AF and exercise and weight loss (Again!) :)

I was just replying to a post and ended up writing a long reply which I thought I would now share as my own post. After all, this topic comes up a lot and is different for Everyone, yet I personally find it helpful to read different views and experiences. Also, I find that when someone like myself is living 'relatively' symptom free, it is easy to forget what I have been through and how scared I was, how I thought my life as I knew it was over, and to stay off the forum. So, if one person reads this and it helps them in anyway, I guess it's worth it. So here goes!

"I think I could write a book on this myself, but will try and keep it simple for everyone's sake...I am 43, take 2 x 50mg of flecainide per day, have done since I was diagnosed 2 years ago this Summer. Last April I ran the London Marathon whilst on flecainide which had stopped me getting horrendous/scary palpitations but I was still with irregular heart beats on occasion. Is that still PAF? I'm not even sure myself.... Anyway, I found the long training runs helped me to stay in rhythm but inbetween the training runs I was doing no exercise. I completed the marathon in 3hrs 45mins weighing in at 14st 7lbs. I became a little complacement after 'my success' and had a 3 month break from all exercise whilst I completed a garden project. I put on a stone and a half. I was 16st. I noted my AF was creeping back. I decided to do something about it. I found the weight very hard to lose this time. Back in September 2016, I literally could not run a mile. It was embarrassing. I started slowly and by Christmas I was back up to 6 miles. It was very hard work and taught me a lesson. Anyway, to get to the point, since the New Year I decided I needed to do more than just running with days off to recover (I wasn't built for running my Wife tells me!) in order to shed the weight so I started swimming and cycling until I was doing something most days. I have recently joined a Triathlon club and whilst I am yet to do a Triathlon, I am loving the training and more importantly for those of you who haven't given up reading yet, my irregular heart beat/PAF has improved no end. For me, the harder I train and exercise, the better I feel, the better my heart feels. I wear a heart monitor with my running and cycling and check what zones I am in at different times but I have stopped worrying and started enjoying myself. I am now just under 14st 7 again and hope to get slimmer yet. Some nights when I go to bed and lay on my side, I feel my heart is irregular and that is the first time I notice that day but these occurences, for now at least seem to be getting less the harder I train/fitter I get and/or the more weight I lose. So for now at least, I am happy... :)


p.s. I am seeing a cardiologist tomorrow as it happens (coincidentally) so if anything changes, I will let you know asap! "

17 Replies

  • Glad you feel better and I know the feeling of noticing irregularities whilst laying in your side! This is the worst time for me and even though I have been SVT free since my last ablation over a year ago if I ever feel anything irregular this is when it normally is.

    Good luck for your appointment 😀

  • Hi Dee, great to here from you again. Glad to hear you are doing well yourself!! That's brilliant news. Yes the bed time thing can be horrible, if you are like me it varies, sometimes you can turn and get lucky in that you can't feel it so much and then off to sleep you go, other times it can be a struggle... Thank you and take care of yourself.

  • Thanks yan! Great to hear your marathon timings also! I'm Nearly 7 months pregnant so have been kept a close eye on by EP and maternity cardiology team but all good so far 👍🏼

    Nice to share a positive post also will really help others I remember how bad I used to feel at times, like it would never get better... but it does!

  • Wow!! Congratulations you, that's absolutely fantastic news. Wonderful!! Yes, like you things seemed very bleak when I was at my worst. Please keep us all informed when you have your little bundle of joy, would be great to hear from you. Best wishes and look after you both!! :)

  • That sounds very positive and glad it has worked for you.

    My only comment would be that endurance exercise has had an adverse long term effect for many people and has been linked to AF so I would advocate sensible training regime with adequate recovery time.

    We all react differently.

  • Thank you and yes I have read similar things. If I had of kept writing, maybe it would have been sensible for me to say that I am not running marathons or training for that length of time at the moment. My training involves faster and shorter runs, swimming is between 45mins-1hour and cycling currently is spinning or rides of 1-3 hours, not 100s of miles so in my own mind I am being sensible in that I am listening to my body and building up gradually. I have not set out to do an Ironman or anything like that, not yet anyway!! but seriously, just to reiterate, it is the regularity and frequency of mixed training that seems to be helping. Hope that makes sense :)

  • I think that 'not yet anyway' may be a bit ominous! But if your goal is to be fit and healthy and keep your heart in good nick, you are doing brilliantly.

  • Thank you. One day at a time as some wise man once said...or was it a song...? Haha

  • It was a song - Cristy Lane.

  • Glad to here you are you are feeling great and have your A Fib under control, you must have kicked yourself for putting up a stone and half after getting so fit .I like you had put on 2 stone in weight before I was diagnosed 2 years ago .I am back to my normal weight for over a year , but never managed to rid myself of ectopics in bed .I slept with 3 pillows to try and stop them ,then I would wake up with a crick in my neck .Anyway I went down the ablation route 3 weeks ago and i can't believe how well I am sleeping , have you ever gone to sleep and found you were still in the same position when you woke up. I have to wait a few months to see if it worked , keep well, Brian

  • Hi Brian that sounds amazing!! I'm really pleased for you. Long may those nights of good quality and undisturbed sleep continue!! And no, I don't think I ever have! Take care and thank you.

  • Thats the bit of inspiration i need to hear right now yanbart. Thanks. I had my Ablation 7 weeks ago and have been feeling rubbish ever since. Started wondering if this is me now? piling on the weight through inactivity, living like a couch potato feeling absolutely miserable with myself. How many ablations have you had and how long has your recovery taken with each?

  • Hi Mass, I am sorry to hear you are feeling down in the dumps. I have not had an ablation. I have seen an EP who was willing to give me the procedure but I wanted to try and see how I got on with the flecainide first. I can always fall back on the procedure at a later date, but for now, I am happy with the flec. So, in a sense, you are ahead of me so chin up, you will get through this, but for now you just need to listen to your body and rest and recover. Get stronger first. My brother has had 2 ablations, the first one lasted for a full 10 years without the need for drugs so I know how good they can be. Good luck and take care, yan

  • We all have our own path and this is yours. Good to hear how well you are doing it gives us all hope.

  • Very inspiring. I am sure the exercise keeps the stress and cortisol levels lower and I am guessing that helps too.

    Great post.

  • Cheers Andy and yes, you make some good points! Thanks, yan

  • Thank this was very good. My fears are what u mentioned. Right now I'm nerveous because my flec a

    Has been increased to 100x2 and still get break throughs. I'm seeking advise from an EP on 3/1

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