AF Association
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Newbie to AF needs advice, please

I am a 70 year old, fairly fit male. I had a stent fitted Oct 2013, followed by a balloon in Feb 2014 (both LAD). I carry a GTN spray for occasional use for angina.

Diet & exercise routine good - I use my local gym twice a week and cycle. Until 5 weeks ago, I felt on top form.

But, whilst on holiday in Dorset, I felt I was about to have an angina episode. Went back to the car and checked with my BP monitor and I had BP 130/100 with a pulse just under 140.

I felt unwell and ended up in A&E where they diagnosed atrial fibrillation & flutter. An overnight stay and regular bisprolol brought the pulse back to around 90.

I was discharged with a view to seeing my own cardiologist on my return home.

Unfortunately, I cannot get an appointment until end July & it's as difficult to get a GP appointment.

So, despite a bit of research, I cannot answer a couple of pressing questions, so I'm hoping someone has some thoughts...

(Included in my daily meds are bisoprolol 2.5mg, aspirin 75mg and apixaban 5mg x2)

My concerns relate to what I can or cannot do over the next 5 weeks.

Can I go to the gym? Or cycle? Will exercise send my pulse racing?

Is it the high pulse rate or the fact that it's uneven that's the main danger?

If my pulse - which was normally 45-50 and generally only maxing at 110 on a cross trainer - zooms up, do I take bisoprolol? If so, how much?

Should I spend the the time until I see my consultant doing as little as possible? (ouch!)

Your thoughts will be appreciated

Many thanks


4 Replies

Hi there, heekle. I can't help you with the excellent questions you are posing, but would mention that if you wish to dip your hand into your pocket and see an EP (a heart rhythm specialist rather than a cardiologist who deals mainly with the heart's plumbing) privately, you would quite swiftly get all the answers and more. I'm assuming you are in the UK. Many of us have done this and consider it money well spent. It is perhaps £250. You can just slot back into the NHS again.

1 like

Hi heekle,

A warm welcome to this excellent forum. You seem to be a vigorous exerciser -

perhaps in the next few weeks tone down the exercise regime until you are able to

see a consultant. Any form of gentle exercise is fantastic for AFers - logically, if you feel unwell, unusually breathless or have chest pain- go to your nearest A&E or call an ambo - Your on appropriate meds so your well covered medication wise. I would only take the amount of bisoprolol which has been prescribed for you. Hope all will be well and good health to you.



1 like

The comments I posted on the other forum when I also suggested that heekle post this here to get more responses.

I would suggest that you don't go to the gym nor do any heavy exertion until you have seen consultant.

I have persistent AF and was told that it was ok to do walking but not to do exertions (including brisk walking) that cause sweating because that can cause problems. If I do too much I quite quickly get very sweaty and I can feel my heart racing and importantly a lot of additional activity in between each beat.

I am not medically qualified.

The AA post is at


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