Arrhythmia Alliance
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Endurance exercise

I'm not a competitive endurance athlete, but have swam, biked, other sports for ave 60min+ 2-3x per week on ave for since before age 10 (now 69) and have Atr flutter (prob since age 50/55 but not taken seriously by clinicians as asymptomatic and not easy to pick up w/out full multi-lead ecg - but I felt the slow and irreg pulse when fully relaxed (now always irreg)).

Still asymptmatic except for more awareness and that my max heart rate is down (resting irreg45, was reg55; max 135, was 190) - I train happily and quite fast and hard with others much younger.

Am on anti-fibrin thinner - apixaban and EP/cardiol may be considering ablation for me - but may have had this arrhythmia too long for success?

Thinking about exercise - I am considering more fast sprints with longer recovery might be better than endurance also maybe 4x 40mins per week total rather than 3x 60mins - I'm fairly sure there's little evidence out there. Whatever, like many others I wouldn't find it easy to just stop.

Anyway, have heard plenty of stories and very glad I don't have bad symptoms - my thoughts with those who do.

3 Replies

I don't think there is good evidence about what exercise regimes would be best. For my part I used to get af if I did a hill in my warm up run after rushing to arrive on time.

I think it's trial and error to find what suits you.

Wearing a heart rate monitor with a rate alarm helps alert me to when I'm back in af



I have similar situation. I was professional waterpolo player and still I'm playing in senior team. Also I make mounten biking 4-5 occasions per week. I dont have any symptom and I have flutter that was found by chance. Resting pulse in my case between 50-60. Even during the flutter the resting pulse is low as 60-70 bpm. Easy to understand why we don't have symptoms. Our heart still have a great cardiac reserve. Our heart can easily increase our heart rate during even sport activity. This is a vagally mediated flutter. If somebody has an aFib that is trigggered by the sympatic nerve system the resting heart rate during the attack is well above 100 bpm. So they dont have cardiac reserve.

The concern in our case is the amount of sport activity. Athletes (amateour or professinal) have more frewuently aFib. aFib might be symptom even of an overtraining. Unfortunately the recommended weekly activity is disappointly low. However there are no data about personal recommandations. I monitor my arrhytmias. Above 50 typically peoples have ectopic beats. These ectopics disappears at the beginning of bíking. That's good. But when arrhytmias show up again I stop biking. I suppose that is the point when I reached my work overload threshold.


i'm glad to have found posts with similar conditions to my own. I am 68 years of age, intermittently fit, and have suffered exercise induced bradycardia for 2 years. Since i had no symptoms this was not considered significant by the NHS. Having progressed to atrial flutter I had a cardioversion 3 months ago and now have permanent bradycardia ( bpm 46) and max heart rate of around 120bpm. I don't take any medication having stopped blood thinners 6 weeks after CV. I still have no symptoms and exercise extensively 3 times per week with no ill effects. Apart from being grateful to find people with similar situations I am concerned about how this condition might progress. Since the CV all my ectopics have disappeared and I would be unaware of any issue if I did not monitor my BPM. I have a kardia monitor but unfotrtunately it does not respond to BPM below 50. Nevertheless I can look at the trace and it looks ok. I am grateful to be symptom free and pleased to share experience with others with similar and more debilleting conditions. I hope to stay ahead of the curve and would like to stay in touch with those in a similar situation.


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