Running after cardioversion: Hello Everybody... - AF Association

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Running after cardioversion


Hello Everybody, just wondering if anybody has experience of running after direct current cardioversion. I was in persistent AF for 4 mo. Now in NSR after cardioversion. . So I tried a few steady runs, doing ok. Today tried sprinting uphill for 80seconds... recovered fine than went into tachy-bradycardia a couple of minutes later which brought me to a standstill /point of collapse. Recovered after a couple of minutes. I think my body is telling me to slow down, disappointed because I thought cardioversion might have prevented this.

I would appreciate any advice. Thanks.

15 Replies

All cardioversion will do is put you back into NSR at that time. It is not a cure for AF and merely removes some symptoms. You still have AF and all it brings with it.

in reply to BobD

Thanks BobD, getting to grips with it slowly.


The key phrase here is "I think my body is telling me to slow down". It's really a good thing to listen to your body. The cardioversion merely restores normal rhythm. It does nothing to change the underlying substrate or triggers for A Fib. Being sedentary is bad for the heart, but too vigorous exercise is also not a great idea when you have A Fib. Be well.

in reply to SRMGrandma

Thanks SRMGrandma, your comment is helpful. For decades I was a competitive runner until hit by AF, coming to terms with.

in reply to RunAFib0

Ah, that may well be the reason for your developing AF. Endurance runners have about 5x the risk as a non competitive runner.

Never easy for anyone to accept who pursues a competitive activity, but I think you should try to ease off a bit until you have a better understanding of how AF if likely to effect you. It's my understanding that the Cardioversion helps medics to determine a treatment programme rather than for it to be seen as a long-term solution, therefore it is good that you have remained in NSR. If it's all this uphill sprinting etc. that has caused your AF, then I think the answer to your question is fairly obvious, even if it is not what you want to hear. I'm not medically trained, but I'm sure your medics will advise on what form of exercise is best for you......good luck, John

in reply to FlapJack

Cheers John, hi HR exercise is not good for mr I think.

Many of us with af still manage to exercise. However we monitor things and keep heart rate down. Cardiologists have told me it is good to exercise an af heart.

in reply to AFCyclist

Cheers, I will keep HR lower

I agree with all the comments made, especially re your body telling you something. That is the most important.

I have been cardioverted 4 times and have gone for runs the next morning after a few of them with no ill effects.

To provide a different perspective - I did read somewhere on this forum that some people go back into NSR when they do high intensity intervals. May be just be those two people on that discussion that have that good luck .... but I will put it out there.

in reply to Jonathan_C

Yep, hi HR exercise is a "killer" for me I think, promotes trouble. Will back off. Cheers Jonathan

I have not yet proved it and am 2 weeks on from an ablation not cardioversion. With that difference in mind I have been exploring building my fitness through training at lower intensities.

When in AF I certainly used to return to NSR when training... this was considered odd.

I plan to leave out the high intensity training for the time being until my resting hr comes back down a bit more, if not to pre ablation levels.

Similar training effects can be developed training at 70% effort as 80% effort. Remember you can play with 3 variables frequency, duration and intensity to get training adaptation.

I do have swim and bike up my sleeve to avoid the impact of running. A possibility?

Thanks, great post.

Out of interest, what meds are you on to help keep you in NSR?

Hi, I'm not, feeling I'm going back out runs of tachycardia increasing daily.

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