Doing cardio work outs....jogging and swimming with af and or skip beats ????

I'm 43 . Did martial arts ,good diet all my life, now have af and skip beats... prescribed sotalol... still have skip beats... anyone else trying to do cardio with this.. or any tips on foods or tips on how to not have skip beats..and may have ablation.. was diagnosed with dilated atrium. Thank you

28 Replies

  • Do pills for a while then the Ablation if that does not work. You might have to change to different combinations of pills for awhile to find what works consistently. I am very physical, eat and exercise, drink only good bourbon and don't smoke anything but the universe still reached out and touched me with P AF. I just had my Ablation a week ago. Welcome to the club and good luck!

  • I am 43 and went into A-fib when I was 41. I also like to exercise a lot.

    A-fib meds will reduce your ability to do high intensity exercises and a-fib itself will start to affect you at high levels of intensity too (even without meds).

    I am going for an ablation this month. Based on my experience of getting to an ablation, i recommend raising the possibility (value) of having an ablation sooner rather than later.

  • Hi all, I train on and offs run, box, have a bout of AF take a month off and start again. I have PA F. Have found that stress and depressing situations don't help. I have also started taking hawthorn, magnesium, fish oil and q10 on and off. Ablation is interesting but not a certainty. Maybe AF is a way of telling us that we also need some lifestyle changes. Take it a day at a time a build.

  • HI, I have heart disease too, tachicardia and Etopic beats,I have had two ablations one for atrial flutter and avnrt. my doctor told me to loose weight, go paleo, exercise, no sugar,gluten, caffeine or alchol, he said they are all triggers for heart disease.i have to take 250 mg of flecinate a day, going for a third ablation to lower my symptoms. He said the diet is the most important, he said be strict and be lean, best thing for your heart.

    Blessings to you,


  • Hi, after af was finally diagnosed I was put on Sotalol. I still dont know why but started getting more episodes of af lasting up to around 30 hrs.

    My cardiologist then put me on Fecainide, never had af again. Been taking it for 10 weeks now and feel no side effects. Just the thought of when am I getting af again was a stress. Sometimes 10 pm or 3am. Good luck, fecainide been good to me so far.

  • What's your dosage of Flec?

  • Elite athletes are known to be prone to AF from sustained exercise so it is best to ease off the cardio work and monitor your heart rate whilst you exercise. Not that I do any exercise these days, but when I did I found the HR which triggered my AF and as long as I didn't exceed that, I mostly avoided AF episodes in the early days.

    But once you have AF, it is likely to be progressive and ablation is surely better than years of toxic drugs? Sotolol can effect the ventricles as well as the atria and is no longer advised by NICE of lone AF, i refused to take Sotolol.

    The dilated atria may recover when you cease excessive exercise and that may well be causing the AF,

    If I had my time again, I would push for ablation sooner than later, diet and sleep are two big factors for AF, along with alcohol and caffeine so I would also go gluten free, reduce carbs in my diet, including sugar and keep weight down but mostly improve sleep quality and quantity.

  • Hi bobobe,

    Just a same with me. I was professional waterpolo player. Still I'm playing in senior team (two training per weeks). Also I like biking. Now I have flutter. My situation is uniq for two reasons. I'm MD and I can use medical literature for understanding what happened. Besides I work for a startup company which develops a mobil ECG with long recording time, so can monitor my ECG very carefully (I have more than 1000 hours ECG strips on myself).

    My conlusins:

    - According to the literature atrial fibrillation among high endurance athletes (professionals and amateurs) is more frequent than in the non-active population. The differenece is age dependent and not seen boleow thirty.

    - Ectopics among veteran athletes even more common.

    - The characteristics of aFib in weteran atletes: The resting pulse rate is low (~60 bpm). Afib attacks shows up in the morning and/or after food).

    - Proposed intervention is the detraining (I tried it, but in my case the effect was moderate and transient).

    - According to the literature medication help only about of the 10% of the patients. Basically helps when the patient has genetic problem. I'm on Cordarone, hard to say wheter it helped or not.

    - ablation is more effective, helps in about 70%, but not always, thats why ablation is sometimes repeated.

    - An important and hard decision is when not to make ablation. The tern is that its depend on the frequency of aFib events and more importanatly on the symptoms. Mild symptoms Sometimes palpitation, dizziness etc are mild sympptoms. Syncope (when the patient collapses) is serious symptom

    - According to the literature moderate physical activity (walking, light jogging) may suppress the ectopics. Yes it is so, I experience this very frequently.

    - Actually in the literature is actively researched whether supraventricular ectopics may provocate aFib. In may case it is not a possibility, rather it is a rule. So If I can suppress my ectopics then I can postpone the onset of the flutter (2-3 days).

    Finally the critical question how much sport is to much or not enough? There is no clearcut rule. In my case it is even more critical, since the physical activity can suppress my flutter as well. My custom (might be good or not, but actullay I try this) is the next: When I start biking I have arrhhytmias (ectopics or flutter). During biking both are suppressed. After a given workload (depends on time and intensity) the ectopics return. At that point I finish the biking.

