How to workout with an irregular heart beat?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 25, 2009 12:26 AM GMT
    Okay so I posted a topic about 2 days ago in regards to doing too much cardio and gaining weight instead of loosing it.

    Well yesterday I found out that I have an irregular heart beat. So my question today is how do I work out safely and effectively?
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    Aug 25, 2009 12:38 AM GMT
    Very carefully. See a doctor.
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    Aug 25, 2009 12:40 AM GMT
    Yeah you should talk to your doctor, and also seek a prefessional trainer who is able to assist you with that. Be careful, but you can still maintain yourself fine icon_smile.gif.
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    Aug 25, 2009 3:21 AM GMT
    DOH!! See a qualified health care professional! What did you THINK the answer was? Jeeze. Engage brain before keyboard. You're making yourself look silly.

    Lots of folks have some degree of arrhythmia, which, for many, is inconsequential, but, we know nothing about yours. You're asking the wrong question in the wrong place.

    You need to learn everything there is to know about your condition, and surround yourself with experts, and a plan for success. A BBS is not the place to do that.

    Start here:

    http://www.medicinenet.com/arrhythmia_irregular_heartbeat/article.htm
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    Aug 25, 2009 3:44 AM GMT
    Well tgat seemed a little nasty. But I wasn't asking how to treat it or workout with it. I was just wondering if anyone knew any exercises that I could do to stay in shape and be safe.

    I did talk to a docor otherwise how would I know I had an irregular heart beat. But he told me to see a personal trainer and I am away from home for the next 3 weeks and do not wanna start getting comfortable with a personal trainer only to leave.
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    Aug 25, 2009 10:50 AM GMT
    One of the most stressful aspects of being a team physician is clearing an athlete to participate in sports safely. Cardiac issues are extremely complex and can be a nightmare.
    There are all types of arrhythmias; some benign and others lethal. Arrhythmias that occur because of exercise are more worrisome. Before a cardiologist clears an athlete for exercise, he needs to rule out structural heart disease. The echocardiogram (not an EKG) is a powerful tool used by the cardiologist. Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy ( HCM or HOCM) is the most common cause of sudden death in the young athlete. When football practice starts this fall, there will be several deaths from HCM in high school athletes. It is important to know what arrhythmia you had, and was the workup negative. It sounds like you need to get more info from your physician. A conscientious trainer would want to know what the cardiac problem was before suggesting exercises.
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    Aug 25, 2009 12:44 PM GMT


    I have a potentially lethal combination of cardiac arrhythmia and neurologically mediated blood pressure dysregulation. I had been misdiagnosed as epileptic until seven years ago when I was working with my trainer in London, collapsed with cardiac arrest and fractured my skull.

    Once the doctors used a bunch of tests (stress tests, echocardiogram, tilt tabel test, and an electro physiology study) to figure out what the problem was, I had a pacemaker implanted and started on a course of medicines which have virtually eliminated my symptoms. I am now able to participate in any activity I wish. The only limit I need to observe is an upper boundary on my pulse because trying to stop activity which pushes my pulse of over about 160 can provoke a rapid fall in my pulse (which the pacemaker can handle) as well as a crash in my blood pressure, which is harder to control and can lead to all kinds of problems. Figuring out what would be safe was a gradual process. For several months I could only work out in a gym at a cardiac rehab program while being monitored, with an exercise physiologist at arms length.

    My advice to you: proceed with an abundance of caution until you and your doctor are able to understand very clearly what sort of arrhythmia you have, what is causing it, if it can be treated and the likely effect of exercise on it. If you are not already seeing one, I would suggest that you find a very good electrophysiologist - a doctor specializing in cardiac rhythm issues.

    Cardiac arrhythmia can range from inconsequential to lethal so you need to understand what is going on. And you need to curtail any strenuous exercise until you have the all clear from your doctor.

    Best of luck.
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    Aug 25, 2009 1:46 PM GMT
    Hey, man. I am a medical student. I'm also fantatic about keeping in shape, and I also have a chronically irregular heart rate. You always have to be careful with heart conditions and working out, obviously. But, chances are your arrythmia is completely benign. If you have a serious problem, you would most likely be having symptoms....fainting, palpitations, chest pain, shortness of breath, etc. The truth is, many young people, boys especially, have irregular heart rates. Athletes tend to have slow heart rates and therefore will often have extra beats, especially when taking in a deep breath. When they begin to exercise, the heart rate rises and is completely regular.

