Lifestyle πŸŠβ€β™€οΈ πŸ§˜β€β™€οΈ πŸƒβ€β™€οΈπŸ’ͺ🏻🚴πŸ₯—πŸ’§πŸ·πŸ§‚οΏ½... - AF Association

AF Association

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Lifestyle πŸŠβ€β™€οΈ πŸ§˜β€β™€οΈ πŸƒβ€β™€οΈπŸ’ͺ🏻🚴πŸ₯—πŸ’§πŸ·πŸ§‚πŸ«πŸ‘ (long post alert - get a cuppa tea β˜•οΈ)

Pigleywigley profile image

Lots of people ask about lifestyle & what has made a difference to β€˜me’. Emphasis on me because everyone is so different. That said everyone should live as healthy as is possible, respecting ability, illness, and other limits people have. A 2 hr walk to me might be 10 minutes is all someone can manage. 10 minutes is still good if you normally do 0!

AF kicked me in the πŸ‘ March 2020. 3 single episodes in 2020. With 8 episodes Jan - March 2021. I never self convert, am very symptomatic and although was using a PIP because of length, frequency and symptoms was being put on Dronederone.

Then nothing since March 2021. Didly.

Why? Well this is what I changed & maintain:

3-4 litres of fluid (not coffee but do count tea) per day.

Stopped alcohol 3 x bottles of wine per week (I have re introduced alcohol but 3 glasses a week as opposed to 3 bottles!)

Low sodium. I add salt to nothing & keep my salt intake to minimum (essential we have some)

30-90 minutes of cardio per day. This is double what I did. I keep my HR at 75%

Started HRT (game changer but no specific AFIb reduction link)

Started magnesium taurate (game changer for my ectopics)

Went decaf

Cut most processed inc red meat, bacon (initially but needs another push!) & eat healthy & balanced (discovered rye bread πŸ˜‹)

Cut sugar (Achilles heel as I’m an addict & starting rehab! - I’m actually starting the Human Being Diet)

I trained as a meditation teacher & do this daily as well as yoga. Game changer!

So I know when people are feeling well they post less but I thought I would give people hope. My surgery is currently on hold & long May I kick my afib in the πŸ‘

45 Replies
β€’

That’s fab news, well done you for keeping up the changes…long may the Afib stay away!!can you let me know how much magnesium taurate you’re taking daily?i suffer with terrible PVCs had a break from them for 3 months but now they’ve returned this last week with a vengeance!!

Thanks Cath 125 twice a day which is recommended for the one I’m taking. Seems to suit me great & massively reduces my ectopics.

You are on HRT. That will massively reduce your ectopics too. It may be the reason entirely. Oestrogen is vital for the heart.

BobD profile image
BobDVolunteer

Pretty much all the things we recommend so well done. Life style changes are so important. I think you missed out BMI less than 26 but maybe that is a given for you.

Pigleywigley profile image
Pigleywigley in reply to BobD

BMI currently 25.9! But that’s gone up (Christmas festivities, and all inclusive trip to Tenerife!) but it will be lower in next couple of months.

BobD profile image
BobDVolunteer in reply to Pigleywigley

BMI MUST NOT be calculated during January. !!!!!

Pigleywigley profile image
Pigleywigley in reply to BobD

Ha ha love this rule

in reply to BobD

Lol, that should not only be a rule but a law!! 🀣🀣

Well done!! These are pretty much identical to the changes I made, along with eating lots of veg, fruit, nuts and seeds and more fish, cutting out red meat, anything processed and all types of bread altogether. I took (and still do) Mag Taurate and Vit D3, and I took a Potassium supplement but stopped that after reading it can be a bit dodgy and eat a daily banana instead.

My heart calmed right down!

The trouble I had was that I quickly lost a lot of weight. As a 6ft ex-rugby player who was 15 stones when at my fittest, it really upset me to be 11 stones 13. I looked unhealthy and people looked at me with alarm, assuming I was seriously ill.

I had blood tests done to make sure the alarming loss wasn't anything sinister.

Over the last few months I've been slowly reintroducing things to see what I can tolerate (including Guinness 😁) without suffering severe arrythmia, and although I still have ectopics, sometimes sustained bouts of them, there's been no AF as far as I'm aware.

I'm now back up to 12'7 and looking a bit healthier!

I'd like to endorse your post; unlike me, most people would be glad of losing some weight as well as their worst symptoms, but many don't have the self discipline to give it a real go as you have.

In my opinion everyone with AF or other bothersome arrythmias should adopt these changes and see where it takes them.

If written guidance is required they should read The Afib Cure by John Day. I find it crazy that patients presenting with arrythmia don't routinely leave hospital or surgeries clutching a pamphlet about lifestyle and dietary changes - but since most don't, the above book is recommended.

To pick up something on this thread; I often see someone asking on here what dose of Magnesium they should take.

My answer to that is that it depends entirely on what product you buy and which supplier you choose. Some are taken 3 times a day, others once.

