Exercise After Your AFib Diagnosis?
Your heart is beating out of rhythm, fluttering like a trapped bird in your chest. You’ve just been diagnosed with atrial fibrillation (AFib), the most common type of heart arrhythmia. Suddenly, your usual jog through the park seems risky. Your daily laps in the pool now raise your pulse with anxiety rather than exercise. If even a gentle walk could trigger alarming palpitations, is it safe to work out at all?
You’re Not Alone in Your Hesitance.
Many AFib patients fear that physical activity could spur a cascade of chaotic heartbeats. So they shirk their gym routines and sink into the couch, nervously avoiding any exertion beyond a slow stroll.
Yet with the right precautions, most people with AFib can continue to safely exercise and reap the heart-healthy rewards. The key is choosing activities that gradually elevate your heart rate without overtaxing it. If you ease back into exercise, stay hydrated, and listen to your body, you can often keep up a modified fitness regimen tailored to your condition.
So take heart! With your doctor’s guidance and a little patience, you can break a sweat again despite your AFib. Let’s look at how to exercise safely after an AFib diagnosis.
Breaking a Sweat Over AFib Exercise.
An AFib diagnosis often leaves patients with swirling questions about how to safely raise their heart rate. But with the right precautions, you can usually keep up your workout routine or start a new one tailored to your condition.
Does your heart flip-flop between fast and slow rhythms?
Do simple tasks leave you breathless? If so, you’re not alone. Over 3 million Americans pace to the beat of atrial fibrillation (AFib), the most common heart arrhythmia.
While an active lifestyle wards off heart disease, many newly diagnosed AFib patients fear that exercise could trigger symptoms. So they nervily avoid their favorite spin class or neighborhood jog.
Yet with a doctor’s guidance, people with AFib can often continue exercising or ease back into it. Physical activity strengthens the heart muscle, controls risk factors like blood pressure, and relieves Atrial Fibrillation stress.
Let’s unpack how to exercise safely with Atrial Fibrillation.
Pace Yourself: Start slow to avoid AFib episodes, which leave you exhausted. Warm up longer, build up intensity gradually, and cool down completely.
Stay hydrated to avoid Atrial Fibrillation triggers like dehydration. Resist pushing to your max heart rate. Instead, talk with your doctor about a safe target heart rate zone.
Have a Plan: If symptoms do flare up, follow your doctor’s recommendations on using vagal maneuvers or medications to halt an AFib episode. Always carry emergency medications.
Exercising with AFib takes patience as you learn your limits. But with prudence, you can keep your workout rhythm going. Listen to your healthcare team and tune into your body, and soon exercising will feel natural again.
Important Points to note:
- Low-impact aerobic exercise like walking, swimming, stationary biking, and yoga are best exercising options. Avoid burst activities like sprinting or heavy weight lifting that spike your heart rate.
- One should stop exercising if they experience Atrial Fibrillation symptoms like palpitations, dizziness, or shortness of breath. Wait until the episode passes and consult your doctor before resuming activity.
- To avoid Afib symptoms during exercise, one should warm up longer, build up intensity slowly, stay hydrated, and avoid the maximum heart rate. Stop immediately if you feel fluttering or lightheadedness.
- If one’s Afib is poorly controlled, remember to take advice from doctor first. This can result in a better control over one’s Afib health.
The takeaway is clear:
With the proper precautions, most Atrial Fibrillation patients can continue to exercise and reap the considerable health benefits. Keep a close connect with your doctor for advices. Start slowly and pace yourself. Opt for smooth rhythmic workouts and avoid intensity spikes. Stay hydrated. Keep a watch on what your body is trying to tell you. Have a plan if AFib symptoms do occur during exercise. While it may take some trial and error at first, you’ll soon find a comfortable routine that keeps you active without triggering AFib episodes. Exercise is invaluable medicine when living with AFib, so take it one step at a time. With patience and prudence, you’ll be back on track to better health.
If you are looking to upgrade your heart monitoring device or have questions about arrhythmia, contact Atrial Fibrillation Centers of America, today by dialing (832) 478-5067 or give us a visit in Houston, TX.