    One more important note: with arrhytmias dont use HR monitors or wrist watch.

  • Hello!

    Interesting ...One more important note: with arrhytmias dont use HR monitors or wrist watch.

    Can you explain why?



  • The wrist watch is very simple. The wrist measures the pulse rate. The ECG and stethoscope measures the real heart rate. In normal case the pulse rate is equal the heart rate. But in the case of arrhythmias not every heart contraction pumps out blood. So you can see R wave on the ECG, but you can't see the corresponding pulse wave. It is dangerous for the cyclist if she or he has arrhythmias. The cyclist usually have a target HR frequency. The pulse wave methods during an arrhythmia underestimates the rate. The cyclist still one to increase the heart rate, although it would be better to stop the exercise. That's why a fraud class action lawsuit is filled against Fitbit in January 2016.

    HR monitors: Polar clearly states that the polar equipment are not suitable for arrhythmia detection. The system can't distinguish the R waves and the motional artifacts. The errorous artifact containing segments are not evaluated, rather an interpolated HR value is displayed. But this method cut out most of the arrhythmic segments as well. There are sometimes exceptions. The flutter in resting state regular. In these case the real HR can be measured.

    One more interesting thing. Most people could visualize his own pulse wave. Smart phones have APIs for measuring, pulse rate or stress. The evaluation is often false, but the pulse wave is displayed and from the shape you can judge yourself whether you have arrhythmia or not? Even in this case you can decide only whether you have arrhythmia or not ? The type of arrhythmia: aFib, conduction block, ectopics is differentiated only by ECG.

  • TQ :)

  • Totally agree with CDreamer. Use a HR monitor and you will soon identify the safe zones . Once your heart rate gets outside of these zone and you feel a potential attack coming on, then stop and rest . I take my heart rate every morning , if it's high compared to my normal resting heart rate then I don't exercise . For me , caffiene, alcohol, lack of sleep are all triggers so I have cut them out . I have reduced my gluten intake partly due to my daughter having coeliac disease and this has made a difference. Hydration is really important when exercising, I've found that dehydration or just not drinking enough can bring on AF. I cycle and mountain bike . Not the massive distances I once did but for me I feel a lot better if I do my cardio regularly but within the zones I know for me that are safe .

  • IMPORTANT to undertstand, that heart rate monitors (at least the good one) not detects during arrhytmias. Polar itself declared, the polar devives not works during arrhytmias. I tested it and understood, that the rrahytmic segments are simply cutted out from the record. For instance I recorded one hour with frequent ectopics but the recorded file was only 40 minuts long. The ectopics were simply cutted out. Of course some sort of heart rate extrapolated on watch even when you have arrhitmias, but this underestimation of the HR. So might be, that you are above your target zone, but you can't see it.

    The opposite however works. My flutter is supressed by moderate biking. If I begin biking whith flutter then I have higher HR. For instance 130 pbm on ECG and 100 bpm on HR monitor. When the flutter is terminated I see an abrupt drop in the frequency. Both goes down to 80.

  • I have Polar M52 and FT4 HRMs, and they both indicate my HR during AF as accurately as the paramedics' ECGs, they will quite happily indicate at HRs as high as 230bpm during AF.

    By comparison, the infra red finger clip pulse monitors don't work reliably, they generally read a third of the true rate, so that 210bpm measured on an ECG appears as 70bpm on the finger clip.

  • The Polar support states the next:

    "Polar products are not designed to detect arrhythmia or irregular rhythms and will interpret them as noise or interference. In most cases the Polar training computers work fine for persons with cardiac arrhythmia, but in some cases (many abnormal heart beat intervals) arrhythmia may cause incorrect heart rate readings."

  • I wasn't suggesting that they will detect AF, just that I've never caught them indicating the wrong HR during AF.

  • "Use a HR monitor and you will soon identify the safe zones . Once your heart rate gets outside of these zone and you feel a potential attack coming on, then stop and rest"

    I reduced my exercise intensity to avoid AF, and it works fine at first whilst you still have your fitness, but the longer you do that for the more fitness you lose. Then as your fitness declines you have to reduce your exercise intensity even more in order to keep avoiding AF, and so you lose more fitness again. It's just a downward spiral.

    When I was diagnosed five years ago I could still manage exercise at about 120bpm, but these days my maximum exercising HR is about 85-90bpm. My HR standing still isn't much lower than that.

  • Similar scenario only with added complication of Myasthenia SO workout is reduced to 4 mins of intense cardiac on bike and arm bike & vibrio gym, with 30 secs rest every minute.

    I find that my normal resting HR is still low 60's until I get tired, not even exercising, and then it rises to 80's and unless I rest, Tachycardia and Arrythmia soon follow but if I don't do any exercise the ectopics strike so getting that balance is somewhat delicate!

