AF Association
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Any ideas on what action to take to curtail periods of AF?

I am a fit 65 year old male who cycles about 100 miles a week but I get periods of AF about every 6 weeks that can last up to 48 hours. This has been occuring for the last 5 years. With AF I can still function reasonably well and even cycle at a reasonable pace. I gave up all alcohol a year ago and this has helped. Any ideas on things I can can do to stop the periods of AF once they start? The one thing that seems to work most of the time is to get on my bike and push it a bit going uphill. After about 20 mins or a good hill and my heart normally kicks in. It is as if my heart gets lazy and will kick in when I really ask it to pump properly. Any other thoughts on actions to cutail periods of AF?

4 Replies

Hi AFCyclist

This is a tricky one. I am not sure on how one can stop AF once it starts although you seem to have an answer......I am wondering if a visit to an Exercise Physiologist would be helpful?



Hi AFcyclist,

You are asking the million dollar question!!! We all wish we had the definitive answer as to how to keep AF at bay. If you read through the posts on this forum you will see that some of us avoid certain foods, or do meditation, or yoga, or acupuncture, and like you, exercise to try to stop an episode or prevent one. I've stopped an episode by doing yoga open heart poses along with slow breathing and valsalva maneuver. But it doesn't always work. For me acupuncture has been very helpful. The suggestion that I follow is to move more, eat less, sleep well and laugh a lot. Good luck sorting through all the suggestions that you will get to see what works best for you!


Hello AFcyclist, there are a few avenues which I have discovered, I chose to do the physical part by doing Tai Chi, which has an element of breathing and relaxation included, the rest of the time I do a form of deep breathing meditation, especially from the stomach area, this seems to calm things down considerably (even during an episode) Some bike and extra Tai Chi from home and another method which I have tried but doesn't always work for me is blowing into my thumb (whilst sitting down) this has worked once. My diet has been one of experimentation with a lot of research from various computer sites. Unfortunately one size does not fit all, I would say if you enjoy your own exercise then maybe moderation could be the key, and of course should include any professional advise that is given to you. keep well. Ultramarine Australia


The EP we sat with at the recent Patients Day on the subject of exercise and AF, said that you could broadly split patients into 2 groups, those that get it when they lie down in bed at night, and those that get it with exercise. He did emphasis that was a very broad and rough categorisation. I think I'm the night-time version, because although I get it during the day, it's not as a result of exercise, it just comes on. But with you, is it the exercise bringing it on, or is it just coming on when you happen to be exercising?

My job sometimes involves standing most of the day, and for me I've realised that my AF seems to go away after a while when I do this. As you say, I get the feeling that because my heart is having to pump "uphill" it beats normally!!! If I then go sit down in the kitchen, more often than not I get a wobble or three.

I cycle as well, but have given it up for now. I'm walking about 5-8 miles a day instead which I try to do as briskly as I can, and when I feel odd (and it is when not if), I just stop or slow down till it goes. I could do that cycling as well I suppose, but have changed to walking so I can take my collie with me and I'm not so far from home or likely to come off at speed! Prefer to be upright as well, as I mentioned.


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