I have been staying in a lot lately, to be honest I want to go out but I'm still worried about having another AF attack if I overdo it - and there lies my problem, what is classed as overdoing it when you have AF.

I'm on a blood thinner and a Beta Blocker, my heart is on the whole at a good steady beat, with an occasional hic cup - and I need to get some exercise and get out of this flat before I go loopy - but I'm afraid.

I need to be out getting some fresh air, and exercise, and I could do with shedding some weight too, I am piling on the pounds stuck indoors and confort eating - but what exercise can I do and how much?

They say you should do 25 mins of exercise that raises your heart rate and brings on a sweat - I'm afraid if I raise my heartbeat it is just going to keep on going and I'll end up back in A&E with my heart doing the Hokey Cokey again.

Any ideas / advice please

Babs x

17 Replies

  • I have AF, but to be honest I never really think about what we should do. I don't know if there is an answer. Maybe try BHF website for advice.

    I just take it that I do as much as I can do while being sensible listening to my body.

    When I was at rehab from my bypass. They knew I had AF, but they still got me to work to my capabilities. If I felt I could push myself a little bit more, then that was what they advised me to do.

    They didn't advice that I had to monitor my heart rate. Well other than the couple of checks they automatically do mid exercise and at the end of the session.

    Maybe consult with your cardiac team or your GP, just to be on the safe side.

    Good luck, Jo 😊

  • H Jo,

    I have made an appointment to see my GP and have written down the things that are really bothering me - and fingers crossed I may get some answers.

    I need to start doing my homework and start looking around to see what groups etc there are locally that I can join to build my confidence in myself and my body - I have seen a notice board at the surgery with loads of leaflets etc attached about various different support groups - I may find something there so I don't have to exercise alone. In the meantime I am getting this old body moving by dancing in the living room to all my favourite tunes.

    Thank you so much for responding I really do appreciate it.

    Babs x

  • Aww bless you, go girl 😊

  • Hi Babs, i think all of us have felt similar to you, terrified of what if and the consequences. Have you been to a cardio rehab class? If not and you get the chance do go, as Sina says you get a good handle on what your body can do. If not let's see what we here can do to urge you on a little.

    Let's start with a little easy paced walking, no you don't have to work up a sweat, you just need to pace yourself so you can walk talk and breathe. If you can't talk and yes talk to your self then you are going too fast so slow down. Set yourself a weekly target, say 20 minutes this week daily, 22 next week, 25 the week after and so on. See how your af is as you do it, if it's bothering you stop rest and breathe.

    Keep a diary, how far how many days, minutes etc. Take some pictures of yourself, weekly or monthly look at the difference, keep us informed, we have a fitbit walking group if you have one of these you are welcome to join.

    Most of all listen to your body, that's easily said but there will be good days and days when you feel like you can conquer Everest, followed by days when you are so tired you can not even lift your head.

    Good luck let us know how you get on


  • Hi there Mark, I have read everyones posts and advice - such caring and understanding people - it feels good knowing there are others who have felt like me and overcome the anxiety.

    I am going to start from a different angle now I have thought about it a bit, and stopped panicking. Me and my heart are going to dance, and see how we get on. I am in the process of downloading all my favourites from the 70's and 80's and I am going to dance in my living room - not the same as walking in the fresh air, but it's a start, and I feel less anxious about this than going out on my own.

    Thank you for your support - I will let you know how I get on.

    Babs x

  • Great idea :)

  • fabulous idea, enjoy

  • Hi there,

    I am 22 days post op and went into AF 3 times in hospital also.its very scary isn't it and am on beta blockers and wafarin also like you now.

    I was told in there and since that really not to worry too much about it,it can come on,reverse itself or may never again..and to ring for advice if it does start.

    I would go with how you are feeling or been advised for walking.i am and not letting AF come into my rehab at home.

    I have noticed the more i worry about " whats that heart beat'? that my heart rate rises.

    Take care

    Jenny x

  • Hello Jenny,

    It is a vicious circle isn't it - the more i think about and concentrate on my heart rate - the more I think it's on the rise - this blessed Tinnitus doesn't help as I can hear my pulse all the time, a constant reminder.

