Afib and running / exercise

Posted , 8 users are following.

Hi people....Canada here,

I have been dealing with Afib for six years. Five Cardio Versions and Two Ablations have got me to AFlutter. I am on Warfarin, Statins, Beta-blockers and Blood Pressure medication. Not dispirited at all, I have a great support network of Doctors and Cardiologists who are trying to nail this.

I'm an active Senior and want to get back to Cardio Vascular activity, running, hiking etc...but I get breathless and uncomfortable when starting off. I cut back my pace and eventually recover but I really want to 'up' my game.

My question is this....Any Senior athletes out there dealing with the same issues and if so, how do you deal with it?   Bill67

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9 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Canada, I'm a senior 71and used to hike but was unable to because I would get tired and out of breath. I'm on Eliquis and Diltiazem and statins! Had an cardiac ablation that didn't work so I now have a pacemaker and 100% better.

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  • Posted

    I hear you.  I've finally given up the long distance cycling and the jogging and have to content myself with walking .. and brisk walking when I can.  I feel for you..  I too made it to flutter (in and out).. I hate this condition..  I am on verapamil and xarelto.. No statins...  I lowered my cholesterol through diet.. (which if you are a serious cardio person would know all about).  Good luck!


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  • Posted


    For the past few months I was getting breathless & shortness of breath by doing very simple things.  

    1)  E.g. Bending down, picking something up, and then walking a few steps.  My Doctors told me to stop taking my Diabetes medications.  I had been on one Diabetes med, and then started on a new one after stopping the first med.  Now I’m off all of them.

    2) I have Aorta Stenosis.  My Aortic valve does not open all the way.  Therefore all my blood does not get thru the valve to energize all my organs.

    This problem was discovered after doing a procedure (echo sonargram of my heart).   A great diagnostic procedure to pick up structural damage of the heart.  Especially Stenosis of all the heart valves.

     If you haven’t had one, I recommend strongly to undergo a Sonargram of the heart.

    I hope my personal battle has shed some light on your problem. 


    AFIB Patient 

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  • Posted

    Hi Bill don't know  if I class as "senior" (61) and certainly would not describe myself as an "athlete" but I do enjoy sport and activity - have had paroxysmal AF for nearly 40 years but always self corrected within a week or so when episodes happened - had my first long term AF episode in April this year which lasted 3.5 months - had a couple  of cardioversions and 1 ablation in 2010 and may have another next year - am in UK and on Eliquis/ bisopropol / Multaq and a statin. Before the April 2017 episode played tennis and pickleball regularly and also did some jogging - since going back into NSR confidence took a bit of a hit but have been back playing tennis and pickleball again for the past  2 months- my cardiologist encourages as much activity as possible and my view is that both physically and psychologically it is a major benefit for me - must admit don't get breathless as you describe - always have the worry in  the back of the mind of going back into AF but then again the bad 3.5 month episode  I had in April 2017 started when I was asleep in bed!! Generally I have done much more exercise over the past 5 years and think it has been the best thing for me and my AF that I have done though everyone is different and obviously you have to listen to both your own body and also advice form your EP and Cardiologist  All the best - Peter

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  • Posted

    Thanks everybody for taking the time to reply to my query. Apologies for the late response, I'm a newbie and didn't realise I had replies until I started navigating around the site. I will be going thru' them in detail later today. Merry Xmas from the West Coast of Canada! 

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  • Posted

    Hi Bill,

    ?Yours is an interesting post as I was once a fit athlete specialising in 100 and 220 yards in school and university period.  Born in 1943, I was still running around chasing my dog after the millennium when a routine GP checkup found I needed my BP to be controlled with medication.

    ?This was the first time that this had been mooted but I accepted it as being necessary as everyone else seemed to be having to take meds to control BP on the basis it would reduce incidence of stroke and heart attack.

    ?What puzzled me was what was happening between being fit and athletic and then having to take meds to delay having morbid events (the medical term for something that kills you). This transition is noted by the fitness community as something they don't know how they will be able to deal with.

    ?Your case illustrates this conundrum so I am somewhat surprised that you have a network of doctors and cardiologists who haven't yet nailed it.

    ?As a scientist I am a stickler for scientific rigour and I whilst I tried to cooperate with my GP I kept note of my body's response to a range of medications some of which sent me close to morbid events and others which have proved remarkably effective in restoring a degree of fitness. I even used a chest strap fitness monitor to prove that drugs that were supposed to be controlling my BP were in fact significantly reducing my fitness.

    ?My body has thus become my research lab and I have accumulated a range of monitoring devices to get some answers to issues arising from puzzled health professionals when checking my vital signs.

    ?My medical history is a long story but I am currently on beta-blockers, anti-coagulants, anti-arrhythmics and two diuretics. Some of my contributions to Patient have met with progress in recognising medical symptoms to support a diagnosis by the medical profession.

    ?Reply getting a bit long now so that's probably all that's worth saying for now.



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  • Posted

    I am 88 years of age. my heart attack was seven years ago followed by 4 vessel bypass. I the developed paroxysmal a- fib with mild attacks continuing unto this day.

    between then and now, i developed a-flutter which led to an ablation which was botched by using a wrong size catheter with forceful bleeding which the solitary nurse in the recovery room could not stem.i insisted that the electrophysiologist return to monitor me and additional nurses were deployed. it It was two months later when i developed a DVT that he confessed his error. Ten days in patient treatment and all was corrected.This happening in a hospital which is routinely in the top 10 U.S teaching hospitals.

    I have always persisted in vigorous instructor led physical workouts. Thre one hour water exercises plus two per week one hour land execises.

    The gymn is five minutes away and never crowded.

    The cost of these expertly and skillfully led training sessions is one dollar aweek.

    For three years i have been the only man that stayed the course. The 15 women who regularly attend complain that there husbands will not exercise.

    We laugh and joke but attend always despite the sometimes inclement weather. i believe the regular exercise plus a careful diet and absence of drinking and smoking  assists in managing the a-fib.

    my strength is dwindling but i will always keep up the exercise and food restraint.

    i hope this account helps.My mind remains strong though delayed word recall is begiining to occur. My hobbies are scholarly pursuits and advanced amateur photography mainly shot from my porch. we have a large back yard and abundant wild life as my subjects

    .Walking and balance are becoming an issue which is limiting.

    I am blessed with a wife who loves me deeply and acts as my guide, nurser and helper.

    So mind, body exercise and fun and jollity at the gymn helps too.

    with not feeling alone.The women nver stop talking ,laughing and singing.This does not interfere with the hard instructor led routines.

    I see my cardiologist twice a year but for reasons unclear to me he gave me his private cell number with instruction to call 24/7 in 2010..

    i have not ever called but my daughter did one one when i developed serious to me -fluuter . this led to an ablation which has worked.

    i am indeed very fortunate as a U.S. medicare patient. No private care.

    Again this is just one man's experience but i hope the information helps others.

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  • Posted

    Inmy previous post i neglected to mention that i was averse to physical exercise from age 15 on, when in playing rugby football i had the heck kicked out o f me since i was only 5 feet 5 inches and twelve stone. 

    Thereafter my pursuits professionally and privately were reading books while sitting on a couch for 8 hours a day for 40 years.

    i only adapted to a rigorous execise programm, when my my cardiologist, advised exerise , eat  right or die.

    thankfully i heeded his advice.

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