    I use static resistance training now rather than cardiac workouts on advice from neuro physio to try to keep some muscle tone.

  • My resting HR goes down rather than up when I increase my exercise intensity. It has risen from about 42 to 48 in the 5 years since I stopped training, but quickly starts going back down if I give it some stick.

    My standing HR varies in the range 75-85. A difference of more than 30bpm between laying and standing is known as POTS syndrome, and is one of the symptoms of overtraining.

  • Yes - I had POTS - when in AF I couldn't take my head off the pillow - my BP would drop to 70/30 and sometimes was unreadable but my HR would always increase with exercise.

    I have had 2 episodes since ablations and whether it was that or taking Pyridostigamine - which is one of the meds prescribed for POTS- i couldnt but I don't have that huge drop in BP which is now pretty steady at 105/70.

  • ????

    POTS is about an increase in heart rate when you go from supine to standing, not a drop in blood pressure.

    This morning my resting HR is 45 laid down and 82 standing up, a difference of 37, but when I was training regularly those figures were more like 40 & 95.

    POTS is a difference of 30 or more.

  • And I certainly got the postural Tachycardia with increase of more than 30 most of my life AND my BP would also crash when AF came along - I know that isn't typical - but when AF came along my autonomic system went haywire.

    Always had low BP anyway. I once had 3 days in acute cardiac unit because I couldn't lift my head off pillow without HR shooting up to 190 from 70 lying supine. As long as I stayed still it was fine, move and AF & HR went mad. No treatment - just cleared after 3 days so I was discharged. I now know it was related to autoimmunerelated autonomic dysfunction.

  • My heart rate drops significantly when I first start exercise eg during a treadmill stress test then comes back up again as I continue to exercise. I always have to persuade them to let me continue. X

  • I'm 40 and have had AF for at least 7 years, it nearly always happens during exercise - in my case cycling. Sometimes it can happen quite soon in to the session and then goes but often it happens after an hour or so of sustained high effort then when I ease off my HR on my Garmin drops quickly then bounces up to read 30-50bpm higher than normal, I feel weak and low on energy.

    After 7 years of not being treated seriously by medics - I got a Reveal device implanted which quickly showed them what was going on and I'm now on the waiting list for ablation.

    1 other person in my cycling club is on the waiting list and one had ablation (x3) a few years back, I would class one of them at high level, the other is a good club standard, and I'm a low club standard so don't really fit the elite athlete profile. Somethime it's just (bad)luck

    I've been taking Flecanide which doesn't appear to help and have tried lots of different diet changes to which has shown that eating and drinking to excess can cause issue but no particular trigger.

  • The flutter and atrial fibrillation may behave differently.

    The "pure" flutter (flutter not intermitted with shorter or longer aFib segments) might be quit regular. Every heart contraction pums out blood, only that ~30% volume is missing which is related to the atrial "plus" pumping ("atrial kick"). This ~30% volume loss is compensated by ~30% increase of heart rate. So the heart pumps smaller volume, but mor frequently. (Veteran) athletes are usually bradycard (resting heart rate 50-60 bpm). HR compensation in flutter results in 55-80 resting bpm. They still have great cardiac reserv.

    However the fibrillation is not regular. Often could happen that heart ventricles still not filled up with blood but the empty heart contracts. These contractions are not pumping out blood. In this case the heart rate is higher than the puls rate. This phenomenon is called pulse deficit. The conseqence is that rate compenstaion requires even more higher increase of the of the heart rate. Therefore cardiac reserv is strongly reduced.

    Important, that flutter requires the same stroke preventiv anticoagulant therapy as fibrillation. Also always there is a risk, that the flutter sun or later might propagate to fibrillation.

  • I ran, cycled, did Spin classes etc for years with an increasing incidence of AF and I had a stroke in July. Exercise, healthy diet and weight doesn't stop you getting some nasty medical conditions from cancer to stroke, but you will recover quicker. I'm back doing Pilates, clearing scrub with a volunteer group and, mid-month I'll be back in the gym easing into cardio on a rowing machine.

    My Polar RS400 set to one second sampling always picked up AF during exercise. The only electronic device to detect the forthcoming stroke was the Polar chest strap and ithlete app showing an error for a couple of weeks beforehand.

  • I saw my AF a full three years before it was diagnosed. I kept getting erratic readings on the HRM, and not knowing what was wrong I just assumed the HRM was faulty. That's why I ended up buying a second one (which quickly started showing the same erratic behaviour as the first one).

  • I am not a sports person, and have never exercised seriously in my life, but have and did and still do recognise exercise is important for my body as I age. (have been doing Tai Chi for over 4 years now) I also used to swim a lot. I don't think its wise to stop exercise altogether, when your body is so used to it. Maybe take it a bit easier than before and try to ascertain which exercises produce the Arrhthymias, my Cardiologist gets an Arrhythmia (there are different types) and he is highly competitive in sport and I suspect in his work too. Maybe consider an anticoagulant sooner rather than later.

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