Simply do as it says on the container!

secondtry profile image
secondtry in reply to Mugsy15

You know when you are on the right diet/exercise routine as the weight just falls off without any effort. My top weight in the bad old days was 14 1/2 stone now 3 stone lighter i.e. the weight I was when I was 18! The answer for me was to follow a high quality organic full fat diet, cut processed food, gluten & sugar by 80%. As you say good friends say you are too thin and others no doubt think there is a problem but I can live with that and the thought that I have avoided hip and knee replacements...so far!

You do great with your diet secondtry. I’m still working all this out but will get there πŸ‘πŸ‘

Pigleywigley profile image
Pigleywigley in reply to Mugsy15

Hi Mugsy I lost a bit too much weight. I got afraid to eat in the early days (coming from a food addict that’s pretty grim!). But I’ve put a stone in which needs to only be half, so I’m reigning things back in & starting the human being plan which is a cleanse & fasting. Feel like I need to reset & get rid of some of the rubbish if been indulging on for a few months. Interestingly as I’ve not been on point with my eating, my ectopic burden is much greater!

Glad you are doing ok.

John Day books I also should have said - game changer! Along with Dr Gupta YouTube & this community! Knowledge is power. 😊

A very good message for newbies!

Positive messages are hope ❀️ That is exactly what I needed in the early part of my journey. AF changed my life in more ways than one. I was on an unhealthy path & the body has a way of telling us so!

I love this positivity too - paying attention to the messages our body is sending to us is essential. And we need to do that on a daily basis as well as planning longer term lifestyle changes. I've been meditating for over 30 years btw. Probably saved me from getting AF much earlier. Now I use it in combination with a trauma breathing technique. Once I'd stopped drinking I realised how much I'd been using those 2 bottles (sometimes a bit more) a week to damp down anxiety and stress of an poorly balanced life. It changed the way my husband and I run our business too

Here here πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘

Good on you ya pigley! So so pleased for you. Have to say that's a lot of water - I drink 1.5-2 a day. Anymore and I get over hydrated, plus the obvious. But my BMI is 19.5 so I guess that's one reason I need less. Thank you for sharing this inspiration πŸ™

Hi singwell.We all need a bit of positivity in these dark jan mornings!

I follow the 1 ounce to 1 lb rule. It works for me and we’re all just so different, size, shape etc.

Take care 😊

Excellent thread. I do think we need far more information and support around Lifestyle. It should be really easy to organise Lifestyle courses for newly diagnosed and a lot less expensive BUT I also wonder if many people just don’t want to or can’t be bothered to so rather take a pill and worry about their ailments instead. Must be getting cynical in my old ageπŸ€·β€β™€οΈπŸ™Š

I too made big changes to my eating and along with other Lifestyle changes. Unfortunately exercise had to to go because of neuro muscular condition but I still do stretches, strength and some gentle walking. Fo me pacing myself is everything so underlining your message is that everyone is different but all can do something.

I also think sleep is incredibly important - especially for weight loss.

I heard this a few years back which really resonated with me - You don’t have to be great to start but you do need to start in order to be great!

Cos56 profile image
Cos56 in reply to CDreamer

What does one do who has a BMI less than 26, has exercised all her life, eats healthy, doesn’t drink or smoke, normal echo and nuclear stress test…in other words, is a good girl and does everything right, to change her lifestyle? Guess it’s not my lifestyle! Lol But I believe, for me, it’s genetic. Meds are working for me. Flecainide 50 mg twice a day to prevent episodes, metoprolol 25 in am and 12.5 in evening, and Eliquis 5 mg twice a day. That’s my magic cocktail…for now. I tried to exercise again last night (previously on this cocktail I went into flutter 5 hours later) gently, and no trigger. I listened to someone on this forum who said to restart my exercise slowly (can’t recall who said it) and thank goodness, they were right. I’m so happy because I miss the way it makes me feel. I wish I could thank them personally.Anyway, as you said, we are all different but the same in that we need each other’s support. I thank you and all the others here, newbies or not, for your experience-sharing. ❀️

CDreamer profile image
CDreamer in reply to Cos56

AF does run in families although as far as I know there are no genes which have identified. My father had AF and one of my sons has had a short bout of β€˜palpitations’.

There is no one cause but I always think it’s worth starting with Lifestyle rather than powerful drugs or invasive procedures but sometimes you have no options.

Pigleywigley profile image
Pigleywigley in reply to Cos56

Hey Cos I’ve had episodes after exercise. I’m currently redoing couch to 5k because I had an injury. I love swimming, meditation & yoga. My cardio is gentle. I don’t need to run a marathon. I have a congenital heart defect I know my AF is likely to return. For now I’m just happy to be where I am & each day a blessing! Like CD says runs in families, certainly runs in mine!

Love this quote CD! My sleep has improved significantly. Picture on left a year ago. Right one is now! I think HRT & magnesium done this & the meditation!

Best book ever read is Why We Sleep!

Sleep

Excellent book but so much updated information since then. My average is now way up but OH tends to disturb me on nocturnal bathroom calls & snoring so on good night 95-100 but usual I’m more like 85%. Still a huge improvement!

Thank u for sharing this story. It’s the motivation I needed on my own lifestyle improvement journey. Please do update us on day 6 months.

Good luck for no more AF

R u on any medication now?

