Using arms a lot causing ectopics? - AF Association

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Using arms a lot causing ectopics?


Just wondering if anyone notices more ectopics after using their arms a lot, for example certain yoga poses, vacuuming and cleaning, etc. Some people have talked about kayaking (using the arms) in this forum...curious if you experience more palpitations when you do this. I have noticed a relationship, not while doing the arm movements, but afterwards or even later that evening or the next day. Years and years ago I was cautioned by a cardiologist to not do much weight lifting with mitral valve prolapse as this can increase pressure in the heart (I guess raise your B/P). Thanks for any insight.

15 Replies


Last weekend I was vigorously shaking the duvet liner into it's cover using a lot of arm movement, I went into AF. Never happened to me before, but it's probably only a stage above your ectopic beats.

My AF lasted 28 hours, which is typical of my episodes.

Good luck

Alan L

Well,I set my AF off last week by stripping wallpaper,reaching upwards for quite a while doing it,so shan't do that again! Perhaps just too much for our systems?


Last time I saw my cardiologist I asked him how my heart is attached to my body, i.e. how it is held in place. He said that basically it isn't - it just hangs off it's veins and arteries.

dmjtanner in reply to Ianc2

That’s so interesting and explains a lot.

Clipping a big hedge with shears will do it for me... Maybe it irritates the vagus nerve?

Yes, that activity bothers me too.

Yup, I have to modify my yoga moves and find alternatives to any position, such as downward dog, which takes my head below my heart. Using a hedge trimmer etc doesn’t seem to affect it though.m

dmjtanner in reply to Maggimunro

Thank you, I mainly have to be careful in strength yoga moves, like planks....I don’t try chataranga anymore either. But on the whole, I feel that less vigorous poses and restorative poses help me.

Yes, you maybe right about the connection, I hadn’t thought of it before. I’ve been enjoying a good run of being AF free and regularly walk quite vigorously, no problem. Recently however I’ve been having to do some heavy tree pruning and have had a short run of AF straight afterwards.

I’m getting a quote from a contractor to finish the job!

Thank interesting!


I was going to ask a similar question. I have been pulling up weeds, cutting brambles and lifting bundles to take to the tip and for the first time in months have had ectopics -sometimes several times a day. At first they came at night and lasted nearly an hour, but later several times a day and usually after work, when I stopped for tea etc.

Yesterday was the first time in a month that I'd had none and I'd stopped the gardening for a few days, so I would definitely say there's a connection.

Twice it led to palpitations so bad I thought I was going to faint. I felt sick and shaking. Did this happen with you?

Does anyone out there know what one should do in this situation? I am going to India in 5 weeks and it's going to be hot, which won't help!


dmjtanner in reply to hydrangea

It seems to happen to me after the fact, perhaps several hours later, that night, or a day later. And it seems like for several days after I have used my arms extensively, the ectopics will bother me. I didn't feel sick or shaking, but anxious once they started. It seems to take a few days for them to settle down, so I try to limit my time doing yoga, trimming, vacuuming or scrubbing etc. Anything that involves vigorous arm movements over several hours...resting in between helps or letting a day or two pass in between helps. Yes, they do seem to appear when I stop the motion and am resting. I really try to stay super-hydrated when I am outside in the heat during August here in Florida!

If I work above my head - pruning climbers for instance - I often have an episode of AF the next day, so I try to avoid it now. The use of arms generally is a good tip!


Thanks for that. Do you know if prolonged ectopics damage the heart? I woke with it at 2.30am and it still hasn't stopped (10am). If I was in UK I'd see my doctor, but am in the middle of nowhere for another 2 weeks. I am sure the worry about it makes it worse!

My cardiologist says they are not harmful, more bothersome than harmful. I think Dr. Sanjay Gupta talks about this. Sometimes I take an extra magnesium and potassium when my heart is really acting up. I have even found a certain brand of orange juice that has calcium and vit D in it helps me. Plus orange juice has lots of potassium. Don't forget about hydration.

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