Fins & Afib

I understand that working out with fins increases the HR.  Could it possibly cause an Afib episode?  At the end of July I ended up in ICU with a HR of 155.  Now I'm on medicine that I don't really want to be taking and wonder if it is necessary.  And I have had a loop monitor inserted.  I think it was stupidity on my part.  I had been having some heart racing episodes that I chalked up to anxiety:  moving/job change/caffeine.   Mentioned it to new family practice doctor.  EKG showed nothing.  3 week heart monitor showed nothing.  After 3 weeks of no swimming (due to monitor) I hopped in and swam 2,000 then decided to add fins and do another 1,000 alternating fast/easy.  Got in the shower and Afib hit.  I am now under the care of a good cardiologist BUT he is not a swimmer. I'm trying to make the case that the fins caused the Afib.  I've tried googling for information on any connection between race pace swimming with fins - and Afib but couldn't find much.  Thoughts? 

  • Stop trying to "make the case." If exertion puts you in Afib, whether that exertion involves fins or not, you need medication or an ablation or a pacemaker or some combination of those things. What you do not need is to ignore this warning and just push push push.

    I recommend that you read The Haywire Heart. Use it to ask your cardiologist questions and then listen to the answers.

    FWIW, I can work it with fins but my very highest workout HRs occur without fins. I also have a pacemaker.

  • Guilty!  Thank you for the book recommendation.  After reading the reviews, I ordered a copy. I am hopeful that it will help me to better understand how to move forward.  At the moment I'm nervous about getting my HR up as I don't want to experience Afib again!..

  • You might have to wait for a while, which will be tedious, but eventually the loop monitor should give your cardiology team the info they need to plan a good long-term solution. I know at least one swimmer who has had a successful ablation procedure for Afib. I may know more without knowing that I know them. I didn't end up needing that intervention but I am quite happy so far with my pacemaker. Good luck.

  • Fins have nothing to do with it.  I have Afib and take meds plus loop recorder.  I still swim but I am reasonable in my workouts.  Not trying to be Michael Phelps but accepting a slower pace and more rest between sets