AF Association
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Does anyone use ithlete prior to exercise?

I've been using ithlete for almost 18 months to determine if I am ready to exercise that day or, if it should be a rest day. It does this by measuring the variability of the r-r interval of the heart beat and then calculating a value that it compares with previous readings. For me, it quickly detects impending illness such as a cold and, warns if I haven't recovered from the last exercise session. The downside is that it won't provide readings if it detects an irregular heart beat. It also seems to be influenced by the dose of prednisolone.

I'm still undecided as to whether it's helpful to those of us who exercise with AF, but I'd be interested to hear your experiences.

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I've never heard of it John, so had a quick Google and it seems like a serious piece of software. I listen to my body nowadays and if I'm not feeling too great, then that decides on what or how much I intend to do. It would have certainly come in handy when I was younger and more competitive. I suppose the thing that may cloud some of the reading is medicine and trying to obtain a base line may be a little tricky.


I hadn't heard of ithlete until there was an article in Cycling Health & Fitness. I in my earlier post ithlete evaluated the variability of the r-r interval of each heart beat over 55 seconds. I believe that an r-r measurement was / is used to detect whether a baby in the womb is distressed. It's suggested that the r-r interval in adults is affected by stress as well as exercise. I don't know if r-r variability would be a predictor for people who have stress-triggered PAF; greater variability is better than less.

I use ithlete as I over-train if things are going well in the gym, and I need something to tell me to back off. Secondly, it's a cheap and easy test to do each morning. As I mentioned, I can now recognise readings in ithlete, that indicate a cold one to two days days before the symptoms, so it allows some time to limit the effects. My ithlete reading before the lay-off from the gym averaged around 86 out of 100, although on a couple of occasions I have exceeded 100 (probably another form of overtraining). Now I'm on a lowish dose of prednisolone and re-starting the gym, my steady average is about 56.

Some of the Polar HRMs calculate sub-maximal VO2 by using the r-r interval. Whilst I've never had a gas exchange VO2 test, the Polar sub-maximal VO2 seems to reflect my state of aerobic fitness; however ithlete's inventor questions the suitability of the Polar algorithm to do this.

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