Running With AFib

Posted by Ashley Griffin on May 09, 2014

Running With AFib

Running a great way to get yourself into shape, but did you know that there are more benefits from running than just weight loss? Running can also lead to the prevention of strokes, high blood pressure and osteoporosis. Running relieves your stress levels and eliminates depression which can positively influence your life. It is no wonder there are so many perks of running.

What about Atrial Fibrillation?

Atrial Fibrillation is the irregular beating of the heart.  For those who were once active runners or who are determined to start running, what do you do if you have Afib?  Many may think that speeding up the heart rate through exercise when you have Atrial Fibrillation will be counteractive to their health, but there is actually research now that supports exercising with Afib.

An article from WebMD by Morgan Griffin and James Beckerman, MD, presents evidence supporting exercising with Afib. Griffin and Beckerman suggest first consulting with you doctor and building a rehabilitative exercise plan specifically for your body. Once given the “OK” you are clear to start working exercising and running again.

How to Start

Doctors recommend starting slowly at first. When exercising with Afib, you want to take it easy at first and not overdo it. Remember, we are exercising to benefit our bodies not harm them. Doctors recommend starting with walking--about five to ten minutes a day. Each week, try adding on an additional minute to every walk in order to build up your endurance. Eventually, you can work up to the target goal of thirty minutes a day.

An important factor when beginning to work out again is checking your pulse. It is important to speak to your doctor and find your target heart rate as well as the danger zones for your heart. When exercising, keep track of your pulse and your heart rate and know what to do if you enter your body’s danger zones.

Lastly, be aware and know your symptoms. If you begin to experience breathlessness, pain or abnormal exhaustion, speak to your doctor immediately. You may need to reevaluate your exercise plan and slow it down for the health of your heart.

Don’t let Afib stop you from getting the most out of your life with a healthy mind and body from exercise!


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