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. 
  • mooney422
    mooney422, October 6,  2017  12:41pm EST
    Mellanie at StopAfib.org: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.MellanieI have pulmonary hypertension, and sleep apnea. If I walk for approximately 25 feet, my heart rate goes up high, 120 -135. I then stop sit down measure pulse again. After 5 minutes it is below 100. I am hoping to lose weight cause I am overweight. I may still have the problems but I may recover quicker. Some referred me to youtube to do chair yoga. It was bad and it let me get some exercise. Three times  week, alternate with floor peddle. This is a start for me. I should started years ago.
  • Catosixtails
    Catosixtails, October 3,  2017  11:47am EST
    I find that exercise and a-fib are indeed very linked, particularly since my first major episode was on a day when I pushed myself too hard and did a hike I should not have taken on.  Most of my minor a-fib events are when I walk the dog in the morning, even though by most people's take I do not do much in the way of exercise.  Even at a moderate pace, and especially when doing hilly terrain, my heart rate will become erratic and boomerang between 130 and 90 without much regard to what I am doing at the moment, usually settling down a bit when I sit down for 10 minutes.  But when I start my day that way, I know it will be a day where I have numbers of minor a-fib episodes and that my heart rate will be elevated for most of the day.  I've come to the conclusion that yes, it would be better to do cardio work where my heart gradually elevates to a faster heartbeat and hold it for 10 or 20 minutes, but I queston whether exercising through erratic heartbeats isn't more harmful than helpful.  My heartbeat history is easy to track with a Fitbit during exercise (I have a Blaze) and I do think it would make sense for you to download what you can and take it to your doctor and ask that question.   It's also not a bad cheat for figuring out whether you have a disturbed sleep pattern, as you can similarly download and review your history of restlessness and wake ups.  This is all information that we have to help us track our heart health that was not readily available, and hopefully your doctor will have some insight and answer your questions if you bring him the data.
  • WC52
    WC52, September 24,  2017  4:29am EST
    Mellanie,​I agree. I've had my ablation in Feb. of this year and I'm still trying to find the right exercise to do. I get at least 10,000 steps a day and in some cases alot more. Trying is the key.
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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=
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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)
  • 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.
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