Atrial Fibrillation (AF) and You

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Healthy Living and AF

Healthy Living and AF

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As someone with AF, there are a number of stroke risk factors that you can reduce by eating a healthy diet. For example, eating the right diet can:

  • Help lower your blood pressure
  • Help reduce your cholesterol
  • Help you control your weight
  • Help reduce the risk of other conditions such as diabetes

If you are on Warfarin, you need to be mindful of the vitamin K content in food, because this has a knock-on effect on INR levels, and this in turn affects your dose of Warfarin. It is important to keep a healthy and relatively consistent diet. You should not try to change your International Normalised Ratio (INR) level by regularly altering your diet as this may lead to poor INR control.

Exercise and AF

Exercise is an important component of a healthy lifestyle and exercising according to a paced approach at a level with which you are individually comfortable is sensible from a cardiovascular and emotional perspective. Prolonged periods of inactivity can be as harmful as overly strenuous exercise: moderation is the key.

The best thing to do is to listen to your own body. While some people are comfortable with running marathons, others may feel better going for a slow walk. As we know with AF, nothing is black and white, and the same rules do not apply to everybody. Exercise is an important part of a healthy lifestyle but exercising at a level with which you are individually comfortable is very important from a cardiovascular perspective.

The psychological impact of AF

Everyone experiences stress in life and sometimes this can lead to symptoms of anxiety and depression. The medical community are increasingly beginning to understand that living with any long-term medical condition will add stress and worry. There are a number of therapies which can help to reduce stress and teach us how to manage stress and worry. Below, you will find a list of some of the therapies which can help and explain how the therapy addresses issues to help support you in living with your condition.

We all experience stress, and at times it can feel overwhelming. If you think you need help, support or advice, then talk with your local health care professional for advice on how to access support and try some of the therapies we have outlined for you.

For more information, contact AF Association at info@afa-international.org

For more information about healthy living with AF, including information about diet, exercise, mindfulness, yoga and other therapies, please visit our website here www.heartrhythmalliance.org/afa/uk/booklets

Content on HealthUnlocked does not replace the relationship between you and doctors or other healthcare professionals nor the advice you receive from them.

Never delay seeking advice or dialling emergency services because of something that you have read on HealthUnlocked.