Keithb
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Keithb, September 10,  2017  1:14pm EST

Exercise and AFib

I was diagnosed with AFib around 2 years ago following Ziopatch monitoring. I had been expericing symptoms for at least one year prior to that. Follow the AFib diagnosis, it was also discovered that I had 5 blocked arteries--- thankfully now opened with medicated stents as of last Sept. I am now scheduled for a balloon ablation with my EP on Oct. 26th. AFib symptoms do seem to be triggered by moderate to intense cardio exercise. As a result, I too am hesitant, but am committed to continue walking and riding my bike. Now having just turned 70 years of age, I just have to remember to lower my exersion and heart rate to no more than 100 bpm. Thankfully, when an AFib episode begins, it's now usually milder and less impactful to my daily activities due to the medications. My date for ablation can't come too soon. 
  • jseitz
    jseitz, September 14,  2017  5:51am EST
    Hi, Keithb‍,Glad to hear that you're getting these issues under control and that they have minimal impact on your daily activities. I'm sure your post will be an inspiration to many!I know that walking and biking are popular activities for other community members, such as Rbrandt‍ and many others who've posted in this forum category. Best of luck for your ablation. Please check back in with any questions or to let us know how it goes!Regards,Jonelle (Community Management team member)
  • Keithb
    Keithb, September 14,  2017  8:52am EST
    Thank you. My AFib episodes do interrupt my daily activities due to waking during night-time episodes. As such, I am constantly tired and not rested during the following day. I try on most days (not all) to "fight" on through my tiredness because I know exercising my heart muscle will be better than giving into a more sedentary existence pending my ablation process-- one month from now. I've requested a date sooner, but my EP is booked solid. Prayers for healing to all.
  • Thumper2
    Thumper2, September 15,  2017  3:08am EST
    Keithb, have you checked to see if you have sleep apnea?  It has a negative effect on your Afib.  Maybe if you treat the sleep apnea, you will have fewer night-time Afib episodes.  I hope your ablation is a success.Thumper2 (Judy)
  • Keithb
    Keithb, September 21,  2017  10:08am EST
    Judy, I have been using a CPAP for sleep apnea since 2013. Surprisingly, my AFib symptoms, at least those that I could feel, started bothering me later that same year. I believe the two events were coincidental. But who knows. I've been conducting an "experiment" on myself for the past week-- not walking/biking. In that time, I have experienced 0 night time episodes and just a couple of brief (less than 1 or 2 minute) AFib events during the day. Interesting.I strongly believe exercise is still necessary, however, to maintain as much heart/caridovascular health as possible.  As such, I walked today for 15 min at a leisurely pace. We'll see.
  • Thumper2
    Thumper2, September 22,  2017  2:34am EST
    Keithb, good for you, for "experimenting" in a very modest way!  Keep us posted, as to how things go.  I'm also glad you still believe that exercise is necessary.All the best,Thumper2 (Judy)
  • fblauer
    fblauer, September 22,  2017  5:01am EST
    I have started exercising also, hoping that will help with my sleep apnea. I monitor my AHI, and it has gone way up since my episode with congestive heart failure. I also developed something called "Cheynnes-stokes" breathing. I went to see the sleep doctor, and he said the heart problems have to be treated first. Unfortunately, they won't do an ablation because the afib is being caused a medication that I am taking for my blood cancer (called imbruvica). Very frustrating.
  • Mellanie at StopAfib.org
    Mellanie at StopAfib.org, September 22,  2017  6:05am EST
    Keith,Exercise is an afib trigger for some people. Is it possible to get your steps dispersed throughout the day rather than all in one outing (maybe measured with a Fitbit or such)? It would be interesting to see if that would work differently than a single episode of exercise.Mellanie
  • Ileen
    Ileen, September 22,  2017  8:11am EST
    Melanie,  I am not trying to be a wise guy here, but if you do not do at least 10 min of cardio, ( heart rate elevated) at a time. You are not exercising your heart . You need 30-45 min a day  in at least 10 min intervals at a time to call it good for your heart. My Dr told me this. He said anything else is not doing you much good. I think 15 min at moderate walking is good!! I ride my bike, increasing pressure, then decreasing it every 2 min. Seems to work. My heart rate won't go up much because of Metoporol. I still hate that !!Take care all!!( stationary bike=
  • Keithb
    Keithb, September 22,  2017  8:14am EST
    Thanks Mellanie. I do have a Fitbit Charge 2. I like it mostly for the heart rate monitor. As I stated, I did walk yesterday in two 15 min. segments, in addition to just the routine walking around the house and errands. But last night for the first time in a week of not exercising, I experienced an AFib episode. I had just returned to bed after urination, layed down and could feel the episode start. Thankfully, because it was slight to moderate "fluttering" I was able to return to sleep. Periodically, I woke up and changed my position from back to R side or vice versa and was able to return to sleep. My Fitbit measured my sleep duration of 6 hrs.20 min. For me, that's mostly adequate for daily activities.
  • Mellanie at StopAfib.org
    Mellanie at StopAfib.org, September 23,  2017  9:04am EST
    Ileen,My comment was in regard to Keith's comment: "I've been conducting an "experiment" on myself for the past week-- not walking/biking. In that time, I have experienced 0 night time episodes and just a couple of brief (less than 1 or 2 minute) AFib events during the day. I strongly believe exercise is still necessary, however, to maintain as much heart/caridovascular health as possible.  As such, I walked today for 15 min at a leisurely pace. We'll see." My suggestion was another approach to Keith's experiment (I didn't say not to exercise forever). Without testing different things, Keith has no way of getting answers. Keith,Could dehydration be playing a role? Have you tried adding magnesium (glycinate or taurate) to your daily routine?Mellanie
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