Bike riding with Atrial Fibrilation

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Bike riding with Atrial Fibrilation

Postby richiec » Fri May 06, 2011 4:14 pm

Hi All,

I have trawled through all five pages of Cycling Health looking for info on riding a bike when you have been diagnosed with Atrial Fibrillation (irregular heartbeat).

I found out about this condition a couple of months back and am currently seeing a cardiologist and undergoing a bunch of different diagnostic tests – echo cardiograms, Holter monitor sessions etc.

I am a 40yo bloke, mainly riding a bike for a commute only – about 16kms per day, so pretty short. Plus the occasional 40/50km weekender. Since finding out, I’ve basically put the bike in the corner and have been public transporting, for fear of ‘over-doing it’ and pushing the heart rate max too high. Even though the commute is short, it’s fairly hilly (Neutral Bay into the city CBD) and I do have a liking for ‘pushing it’.

I have a heart rate monitor which just goes into meltdown when I ride, and doesn’t give any sort of regular read out so I don’t bother with it.

I don’t really feel any of the ‘classic’ symptoms, such as shortness of breath or dizziness – frankly, I feel really pretty normal (but I may have been living with this ‘normal’ for so long, that it, well, feels normal!)

I’ve spoken to the cardiologist about it and so far he’s basically said, ‘yep, take it fairly easy until all tests are in and we know for sure what’s going on’. I am taking a beta blocker, as well as a daily aspirin (blood thinner) and a cholesterol lowering tablet also. I am back to the cardiologist next week for a rundown and will enquire more specifically then.

I am not especially after ‘direction’ on the forums here, but am curious to know if other bike riders out there have faced this issue, how you dealt with it and managed the AF in terms of exercise and cycling.

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Re: Bike riding with Atrial Fibrilation

Postby gtfpv cycler » Fri May 06, 2011 4:32 pm

mate i havent been through this but , just on what you are saying , you dont know how long you've had it , therefore relax and follow doctors orders untill then , if you've had it all your life , then you might have nothing to lose , if you've just got it , you might need to get it sorted . my wifes grand mother was diagnosed with that at age 20 , she lived till 86.

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Re: Bike riding with Atrial Fibrilation

Postby sogood » Fri May 06, 2011 4:38 pm

AF has nothing special that relates to cycling. As long as you are cleared for exercises and is safe on the road (risk to others), then there's nothing that stops you from riding a bike. Of course, it's wise to learn about trigger factors for your condition and avoid it. Carry IDs with you in case you need it whilst out.
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