Following ablation when am i safe to return... - AF Association

AF Association

20,313 members24,859 posts

Following ablation when am i safe to return to gym


Hi again i am 10 days removed from my ablation. I have had 3 afib episodes since, each lasting seconds. So far so good, but when can i resume jogging and light lifting. EP says i can now, but would like to hear from someone who has lived it

15 Replies

After an ablation I wouldn't put any great strain on my heart for a few months (Have had 3). Start with very light exercise once you feel up to it, by that I mean gentle walks and gradually build up again. Your heart needs to heal and form scar tissue to block the rogue pulses you were getting. Think of it this way, if you had a sore spot on your knee that was slowly starting to heal over, would you keep straining it and breaking the scab?


Frankly I think it would be very silly to even think about exercise as you suggest so early in your recovery. A few gentle walks (no more than a mile for now) and no running up stairs. You can gradually build up but never more than you can exercise and carry out a normal conversation at the same time. Why risk undoing all the hard work from the EP?

We explain all this in our recovery fact sheet!

Start doing anything very carefully and slowly build up. I would have thought that 10 day post ablation is a little too soon. I have not had my ablation yet but went to a class held at our hospital on Thursday and they said just to walk at first - suppose you could go on the treadmill at the gym and walk slowly. Still think it would be too early to start anything strenuous. Sure other people who have had an ablation will chip in.

Assuming your groin was bruised, imagine what the inside of your heart must be like. Different people (even medics) will say different things and it’s always tempting to listen when someone says something you want to hear, but common sense should tell you it’s far too early unless you want to wreck all the hard work and go back to square one!

Is this your first ablation? I would wait three weeks because, after my third ablation, I decided to take a walk on the sixth day for about thirty minutes. I did a somewhat slow to not fast but not slow and when I arrived back at my house, I had reverted to Afib. You cannot imagine how one feels - like one has flunked, BIG TIME. The reason that I felt like I flunked is because for the first two ablations, I listened to the docs say, five days after your ablation, you're good to resume all activities. NOT! Most can definitely withstand a second ablation but it's a lot of work and fretting. Take care of yourself.

Food for thought here. My first ablation is looming in just over two weeks time, and I'm in the middle of a big (for me) building project. The cabin is now wind and water tight, but with no floor or insulation or internal lining yet, and still lacks soffits and gutters. Then there's the fitting out, including first and second fix etc etc. I'm looking at up to a three month delay, and it hurts.

higgy52 in reply to momist

Frustrating i bet,

but your health comes first, have at least a month off after Ablation, then take your time and listen to your body,

Good luck, let us know how you get on

I walked around the block from my first day. After about a week I started walking a little further - around a mile. I started gentle swimming and cycling after about a month, then gradually built up until I was in my usual routine after about 3 months. After each bit of exercise I felt good so that can guide you. I did reduce my more extreme exercise permanently after the ablation as it was probably that which caused it in the first place.

Hello there! I had my ablation on 28/11/2019. I used to lift weight since I'm a kid but after the ablation I waited 3 months following the procedure. I practiced yoga, meditation and breathing exercises instead.

My personal advice would be to wait a few weeks before jogging and light lifting and start again gradually. I remember after my ablation my EP told me that I should wait 1 month before doing any physical activity because of the high heart rate following the ablation and of course the tiredness.

I did nothing for 2 weeks then only very short walks very slowly once or twice a week. Pace was glacially slow so as not to elevate my heart rate.

After another couple of weeks I started increasing my pace just a little until I was at normal walking pace for short distances.

I did nothing that I regard as exercise for 3 months when I resumed gentle jogging. I used a heart rate monitor to keep my heart rate low.

Gradually I increased my training with no big increases in distance or pace.

3.5 years later I remain AF free. I’m currently running 50-60km a week and I’ve run races in times faster than before I developed AF.

Currently training with an eye on a sub 1:30 half marathon!

I cannot stress enough how important it is to let your heart heal before placing it under any stress.

All the people who charge back at it too soon all seem to have problems.

Listen to your heart. No advice from me but I can relate my personal experience from my ablation in late Nov 2018. Back doing light gym after 3 weeks and back to normal 4 days a week after another 3 weeks. For the first month I religiously monitored my heart rate whilst exercising. No side effects. Everybody is different. Go well.

I did nothing for 8 weeks. I read that exercising too soon will cause undue stress as the heart tries to heal. The ablation only works when scar tissue forms to block those rouge signals causing AFib. It's hard to not be active especially if you are used to being active. I waited to start exercising and then it was a slow walk on my treadmill for 15mins. Everyday I built up a little more. By month number 4 I was back to HIIT classes and lifting weights with no problem. I had my ablation done Aug 23, 2018. I've had no problems since.

Take your time ,I went to Spain 1week after ablation and got severe palpitations

After about 2 weeks, I not only returned to work, but also started with light stretching. I did not start adding light exercise until about 3 weeks, and at only about 25% of the intensity and time that I was at before the ablation. My ablation was November 5, so I am over 90 days out. My current exercise is back to pre-ablation and pushing forward. I had to reduce the intensity of my work outs after my AF diagnosis, but am now working toward the intensity I had before AF. I do stretching, core and cardio work at least 4 days a week for at least one hour. I also lift weights at least one time a week. I am a 53 year old female and have always had an active lifestyle. However, I am not a professional or extreme athlete. I like to think that I am just following good medical advice on leading a healthy lifestyle by exercising most days to stay fit.

I took 3 months off from the gym, when I went back I started slowly and even now I don't do what I used to do, there was no way I was going to do anything to ruin the good work done by my EP, that was nearly 2 years ago and no AF since.

So take it steady.

You may also like...