Can I Exercise if I Have Afib?

Exercise can be helpful if you have afib, but there are several precautions you should take before starting an exercise program. First and foremost, you should consult with your doctor and together work out an exercise program that fits your unique situation and medical condition. Second, when you begin your program, remember to start slow and watch for warning signals that indicate you should slow down or stop. Below are some tips for those with afib who want to exercise to help improve their physical conditioning but want to be sure their afib is in control.

Before beginning any exercise program, you should meet with your cardiologist and together design an exercise plan specifically for you. Based on the characteristics of your condition, your doctor may limit the types and extent of your exercises, ask you to monitor your heart while you exercise, or even, suggest you exercise at a medical, physical therapy facility where the staff is familiar with treating afib patients. The skilled physicians at Arrhythmia Centers of America can work with you to see that, not only is your afib treatment plan appropriate, but your exercise program fits your diagnosis. Dr. Shanti Bansal, Houston’s top electrophysiologist, can provide expert guidance in all phases of afib conditioning.

Exercising with afib means you must manage your workout program taking into consideration that your heart is less efficient than normal. During afib, your heart is not able to pump an adequate supply of blood to your body. As a result, you may experience some or all of the following symptoms. Should you experience any of these, you should stop or slow down. While exercising you should watch for:

–    Lightheadedness

–    A sense you may be about to faint

–    Excessive sweating

–    Chest pain

–    Dizziness

–    Greater than normal shortness of breath.

Any of these symptoms may mean your body is warning you to slow down or discontinue exercising completely. Paying attention to these signals is essential.

Also, there are many common-sense steps you should follow as you begin your exercise program. Some of the most important are listed below:

–    Begin your exercise program slowly,

–    Gradually increase your plan but keep it at a light to a moderate level,

–    Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated,

–    Avoid becoming overheated

–    Alternate between low and medium levels of exercise.

–    Avoid exercises, such as weight training, which involve intervals of excessive straining. These types of exercises could put unhealthy stress on your heart.

An intelligent and carefully planned exercise program can be helpful for those with afib. If you are considering beginning an exercise program, make an appointment with Dr, Bansal at Arrhythmia Centers of America to discuss the pros and cons of exercising and to develop a customized exercise program to fit your particular requirements. In addition, should you believe you have afib, you should make an appointment with Dr. Bansal for an evaluation and diagnosis. Based on your test results, should you have afib, he will develop a treatment plan designed just for you. And, if appropriate, together you can create a personalized exercise program to fit your diagnosis. Give our office a call to schedule an appointment, 832-478-5067.

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