The gym gave me a-fib

I went for my ablation on 20 Jan 2017. I was told I could start gentle jogs from two weeks after the ablation. After two weeks I went for a 3.8km jog and felt awful, no A-fib and have taken it easier since then.

I was in a-fib on Friday (10 feb) when I woke up, took 200mg flec and flipped back into rhythm within an hour.

I went for a pretty good hike on the weekend (with heavy backpack) and all seemed fine. I didn't feel great on the hike and that may be the extra tambocor in my system. But no a-fib.

This morning (Wednesday) I went to gym. Jogged gently for 20 minutes, stopped for water and then got back on a treadmill - all in perfect rhythm. Within a minute after getting back on the treadmill I was back in a-fib!

I took 200mg of tambocor but that doesn't seemed to have helped.

This is the first time I have known my a-fib has been triggered as it happened. I am kind of bummed it was triggered by exercise ... or maybe it was the water. I should rather drink beer!

25 Replies

  • I suspect 'gentle jog' meant around the block.....

  • What if you live on a farm?

  • Cowshed, stable....

  • Exercise is a trigger for me. Real pain when you are trying to stay fit and healthy!

  • Take things slower. When you went to the gym, were you advised to avoid strenuous activity? There are many activities that needs to modified to such an extent, this will help to keep you more on an even keel.

  • Yes, likely you can get your physical fitness on more slower way. May be better to take only longer walks at the beginning.

  • If this ablation was carried out on the NHS and I have contributed to the £20K it probably cost then I am appalled that anyone who has been a member of this forum since 2015 could act so irresponsibly.

  • I assumed it was a just-joking post as I thought no-one would be so silly. ☹️

  • Just checked my diary to see if it's April 1st!!!!

  • Jonathan was following advice which is more than many do on this board - i.e. smoking, lack of exercise, over weight, eating poorly, drinking too much, etc.

    After my ablation I had the worst AF I ever had but that gradually tailed off until after about 2 months it finally stopped. I started walking round the block after a few days, short bike rides after a month and gentle gym sessions after 2 months. The evidence indicates that moderate exercise (i.e. anything other than intense, competitive exercise) helps prevent AF.

  • I could not agree more which is why I take a brisk 2 mile walk every day which may not sound much, but I am 70. Nothing else to add I'm wishes and stay well....John

  • It wasn't funded by the NHS. I discussed exercise I could do with the EP after my ablation and have followed his advice.

    I have been totally honest with my EP and sent him a recording of my heart rate from the jog on the treadmill and he didn't make any comment on the level of exertion.

  • "pretty good hike with heavy backpack" after a heart operation. ? How did you think you would feel.

    Also the ablation probably has changed the pattern of the A fib. Which it tends to do.

    Be well


  • I think a lot of the crappy feeling came from the tambocor and beta blockers too. In my defense I did run it past my EP and it was a 2 hour hike which my 7 and 9 year old kids did with me.

  • Seriously. My EP told me not to get back into exercising for 3 months after my PVI ablation in March 2016. I'm still free of AFib.

  • My EP told me before the ablation I could start exercising 2 weeks after and he has stuck to that. I am exercising a lot less frequently than I was before the ablation and when I do its at at about 40%, if that, of the pre-ablation level.

    I am glad I put this out there as the responses have been interesting.

  • All cardiologists and EP's differ in their advice. I'm sure you know about the connection between athletes and A Fib. But after an ablation I'm presuming you had a pvi ablation the veins have been irritated and it takes up to 3 months for everything to heal. I've had rhythm problems since I was 29 and I'm now 51. Played a lot of sport in 20s at county level but since my problem started could never keep that level up. First it was an AV nodal re-entrant tachycardia which I had an ablation for then it's been years of paroxysmal AF. So far so good apart from ectopics now and then.

  • I am amazed how the advice varies. Just before I started this post I saw another post from someone who followed the three month rule (could have been you?). Until then all the comments I had read about post ablation exercise were "wait until the bruising heals".

    I have stenosis of the aorta and mitral valves, which is congenital. Logic suggests my afib is related to that.

    My a-fib was definitely not caused by endurance exercise!

  • Narrowing of the aorta and mitral valve causes pressure to build up which then usually enlarges the atria causing AFib. It's probably something your gonna have to manage with meds as needed but side effects can make you feel like crapp. I've been trying to manage mine for the past 22 years.

  • Basically you've over done it. AF /ectopics have been promoted by the gym fir me. I am very careful with what I do. I walk about 4 km a day. I work full time. I am 66 and I run 1 or 2 km a week. I do yoga a lot but I'd not do more and I do it slowly and carefully. Nothing to prove is there

  • So it's less than a month since your ablation. I trulu would not push it. I say walk instead of run. You don't even have to break a sweat, as any movement, even gentle walking is beneficial. Your EP might have told you it's okay to work out but apparently your heart differs in opinion. Respect that you've just been through a long procedure and you need to heal. It could take your heart anywhere from 3-12 months to FULLY heal. Exercise is wonderful but take it super slow. Don't undue the good the ablation did for your heart. Hikes with the kids, long walks, walking in the treadmill your best bet for the short run. Relax, you've got plenty of time!

  • Thanks. I realise the a-fib is probably my body's way of telling me to chill out and I will follow the caring advice given on this thread.

  • My EP told me I could run two weeks after my ablation. I waited two months !! I had done extensive reading about post ablation exercise and wasn't about to mess up anything. ... now eight months post ablation and I am running fine absolutely no recurrence of a fib at all .

    You must respect what your body and heart have just gone through. Be kind to your body ... you'll have plenty of time to hit the trails when you heal 😃

    GeeGee 🏃🏻‍♀️

  • Have you had any strange feelings in your chest after workouts?

  • I have been on tambocor for a while now. I get strange feelings in my chest quite regularly, not just after workouts. I have learnt during my recent episodes of a-fib that these feelings are not a-fib even though I often think they are.

    I would emphasise that the strange feelings happen at times other than after workouts.

    Your question is making me think whether I always have these feelings after a workout or not. I don't think always.

    Also I have only "worked out" (in my definition of the term) three times since the ablation.

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