    So, if you haven't had symptoms, you're probably fine. You might want to ask for a basic EKG if you haven't already, just to rule out a cardiomyopathy. Here's a little test you can do....next time you climb a few flights of stairs, just feel your carotid pulse. It should be a regular rhthym, and you shouldn't feel light-headed or excessively short of breath. Another question for you is how much caffeine/ alcohol do you drink? They are both extremely excitatory to the heart. While small doses of caffeine can help you have a good workout, too much will make you dehydrated, shaky and your heart fluttery.

    So, if you're feeling fine and your EKG and blood pressures are normal, then you should be free to do whatever exercise you like. Your young, healthy heart will be able to accomodate the increased workload, and you probably won't even notice the arrythmia. Stay very well hydrated! Dehydration can make your heart "skippy". And of course, back down if you're feeling light headed! Hope this helps!

    Benjamin
  • jrs1

    Posts: 4388

    Aug 25, 2009 1:55 PM GMT

    I'd say: welcome to the gym ... but don't git crazy ...

    have as much fun as you can with what you've got:

    Jon McLaughlin - Beating My Heart:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=foA0CFgu08M&feature=related
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    Aug 25, 2009 2:26 PM GMT
    It sounds like your Doctor sucks if he diagnosed you with the irregular heart rate and sent you on your way. But he would be the one to further answer your questions to make sure you are doing things that are safe for you.

    I would suggest if he didn't answer those questions get a referral to a cardiologist and let one check you out. And if you go to one that runs a big practice, they will have personal trainers and others on staff that do rehab work that could probably answer all of your questions with some authority and give you some piece of mind.
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    Aug 25, 2009 2:48 PM GMT
    Did you see a cardiologist? If not, do so. The doctor's advice to talk it over with a personal trainer does not sound liek the best advice to me.

    I requested a regular checkup with a cardiologist a few years ago due to family history with heart problems. I was dianosed with an iregular heartbeat and a few years later I was diagnosed with atrial fibrilation which is serious stuff. I have undergone a procedure to fix that but still have regular checkups.

    Get yourself a thourough check-up by a cardiologist (EKG, stress test etc) and if the doctor you spoke to is a cardiologist I would strongly reccommend you find another one.

    Good luck and let us know how it goes.
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    Aug 25, 2009 9:47 PM GMT
    Yea the doctor isn't my actual doctor just a friend who is a doctor in Chicago and was visiting. So further diagnosing or treatment wasn't really up to him. He did of course recommend I see my home doctor, but the trainer while I am away.

    I think besides the severity of it it's the 4 generations of family history that worry me.

    But thank you all for your advice I appriciate it very much.
  • JHunter

    Posts: 41

    Aug 25, 2009 10:10 PM GMT
    Hey VU I can see your concern when somone tells you that something is abnormal especially when it comes to cardiac issues but more than likely there is nothing to worry about. Of course the first recommended action would be to see a cardiologist but sinus arrhythmia, also called sinus dysrhythmia, is very common in people under tha age of 25 and is a completely normal variant. With this abnormality your heart rate will increase with inspiration and decrease with expiration. Since it has a pattern it is referred to as regularly irregular in the cardiac world but there is no hemodynamic compromise or in other words it has no negative effect on cardiac function and blood circulation. No treatment is actually needed if this is the case and there are no restrictions on exercises. So go to a cardiologist to get some piece of mind just to make sure its not something else.
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    Aug 25, 2009 10:39 PM GMT
    I live with ventricular tachycardia, fast heartbeat where the bottom heart chambers can quiver, not allowing the top chambers to collect enough blood before sending it back to the body. The condition is controlled by medication loaded with side effects. I'm allowed to do everything I've always done, but the competitive edge is gone and the workouts have become WORK. If you want to be around for a while, see the cardiologist, get a full workup, and learn what needs to be done to keep living.

    The fun part of this, if there is one, is that a nice bulge is carried in the chest. Everybody likes to grab a feel.
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    Aug 25, 2009 11:40 PM GMT
    Seek professional help.

    I have the same issue too. The only issue, my doctors were no help. They told me not to exercise at all or do any heavy lifting- ever.

    So I just take lots of pottasium and keep active anyway. It actually makes my heart feel better.