... lay low until you get this taken care of :) what is your neurosurgeon saying about surgery?

Hi heavensent,

It does put us in a little dilemma...Is what it boils down to is: Easy exercise, nothing that puts strain or very little strain on the body. Most drs like to recommend walking. Well, that's ok for people who are able to do that.

I'm so far out of shape too since I've gotten ill. I started yoga a few weeks ago and that seems to help me. Once summer gets here, then I plan on working around my house. I think the key is to at least do something. No matter how little it may seem.

I want to add -- I tire easily too and I have constant vertigo. I do what I can, then I take a break and I do a little more. On my bad days, I don't do much of anything. On my good days, I take advantage of them.. :)


There are sit-down exercises that may provide a healthy alternative for your husband, such as the book, Get Fit While You Sit: Easy Workouts from Your Chair.
You might want to see what your local library has available, or
Hope this helps. :)

Just as everyone else has said, be careful not to raise your blood pressure. My husband was allowed to walk or slowly ride a bike. He was even told not to swim unless he had more than just me watching him as he was a seizure risk and since he outweighs me by 100 lbs, I wouldn't be able to pull him out of the water.

Thank you everyone! I will take this advice seriously. Once again thank you all! :)

I asked my neurologist about Zumba (my personal fav workout). She gave me heart rate limits that are still in fat-burning ranges. I agree with everyone to check with your doctor, first.

Hi Doua,

I agree with everyone that you should get advice from your doctor. A few weeks ago, I had to stop even on my treadmill because it was raising my heart rate and triggering my migraines. Just as Debra and Ben have mentioned -- yoga might be best because it involves meditations, and it is less strenuous. Best of luck -- wishing you the best of health.

I have a left frontal lobe AVM bordering on my motor cortex. I had a small hemorrhage during the last few laps of my Masters swim team work-out last Sept 2012. Resulted in right-sided weakness that lasted a few weeks but has now resolved and I am fine (I’m definitely lucky). I have always been active - aerobics, sailing, rowing, swimming, running. But I believe my swim work-out (and my aging AVM) contributed to the bleed. My arteries and veins are simply wearing out. Don’t push it - check with your doctor.

About yoga, that might present a problem too since there are many “head down” positions. I have been told not to put any additional pressure on my AVM with movements like that. You might want to ask your doctor about that, too.

Hi Ivanna,

You are right about the "head down" poses. My Drs. told me too not to put my head below my heart level. I skip most of them and I do something else. My instructor is aware of my condition and offers me alternatives that I can do.

I agree with you.... I think everyone needs to check with their drs. first before starting a physical activity.

As long as I have had my avms. I still have a tendency of forgetting just how delicate they can be (for myself). Mine, like to remind me when I do to much. Not that I'm a bad patient or anything (cough, cough). ha ha


Hi Doua - If you still have an active AVM, you should check with your doctor first to see about what type of exercise you can do…I’m pretty sure that it’s possible; you just need to check with a medical professional.