Exercise Induced Arrhythmias

Abnormal heart rhythm brought on by exercise

Exercise Induced Arrhythmias

Arrhythmias are a condition that affects the heart, causing it to have an abnormal rate or rhythm of beats.

An arrhythmia occurs when the electrical impulses, which are in charge of regulating and directing the heartbeats in the heart, do not function properly; this can be too slow, too fast or irregular. A normal heart rate for adults, ranges from 60-100 beats per minute, however, athletes may have a resting heart rate of around 40; so it all depends on your general health.

It is a very common condition that is estimated to affect around 2 million British people every year. People that are diagnosed with this condition can usually lead a normal life. Although this is more common in older people, it can affect people of all ages.

Exercise-induced arrhythmia is a type of arrhythmia that is brought on by exercise.

During exercise your level of adrenaline increase, which can cause your blood pressure to rise. Adrenaline is released from a gland while you exercise, and help you to have a faster reaction. When the hormone is released it causes:

  • Fluttering sensation in your chest
  • A racing or lowered heart rate
  • Chest pains
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness or feeling lightheaded
  • Fainting
  • Excessive sweating

If you have arrhythmia it is important that you still exercise, as it is essential to a healthy lifestyle. However, it is also very important that you do it at a moderated rate to ensure that you do not trigger your arrhythmia. If you are unsure about what exercises you can and can’t do, then it may be a good idea to talk to a medical professional before you go ahead with it.

It may be helpful to undergo an exercise stress test which is done on a treadmill. This can help to determine if you have an arrhythmia that is brought on by exercise, or if your symptoms are caused by a different condition. This test can also help to gauge what level of exercise your heart can handle.

It is recommended that you start with just 10 minutes of exercise and then gradually build it up to ensure that your heart has time to get used to the exercise, and so that you can keep an eye on any effects that it is having on you.

Here are some tips that can help you to control your arrhythmia:

  • Working on reducing your blood pressure
  • Ensure that you have a healthy cholesterol level
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Avoid smoking and drinking
  • Have a diet that includes food that is good for the heart
  • Aim to do regular exercise