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Arrhythmias (Heart Rhythm Disturbances)
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Arrhythmias (Heart Rhythm Disturbances) and Exercise

Written by ColleenO, maria_rn.

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Having an arrhythmia may mean that you tire easily. However, physical activity still offers many potential benefits. You may have to limit and/or change your physical activities. Talk to your doctor about how much physical activity is appropriate for you.

If you are being treated for congestive heart failure, which often causes fatigue, an arrhythmia can worsen the condition, and correcting the arrhythmia may improve your symptoms.

Effect of Exercise on Arrhythmias (Heart Rhythm Disturbances)

How exercise affects your arrhythmia depends on what kind of exercise you're doing and what kind of arrhythmia you have. Talk to your doctor to figure out the right kind of activity for your condition.

Read more details about Exercise.

How to Use Exercise

To offer you the full range of benefits, your exercise program should include the major categories of exercise--aerobic (cardiovascular exercise), strength training (resistance exercises), and flexibility (stretching exercise). Within all of these major categories of exercise, there are a number of different options.

See the Exercise article for more information and tips on starting a regular exercise program.

Types of Professionals That Would Be Involved with This Treatment

In addition to consulting with your doctor, consider making an appointment with a certified athletic trainer to help you develop a safe, effective, and enjoyable exercise program. You can find a trainer at a local gym or through a referral from your doctor or a friend. Make sure this person understands your goals and health condition and can help you maintain an exercise program that you will enjoy and stick with.

If you are looking for other forms of movement, consider consulting someone like a yoga therapist, qi gong or tai chi instructor.

It is important to pick a type of exercise and durations that are compatible with your physical health. If you have a serious health condition, consult with your physician before starting an exercise program.

A health condition or injury may prevent you from engaging in certain types of exercise such as jogging or bike riding but walking. Gentler forms of movement such as stretching or yoga may still be safe and beneficial options.


American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine website. Available at: . Accessed September 4, 2008.

Exercise: how to get started. American Academy of Family Physicians website. Available at: . Published December 2006. Accessed September 4, 2008.

Health and fitness tips. American Council on Exercise website. Available at: . Accessed September 4, 2008.

Mayo Clinic. Stretching: focus on flexibility. Mayo Clinic website. Available at: Updated February 21, 2010. Accessed May 18, 2010.

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