    I have been thinking about what else I could do rather than attempt the walk on my own - and I think I have come up with a plan. I have always loved dancing and music, so I am going to push back the sofa, put on some good old 70's and 80's music and have a dance round the room - and see how I feel - put my toe in the water so to speak.

    If the Smiths don't get me moving then nothing will - haha

    I will post how I get on. Thank you again, for caring.

    Babs x

  • Yay, I love the Smiths! Can't stop singing What Difference Does It Make now I've read this :) :) :)

  • Sounds like a great plan

    Enjoy 😊😊😊 x

  • I don't have AF but I know I was anxious about going out after I got my ICD fitted. I tackled it by doing nice things that I enjoyed and that were not too physically demanding. I spent a lot of time in the cinema. Sometimes I texted a friend (who I knew wouldn't be worried) to tell her exactly where I was, what cinema, what screen, and to call for help if she hadn't heard from me by a certain time. Needless to say, I never required that service but it gave me the confidence I needed to get out and about on my own in those early weeks. It will take time to regain confidence in your body but I'm sure you will eventually. Be kind to yourself, push yourself out of your comfort zone without making yourself too anxious/miserable and maybe seek some specific guidance about getting active again. Best of luck x

  • Hello Laura,

    It is so kind of you to share your coping strategies - I feel such a wimp getting so worked up about just taking a walk up the road on my own - I am missing my anxiety meds so much, but I can't take them now as they would clash with my new meds.

    I will persevere.

    Thanks again for caring.

    Babs x

  • You're definitely not a wimp! Anyone would feel anxious in your situation and if you were previously on medication for anxiety, that's obviously going to make it even tougher. I was diagnosed with my heart condition nearly six years ago and spent at least three (four?) years of that being terrified. I am much less worried now, but still have the odd blip of panic. I think that's only to be expected.

    Coping strategies are the way to go, definitely, and I'm sure you must have some good ones of your own if you've been living with anxiety. I took much persuading (think I nearly drove my psychologist mad!) but I've realised now that the best way to overcome my fears is to face them - avoiding doing what scares you just makes it all the scarier.

    Sounds to me like you know what you need to be doing anyway and this forum is great for giving you a supportive nudge whenever you need it, so just ask. Keep on keeping on :)

  • Hi Babs - keeping active and keeping your weight down is really important when you have a heart condition. I can definitely understand why you're anxious, but start off slowly and build up your confidence. Your beta blocker should help keep your heart rate from going too quickly, but if you notice you're getting more symptoms of AF then see your GP and they might want to increase your dose.

    You can a read of our quick guide to being more active here:

    I hope this helps,


  • Hello Chris,

    Thank you for your advice and support - I know I need to get out and get some exercise and fresh air, and before this all happened I was always on the go, but I am finding it really difficult - and I feel such a dipstick when I read on here of the life changing illness some folk have had to come to terms with.

    This morning I set off for town ( only a 10 minute walk) - I got to the corner of the road and broke out in a cold sweat listening to my heart rate starting to rise ( I have Tinnitus, and can hear my own pulse) I must have stayed there a good 10 minutes or more trying to decide what to do for the best - and in the end I turned round and came home again - got in the flat and burst into tears - what on earth is happening to me?

    I know I have to get over this hurdle and so I will persevere - it's a lovely afternoon here by the sea, so I am going to set out again afer lunch - wish me luck.

    Thank you again

    Babs x

  • It's all relative Babs - you shouldn't feel bad because someone might be worse off than you. When you're facing a long term health condition you need to start thinking about yourself more!

    It sounds like your biggest issue is confidence rather than your heart condition. Don't expect to be 100% again so quickly - take it easy and do what you can. You've already done 20 minutes today! It's a great start, and it looks like you're pretty determined to do another 10/20 minutes this afternoon.

    I hope you have a lovely walk by the sea. Enjoy your surroundings, take your time and soon it'll all be routine again.

    Take care, Chris

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