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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    How can an exercise physiologist help someone with atrial fibrillation?

    I suffer from atrial fibrillation. Can an exercise physiologist help me find safe ways to stay fit and healthy?
  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • Laith Cunneen


    ** Note: Obviously, it is essential that you consult your cardiologist before commencing any exercise program.
    Exercise physiologists possess a strong grasp of cardiovascular physiology and are particularly skilled in the prescription of exercise to manage a range of cardiovascular conditions. They have extensive training relating to the interaction of exercise, medications and the cardiovascular system.
    Atrial fibrillation is a condition characterised by chaotic, irregular atrial depolarisations (beats). Atrial fibrillation is associated with a range of co-morbidities such as coronary artery disease, heart failure and valvular disease, which increase the risk of heart attack and stroke. From an exercise physiology perspective, some other notable side effects include fatigue and decreased exercise capacity.
    An exercise physiologist can design and implement an individualised exercise program to assist you with the management of your condition. Typically, they will complete an initial assessment, which includes a thorough medical history and a comprehensive physical assessment.  The exercise physiologist will then analyse the results and design a program based on range of factors (including, but not limited to, your medications, co-morbidities, surgical history, previous injuries, current exercise capacity, exercise history and any other physical limitations). The main potential benefits of an exercise program for atrial fibrillation are the amelioration of fatigue, enhancement of exercise capacity and a decreased risk of cardiovascular events. 

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