Cold Weather

Morning all, hope everyone is doing ok. I wondered whether anyone else was affected by the cold. At the moment my HR runs around 100-120 which I am usually ok with and as long as I walk at a reasonable pace and avoid hills other than feeling off I'm fine. However over the last week when I've been walking the dog I have had several bouts of "energy drain" where I've had to sit and take deep breaths to get the energy back to continue on and the only difference has been the bitter cold on the days it's happened. I have suffered full blown AF episodes in the past and these aren't as bad but I am wondering whether it's the cold that's exacerbating this or I'm getting worse again. I have an appointment with my EP next Friday but was curious in the meantime.


5 Replies

  • I find breathing cold air very challenging. I have the opposite problem of a low heart rate and think any vasoconstriction of the airway must compromise my circulation; I hate it as some of the best days of clear blue skies when I should be about and walking are ruined. I wear a tubular bandana - I prefer cotton but you can get microfibre over my neck and mouth and try to breath in through my nose. Keep warm and try to keep the air coming in warm by wearing a scarf of some description - over the mouth. Cold night air also used to trigger my AF.

    When you get cold you constrict the blood vessels and if you have a compromised circulation (which most people with a heart rhythm problem do) then this is adding extra burden to your heart and circulation. If it is affecting you as you describe you should take care and try to adapt your routines or exercise rather than push through to match your capability as it will be about circulation not about fitness.

    Take care.


  • Good morning! Yes, cold air constricts the blood vessels, raises the blood pressure, and can trigger an AF episode. I try to limit my outdoor exercise when the temps are near freezing, waiting until the warmest part of the day to get my walking in. And happily my dog won't even step out the door if it is too cold :-) Wearing a muffler to help warm the air you breath can help a bit. STay warm!

  • I recall at a heart patients meeting once hearing how many people avoid the freezer area in supermarkets because the colder airt triggers their angina.

  • My PAF has always been more frequent in the Winter but not sure it is the cold that causes it but am convinced that taking Warfarin has affected my ability to stay warm. I go to the supermarket dressed for a trip to the North Pole and get through the freezer section as quickly as possible brrrrrrr!

  • Thanks for all your replies and advice glad to know I am not going daft

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