T Nation

Irregular Heart Rate When Getting Fitter


#1

I've noticed this a few times when I have increased cardio in attempt to 'get fitter'. I start of gradually increasing intensity and duration of cardio (cycling or, more recently eliptical trainer) and noticed (usually the day after) that my heart rate is not 'even' I guess the term is arrythmia?not worrying and as I continue (avoiding over doing it) I get to a level where it stops occuring, almost as if the heart is now 'happy' with my level of fitness.

Then after a while of no CV work (injury or downright laziness) the same happens as my fitness decreases. I did get an ECG one time because of it but, of course, nothing showed up.
Not particularly worried by it just wondered if anyone else noticed this.
I know the conclusion should be Get Fit & Stay Fit!

BTW: 51yr old Male Powerlifter type training, 260lb (reducing through diet & exercise) meds: BP meds Ramipril & Bendroflumethiazide.


#2

Does the arrhythmia feel like there is a longer pause between beats, followed by a heavier or harder beat?

something like beat...beat...beat...........BEAT...beat...beat

If so, you probably have premature ventricular contractions (PVCs) or premature atrial contractions (PACs).

I have the same issue.

Any time I change up my exercise modality and my heart starts adapting to something new, I will have frequent episodes of PVCs until my heart adapts. Then they go away.

You are correct...if you stay in shape year-round, you can keep them away.

I've been through years of cardiac workups and plenty of mental anguish over this problem.

If the problem persists or gets worse, you should get a 24 hour holter monitor performed so they can catch it on the monitor. They'll be able to tell exactly what it is.

Good luck. Send me a PM if you have any other questions on this issue...it's not an easy one to deal with and information is hard to find.


#3

Just a thought here.

For a quick answer : get a refferral to have an exercise stress test whilst hooked up to a monitor/ecg. The problem with a resting state ecg is that it doesn't tell you very much about what happens 'under load'. The test i am thinking of is mainly used to try to elicit chest pain repsonse in people with coronary ischaemia although a cardiology friend says that it is also a very good way of picking up arrythmias.

Sometimes arrythmias under load can be electrolyte related (and i notice a diuretic in your post), particularly in low potassium and low magnesium states (make the heart more irritable) again..quick version is get your electrolytes checked.
Both are quite easy to supplement in diet form if they are a problem.


#4

Nurse is correct. I had the same issues-amongst many others....I now have a pacemaker.

Get a Stress test that puts you under load.


#5

Thanks, yeah something like you describe with (what feels like) a long pause between
beat.......and.................BEAT.
Never really caused a problem as such just messes with your mind a bit.


#6

QFT


#7

Thanks guys, the 'problem doesn't occur during exercise, usually the day after.
I put the bendro in (above) as I have just had a different issue, 9 days ago the doc suggested Indapamide to replace it. Started with it 9 days ago on Wednesday. Everything fine, big cardio session
on Sat (~80min avg HR 147 max 151) knackered but fine.

Following day no probs (none of the arrythmia) back in the gym Monday evening, got on the eliptical for a 12 min warm up prior to doing shoulders. Couldn't get a sensible HR off the machine (it was ~178-195 at 2 mins) so though either machine is broken or I totaly overdid it on Sat. No cardio on Tuesday or Wednesday. Then Last night (Thursday) tried a warm up again, within 2 mins at a lower level on a different machine (same type) HR is between 180 and hit a max of 201.

Stopped immediately, HR elevated first half of night. This morning ditched the Indapamide went back on Bendro and called the doc this morning, blood test this afternoon to check K, NA levels etc. My guess is I've almost stabilised again so the results will be fairly normal.
BTW before chnging the meds I had my annual blood check results OK except BP (144/88) and LDL/HDL ratio.


#8

sounds like electrical issue. Get a stress test done -then ask for a "halter-monitor" (sp?) it is a device you wear for a couple of days attached to you reading your heart.


#9

24 hour Holter monitor

Yes this is the next step.


#10

Hi, Boffin. I've had heart issues for years, including arythmia. Started back in 2001, when I was 45. it's beat, beat, skip, BEAT. Scared the shit out of me. They gave me the 24 hr holter and stress test. Doc said it was benign, "prescribed" multi-vitamin and magnesium, and high protein diet (which I was following anyway).

Problem is it won't go away, every single night when try to sleep it starts up again. Very hard to doze off.

Even worse is when the palpitations started, about 3 yrs ago. Those are specifically linked to stress and controlled with medication. Weird, the med doesn't seem to affect the arythmia.

Fischer, were you given the pacemaker for arythmia or some other condition?


#11

You are probably having PVC's Cav.


#12

polysplenia. Causes all sorts of problems. A/V interrupt is one of them.


#13

Friend of mine got a pacemaker because his heart just stopped with no warning. Luckily, he was right in the middle of a bunch of people who got him to the hospital post haste. Don't know if they ever figured out the cause - he doesn't smoke, doesn't drink . . .

Derek, I don't recall what the doc called it, I just remember what to do about it and don't let it bother me. Which is hard when it won't let me sleep - incredible how the heart can get your undivided attention. Then when it finally goes back to normal, I can't feel anything anymore, remember my friend and think "OH MY GOD IT'S STOPPED . . . " It can really make you neurotic.


#14

Skip all the running around and get referred to a cardiologist. Stress test, echocardiogram, ekg, holter monitor (24 hour) or event monitor (several weeks) can all be done right in their office. You may be having premature ventricular beats, supraventricular tachycardia ,atrial fibrillation or even ventricular tachycardia.


#15

God ^^^^^^^^^^ I had most of those wrong with me at different times. I was in the hospital for 3 weeks with them doing tests (everyone known to man it seems) trying to figure out my "problem"

@ ECO I v-Tec'd 3 times before they installed the Pacemaker.

@ Boffin ( cool dwarf btw) Go sooner than later...


#16

Cool dwarf?


#17

Doesn't that just drive you crazy, Fischer, hoping these trained professionals can help you and they just say "Haven't a clue"?

One set of palpitations was so bad they rushed me off in the ambulance. Inside the ambulance they shot me with something, forget the name, but it makes you bounce off the wall for half a minute. They said "Wow, we used up our whole batch and you still didn't respond, you're the first one to do that!" yeah, real reassuring.

One good point - after crap like that, heavy lifting doesn't faze you anymore.

Sorry Boffin, didn't want to hijack your thread.


#18

Problem is most Cardiologist now a days just want to heart cath everyone and if it is not mechanical they are just not interested you have to be referred to a electro physiologist cardiologist. Fucking specialists.


#19

Got an ECG (had one in 2005 and it was "fine") any way it shows atrial fibrillation, and HR is still up.
Doc has ordered another load of blood tests, given me asprin & a beta blocker and told me no training this weekend. I go back to see him for the result of the bloods Monday morning. He was talking about referring me to a cardiologist (don't know how long that will take on the UK's NHS).


#20

@ FISCHER613 I don't get the cool dwaf reference.