Funnily enough my cardiologist agreed with me today I can come off bisoprolol! So I’m left with apixaban which I need forever because I have a congenital heart defect too so risk of stroke higher. I’m ok with that πŸ™

I think that is brilliant and what an uplifting start to the day! Keep it up. Tell us how it goes.

But I hope that those who don’t have such a stop or lapse in symptoms with lifestyle changes don’t feel failures. We are all different. My family was dominated by a naturopath who refused ordinary medicines and followed a really healthy regime / lifestyle, judging the rest of the family, then was mentally crushed when she became unwell herself.

Ironically she was mostly preaching to the converted. Once you eat β€œgood” food the beige junk is so unappealing, and self care is so important.

Even more ironically my elderly brother who rarely eats anything healthy or fresh is the healthiest of us all.

Pigleywigley profile image
Pigleywigley in reply to FaberM

Hey I have loads of lapses & failures that’s important to say! We are human. But I get back up on the horse. My sugar addiction has kicked back in at the moment, but I’m working a plan to sort this out! 😊

An interesting read thanks. I'm now teetotal as I find a single glass of wine can trigger AF. I still like to lift weights and class myself as muscular, others might say stocky! I know I'm a little overweight but my only yardstick is the visibility of my stomach muscles lol. I'm working on introducing more cardio but at the moment it's on top of the weight training, rather than instead of. It's a mental thing really as I've been lifting weights since the age of 14 and it's a hard habit to break. I also drink decaff apart from one cup at work to start my day. Fluid intake is pretty high, 1.5-2 litres a day at a guess and my diet is good, other than a sweet tooth that I overindulge at weekends.

I don't add any salt to meals, only a bit in cooking.

I know for a fact that anxiety increases my chances of going into AF as it almost happened last night. My wife has been ripped off buying me some surprise concert tickets and my heart was all over the place when I found out last night. I did manage to calm myself down though before I went into AF proper.

I'll give the magnesium taurate a try and I'll also try some meditation, don't think I'm flexible enough for yoga just yet!

Hey Private Ryan (great film!)

Sorry about the ticket rip off 🀬

Do some breathing exercises when your stress is high. Box breathing is good, nasal breathing or long breath out - YouTube great for teaching you these😊

I'll try the breathing exercises, thanks. All I'll say about the concert tickets is to check the source. She bought from one of the first companies that came up via Google, and it turns out they're like an online ticket tout, so she's actually paid double the face value.😑

I'm in awe of all the life changes you've made Pigleywigley, and it's wonderful that it's made such a difference to your AF and your life generally! Sadly I don't find myself motivated enough to make similar changes and follow you, but I did just want to add another voice to your encouragement to meditate. Done for just a few minutes a day, it will, in the very least, help reduce some of the anxiety that tends to surround AF! And so well done to you! πŸ‘πŸ˜Š

Pigleywigley profile image
Pigleywigley in reply to

& exactly why I meditate each day to manage stress & anxiety. The head game can be worse than the heart!

Do you think any magnesium is good enough or it has to be taurate?

Hi Rara - Dr Gupta recommends taurate but I know others here on the forum take different versions.

Ribbony profile image
Ribbony in reply to RaraAvis

Hi RaraAvis, I used to take solely Magnesium Malate as I suffer from chronic fatigue and that is reputed to be the best Magnesium for energy production. As my palpitations got more frequent, I upped the dose, but in the end Afib got me, as I couldn't take enough to keep my heart steady. Got diagnosed with Afib and put on Bisoprolol. I discovered Mag Taurate last year and found that helped to prevent wobbly rhythms from going into full blown heart- flip-flopping-in-my-chest Afib with a high pulse rate. Recently I've become an avid watcher of the calming Dr Sanjay Gupta, the York Cardiologist, on YouTube, and he recommended a specific Mag Taurate:it's Fully Reacted/Chelated and not just buffered, and it makes a huge difference to me! My heart feels MUCH more stable, and I've only been having 1-2x monthly Afib episodes, so although it comes from America (Cardiovascular Research Ltd) and is expensive, it's my new best friend! So, the most effective is Magnesium Taurate, but Fully Reacted, not just in the same capsule as! Hope this helps!

Pigleywigley profile image
Pigleywigley in reply to Ribbony

I have that one too ribbony gamechanger!

Thank you so much!Well done.

Pigleywigley profile image
Pigleywigley in reply to Figbar

Thank you πŸ™

Thank you for posting Pigley, that’s very motivational. I’m still exploring lifestyle changes. Thought I’d cracked it after several months without an episode, then had 6 in a month over ChristmasπŸ™„ not giving up though! Your positivity is great to hear. Congratulations to you.

Love your username btw 😊

Thanks threecats! Mines is linked to my piggy 🐷 wigglies (white Staffordshire bull terriers who are a bit piggy pink belly like). I understand how frustrating and upsetting that is. I hope your heart settles.

Goof for you!πŸ‘

Sorry, that should be good! Finger trouble:)

Pigleywigley profile image
Pigleywigley in reply to bassets

Ha ha I can be a bit goofy 😜

Thank you πŸ™

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