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Is it safe to lift heavy weight when suffering from A-fib?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2010
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I am a 75 year old female. I work out and often lift small weights. Very athletic - still downhill ski and am a very keen gardener - huge garden in the country with garden tours. So I do a lot of lifting and shovelling. I have a fib and my present cardiologist, who is not very talkative, says that I shouldn't be lifting anything heavier than a sheaf of papers. Is she right? I don't want to sit in a rocking chair and knit.
Posted Thu, 13 Mar 2014 in Heart Rate and Rhythm Disorders
 
 
Answered by Dr. Manjeth Kumar G 2 hours later
Brief Answer: Aerobic exercises. Watch for Pulse. Start slowly. Detailed Answer: Hello, I have gone through your query and understand your concern. Yes. As your Cardiologist said, you should not lift heavy weight or Heavy and strenuous work like shoveling. But you can do Aerobic exercises and walking regularly. But it should be build up gradually. My advice is to start walking for 5 to 10 minutes a for a week. Then add a minute or two each week and so. If there is no symptoms, you can walk regularly for 30 minutes a day for 5 days a week. Then add Jogging like activities for 5 to 10 minutes in between the walking and then add a minute or two and so on each week. Exercise until you feel warm and slightly out of breath. Your ultimate goal is to exercise aerobically 30 minutes a day 5 days a week. Watch your heart rate while exercising, if it is high, then better stop and stay the activity below that level for a week or more and then increase slowly. Stop exercising when ever you feel any chest pain, palpitation, breathlessness or dizziness. Keep hydrated while exercising. Stretch before and after exercising. Hope this helps. Please write back for further queries. Wishing you good health.
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Follow-up: Is it safe to lift heavy weight when suffering from A-fib? 6 hours later
Thank you for your reply. Howevever as I stated earlier I am quite active and regularly walk more than 10000 steps every day. I walk my 2 dogs 4 times a day. So I don't need to build up slowly for aerobic exercise. I'm already there. My question now is - how many pounds can I lift at a time? Can I build up the weight gradually as you suggest for aerobic exercise? I have never smoked and am a vegetarian who eats fish. Thanks for your comments.
 
 
Answered by Dr. Manjeth Kumar G 24 hours later
Brief Answer: Exercise tolerance is individualized... Detailed Answer: Hello, Weight lifting and physical exercise has no fixed limits. Every individual has varied level of tolerance to activities and exercise. You should discover the upper limit under an expert physical trainer. I would try using a heart rate monitor similar to the ones fixed on treadmill to discover my tolerance. Any exercise / weight lifts that raises my heart rate above 100 is to be avoided. I am sure your doctor did not mean you need to restrict all physical exercise. You can continue walking and other aerobic exercise as long as you are comfortable. Hope this helps. Please write back for further queries. Wishing you good health.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: Is it safe to lift heavy weight when suffering from A-fib? 38 hours later
Thanks for your reply. Last night I spent 5 hours in emergency at the hospital because of chest pains. After a bunch of tests they told me that there are no problems at present with my heart. However I still have chest pains. Why?
 
 
Answered by Dr. Manjeth Kumar G 2 hours later
Brief Answer: Plenty of causes. GERD, Costochondritis, Anxiety, Detailed Answer: Hello, First i have to explain that Chest pain is not only caused by Heart Problems. Apart from causes pertaining to Heart, there are plenty of non cardiac causes which may cause the chest pain. This also some times cause pain similar to cardiac pain. Some common causes which i have come across are 1. Gastroesophageal reflex disease ( GERD). This is due to irritation of lower esophageal by reflex of acidic gastric contents. 2. Costochondritis- This is due to the inflammation of are where the ribs join with breast bone 3. Peptic ulcers- Ulcers in stomach and first part of intestine. this also cause the non cardiac chest pain. This is most common in peoples who are smokers or alcoholic or on pain killers 4. Anxiety and stress Here i have to explain some alarming cardiac symptoms which you might aware along with chest pain are 1. A sudden feeling of pressure, squeezing, tightness, or crushing under your breastbone. 2. Chest pain that spreads to your jaw, left arm, or back. 3. Sudden sharp chest pain with shortness of breath, especially after a long period of inactivity. 4. Nausea, dizziness, rapid heart rate or rapid breathing, confusion, ashen color, or excessive sweating. 5. Very low blood pressure or very low heart rate. 6. Pain that are not relieved by anti-inflammatory medications. If you have these symptoms associated with chest pain, then you should go to ER and take further tests like Electrocardiogram and Echocardiography etc. Hope this helps. Please write back for further queries. Wishing you good health.
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Follow-up: Is it safe to lift heavy weight when suffering from A-fib? 1 hour later
Thank you.
 
 
Answered by Dr. Manjeth Kumar G 7 minutes later
Brief Answer: Thank you very much for appreciating my replies. Detailed Answer: Hi. Thank you very much for appreciating my answers. Please let me know if you have any further queries. Wishing you good health.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
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