A-fib and exercise

Posted by soph @soph, Fri, Jul 5 11:05am

I've been told light-moderate exercise is good for a-fib. I also just had 3 afib attacks, all after an exercise class–but only one attack a week and I go 3 times to exercise. I love my exercise class, hope not to stop it. All night attacks, beginning after dinner. 85 years. I have a great life and would like to live longer. What's best??

In MY humble and non-medical opinion, what's best would be for you to discuss this with your cardiologist. For those of us living with AFIB, the first rule is that anytime there is a change in the "normal" pattern of our episodes, it is essential that your cardiologist knows. I want you to live longer, too, so please see your doctor.

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You might be interested in reading this Mayo Clinic article about participating in physical activity if you have atrial fibrillation: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/atrial-fibrillation/expert-answers/physical-activity-atrial-fibrillation/faq-20118480

I’d like to invite @predictable @rainyday541 @reenj62 @ronbyrd @cmensinger @dogmom1 @texas14 to this discussion, and hear their insights as well.

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I have had a pacemaker 10 months ( Mayo Clinic EP Dr recommended) and I asked for a component of it to be switched on for higher heart rate during exercise. I enjoy treadmill and usually get in 150 min per week. I don’t go beyond 2.6-2.8 mph and incline at 1% to mimic outdoor walking. I feel better , stronger legs when I faithfully get in my walks. BUT I don’t exercise when in aFib… so far once ever 4-5 months now that PM intervenes.. I take Sotalol which works better for me than Flecainide. AFib wipes me out but episodes last only 5-6 hrs.
Mental well-being is important part of staying physically active. So I hope for more yrs of active life.. 69yrs old now and feel good. P.S. I have taken beta blockers sine age 26 ( tachycardias) and just adapted to feeling a little tired mid afternoon. Hope all this info helps!

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@kanaazpereira

You might be interested in reading this Mayo Clinic article about participating in physical activity if you have atrial fibrillation: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/atrial-fibrillation/expert-answers/physical-activity-atrial-fibrillation/faq-20118480

I’d like to invite @predictable @rainyday541 @reenj62 @ronbyrd @cmensinger @dogmom1 @texas14 to this discussion, and hear their insights as well.

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Hi, @soph and all. The article recommended by @kanaazpereira is a good thumbnail sketch of how exercise and A-fib co-exist in my life. My A-fib is essentially asymptomatic — I rarely feel it or get any warnings from it — but it always appears on an EKG, and it speeds up my heart rate a bit (from a natural 50bpm to sometimes 70bpm). These "symptoms" are influenced by my medication — a beta blocker twice a day and (for hypertension) Lisinopril and a diuretic. I also take an anticoagulant (Warfarin) to discourage clot formation in my heart due to impeded blood flow caused by irregular heart beats.

As to exercise, regular and moderate are in effect with me. A year ago, I thought exercise might have caused a stroke during a brisk walk around the community. But at Urgent Care, echocardiogram and MRI produced a different diagnosis: A "small stroke" (ischemic rather than hemorrhagic) from a small blood clot, attributable not to the exercise from the walk but to a sharp rise in my blood's ability to coagulate. This, in turn, came from a wide swing in the effectiveness of my anticoagulant medication, probably attributable to a couple of glasses of wine with dinner the night before.

Sorry to bother you with these extremely complex factors, but it seems important to make the point that unusual factors raise vexing questions that cry out for expert advice from the best physicians you can find — doctors who not only know their specialty, but have experience with similar cases in the past; doctors who will take the time to listen to your detailed description of how your symptoms behave, discuss them with you thoroughly, and answer your questions completely right away or as soon as diagnostic evidence is available.

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@kanaazpereira

You might be interested in reading this Mayo Clinic article about participating in physical activity if you have atrial fibrillation: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/atrial-fibrillation/expert-answers/physical-activity-atrial-fibrillation/faq-20118480

I’d like to invite @predictable @rainyday541 @reenj62 @ronbyrd @cmensinger @dogmom1 @texas14 to this discussion, and hear their insights as well.

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I’ve been a distance runner for 10 years. I’ve been in 16 races over that time from 5K to marathons (6 of those). I’m 79. No heart issues until 2 years ago when I noticed my pulse jump to 170 bpm, typically 15 minutes into a run. Breaking into a walk would stop it so episodes lasted no more than a minute or 2. After trying blockers & evaluation for ablation, I decided to not doing any treatments, stop running & do walking for exercise. I miss running but am afraid running could cause the problem to get worst.

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@predictable

Hi, @soph and all. The article recommended by @kanaazpereira is a good thumbnail sketch of how exercise and A-fib co-exist in my life. My A-fib is essentially asymptomatic — I rarely feel it or get any warnings from it — but it always appears on an EKG, and it speeds up my heart rate a bit (from a natural 50bpm to sometimes 70bpm). These "symptoms" are influenced by my medication — a beta blocker twice a day and (for hypertension) Lisinopril and a diuretic. I also take an anticoagulant (Warfarin) to discourage clot formation in my heart due to impeded blood flow caused by irregular heart beats.

As to exercise, regular and moderate are in effect with me. A year ago, I thought exercise might have caused a stroke during a brisk walk around the community. But at Urgent Care, echocardiogram and MRI produced a different diagnosis: A "small stroke" (ischemic rather than hemorrhagic) from a small blood clot, attributable not to the exercise from the walk but to a sharp rise in my blood's ability to coagulate. This, in turn, came from a wide swing in the effectiveness of my anticoagulant medication, probably attributable to a couple of glasses of wine with dinner the night before.

Sorry to bother you with these extremely complex factors, but it seems important to make the point that unusual factors raise vexing questions that cry out for expert advice from the best physicians you can find — doctors who not only know their specialty, but have experience with similar cases in the past; doctors who will take the time to listen to your detailed description of how your symptoms behave, discuss them with you thoroughly, and answer your questions completely right away or as soon as diagnostic evidence is available.

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I forgot to mention that I also take Warfarin for past 10 yrs w no negative complications to date. I do not consume alcohol as it’s an aFib trigger. No caffeine either. I trust my Mayo Clinic EPs’( yes I have 2.. lucky girl)!

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I was diagnosed with Afib over 10 years ago. I fell on ice and dislocated my finger, so went to doctor for finger and was admitted for Afib. I never know when I am in Afib, so purchased an apple watch to track heart rate and record a ECG. I have not had any Afib for several months. I eat a healthy, exercise with a trainer twice a week, do not drink alcohol and limit coffee to 1 cup daily. I am 67 and feeling very good!

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