Swim...or not?: Hello everyone. Folks often... - AF Association

AF Association
19,759 members24,150 posts

Swim...or not?

Wightbaby
Wightbaby

Hello everyone.

Folks often put questions on here regarding exercise. Cycling and running (for those who still can!) often mentioned.

So I ask, what about swimming?

I live 10 minutes from the beach and the same from an indoor pool, but i have never attempted "a dip" since i was diagnosed with AF (now persistent). This is mainly because immersing myself in cold water usually takes my breath away!! Not sure how this would affect my AF, if you get my drift. I was never a strong swimmer, but did used to really enjoy it and its supposedly a good whole body exercise.

Comments and others experience would be useful, please!

29 Replies
oldestnewest

Well, my AF isn't permanent but I've been swimming a few times and thoroughly enjoyed it. I seem to remember someone suggesting cold water could revert the heart out of AF (I've never found that to be true though!). Maybe try a brief dip and see? If you enjoy it, it would be worth a try!

Definitely thinking about it ...ta!

Exercise is a good thing.

Surely almost everyone on the Isle of Wight must live 10 minutes from a beach, apart from my relatives in Parkhurst....😉.

To be slightly more serious, swimming is probably one of the better exercises for those of us with AF because buoyancy should reduce body weight and arm actions being good for heart and lungs...of course the usual caveats such not over exerting yourself and probably not getting out off your depth until confident would be a good idea. I’m sure you will be hearing from others soon.

Wightbaby
Wightbaby
in reply to FlapJack

Ha Ha!

Thanks Flapjack......bit more than 10 minutes for some, but thanks for the other info about buoyancy etc....... quite useful!

RachelAdmin
RachelAdminAdministrator

If swimming is something you'd like to attempt but are worried about, perhaps go along with a friend. That way, if you happen to find yourself struggling, you'll have someone to help.

As Eatsalottie says, some people find that the cold water shock can sometimes revert out of AF... although as you are now persistent, you might not be so lucky.

Let us know how you get on!

Best wishes

Rachel

Well I will give it a go, but probably not a good idea to try the sea first........no sides to grab!

And not do it alone...

it will be while before i venture to the pool though, as its school holidays and our peak season now...so don't hold your breath (no pun intended!)

I love swimming - I can’t dive in any longer so I take my time getting in but once in I don’t want to come out. It’s not cold water I have the problem with, sea temperature locally is 20C - it’s the temperature in our indoor pool - far, far too warm so I just wilt and can’t do a thing.

I use to love love love the pool. I went to the pool after A-F diagnosis, and felt so wonderful but sadly could barely make it out by myself. Exhausted me. Disoriented me. Haven’t been back.

Wightbaby
Wightbaby
in reply to Aprilbday

Sorry to hear that.........will be interesting to see if I can manage a width, let alone a length, without getting breathless!

Hidden
Hidden

I just got out of a cold motel pool and am reading this. Ive never had any issues with cool water but hot tubs I have to use sparingly.

Just started swimming again about a month ago, first time since AF diagnosis last year. Like you I’m in persistent AF so took a while to try it due to my anxieties around exercise impact on my heart rate. All I can say is the buzz from getting back in the pool has been amazing so maybe you should just go for it.

Wightbaby
Wightbaby
in reply to lindat15

Ah...another Linda....(my real name!)....and in persistent too!!

yes you are right. I will go to a lane swim session come September and see how it goes. That is what i used to do before.

PS I CAN ride a bike...but not up hills!!

lindat15
lindat15
in reply to Wightbaby

Strange coincidence- something to do with the name ha ha! Been trying to cycle again too - sadly I have to take it to the beach in the car then use along the prom as i can only do flat too- all of which really frustrates me!!

I swim 3 times a week with AF and Afl...taking it easier if I'm in it. I don't leap into the water,especially in this weather.I only swim indoors and the lifeguards are aware of my condition,there is a defibrillator there.

I don't do fancy strokes,ie butterfly,and pace myself,regularly stopping swimming and doing leg stretches,treading water if I get breath less.

best wishes

Wightbaby
Wightbaby
in reply to wilsond

Good idea to let the lifeguards know!

Aprilbday
Aprilbday
in reply to wilsond

I never thought about alerting the life guards. That is a good idea especially since I have such a struggle getting out of the pool. I am usually exhausted after about 45 minutes in there. I used to be able to spend 2 hours or more just walking and swimming. They don’t gawk at you do they ? Like they are expecting you to pass out at any moment?

wilsond
wilsond
in reply to Aprilbday

Not that I have noticed!well they might have done yesterday,as I only realised when I got out that I still had my sunglasses perched on top of my head......!!!

Aprilbday
Aprilbday
in reply to wilsond

What! That’s so funny! 😆

Swimming is good. Just take care. Go with a friend, swim along the shoreline rather than out and if you get tired, swim on your back. Enjoy

Aprilbday
Aprilbday
in reply to JackyMac

That’s good advice too. My aunt was told by her doctor that she must always have a companion with her if she decides to go for a swim.

I think there is less of an issue if you are in persistent AF. I miss diving into the waves and that super refreshing feeling but I don't risk it as have Lone PAF and no episodes for a long time by observing, rightly or wrongly, a no-risks policy.

Hi Wightbaby. I have exercised all my life adjusting what form it takes as I have aged. Now in my seventies I swim 30 lengths and walk around 5 miles briskly once a week. I have persistent AF. I swim in a local pool. The advantages are showers, café and lifeguards watching the swimmers. Once many years ago I ‘caught’ a verruca’ and since then I wear flip flops outside of the pool. There will be periods of the day when the pool is quieter and you just need to find them. Try and read your body messages, and extend your distance gradually.

The pool temperature does seem to vary, or it may be that my blood is thinner on some days than others! TerryW.

Wightbaby
Wightbaby
in reply to terryw

You have made some really good points there...thank you terryw.

I used to do about 30 lengths before AF and I walk 4-5 miles (along the seafront of course!!) probably 3 times a week. I would be happy if, like you, I can still do this in my seventies, when I get there!

Aprilbday
Aprilbday
in reply to terryw

Your post encouraged me🌸

I went swimming at the weekend with my nephews. I swam over to a bank at Hayling Island. Once I got over the initial cold it felt lovely. Swimming in the sea is harder than in a pool however so I pace myself more. Give it a go, you'll never get a better sea temperature than now!

Hi Wightbaby! I have had 2 ablations & thankfully the last one, a mapping one last October, was very successful, so far. However, I swam often before I had AF, often in cold water- 14 -18 degs centigrade. My EP told me that swimming was good even in cold water. Before my problems I would swim 100 lengths of our kidney-shaped pool every day during the summer. Since then I swim 80 lengths in 2 or 3 gos. I do breaststroke with my head mostly above the water. It is not only invigorating but also gives a strong feeling of wellbeing. Haven’t ever swimmed in the sea (mainly ‘cause I don’t like to get my hair too wet) the curse of threatened frizzy hair for women. Also I am always in my depth if things should go wrong. I would say give it a go! Take it slowly at first & gradually increase if you don’t feel tired. Good luck. Jane.

That's the thing.....I used to really love that feeling of well-being that swimming gave me....I am sure it would be good for me, to do it again...

Hi Wightbaby

As everyone has said, swimming is good for you. It must be because it's better than drowning.

Keep going.

Best regards Flyer.

You may also like...