Your health and lifestyle

Practical insights on how to manage diet and exercise, while maintaining your emotional equilibrium.

Exercising

Your health may benefit if you start getting more active, as Atrial Fibrillation (AFib) is no excuse for you not to exercise. Of course, it is important to talk to your doctor before starting or changing your exercise routine. Click here to find out more.

Emotional Health

It’s quite common to feel anxious or down if you’ve been recently diagnosed with AFib, or are still coming to terms with it. Feeling anxious can also make you less likely to adhere to your doctor’s recommendations, or make lifestyle changes that may be of benefit to you. Click here to find out more.

Food for thought

Your eating habits could make a difference in the way you feel and manage your weight. Click here to find out more.

Always ask your doctor if there are restrictions on what you should eat.

Physical health

Is exercise safe?

When living with AFib, it’s only natural that you might feel a bit cautious about physical exercise.

Most people know that keeping active helps you stay positive, relieve stress, and along with a healthy diet, is a vital part of weight control. This is why it is important to speak with a medical professional to help adapt your routine to your needs while living with this condition.

Lift your spirits

Even moderate physical activity acts as a mood-booster, which may help you cope emotionally with AFib.

Getting started

  • Check with your doctor. If you have AFib you should always consult your doctor before starting to exercise, or changing the amount of exercise you take, to ensure your program is right for you.
  • Start gently. Build up your level of exercise slowly.
  • Choose something you enjoy. Walking, cycling, swimming, gardening and dancing are all good options.
  • Increase your daily activity. Everything counts: taking the stairs instead of the elevator, walking to local shops instead of taking the car and spending a few hours gardening.

When planning an exercise routine it’s best to ensure it is not contrary to your doctor’s recommendations.

Thinking of going on an active holiday this year? Check out some important tips to consider while travelling with AFib.

Emotional health

You’ve got permission to look after yourself emotionally

It can be a challenge to stay positive when you have AFib, especially if your symptoms feel like they are weighing you down. While there may be days when you feel you’ve got more to worry about than most, you’re not alone — most individuals with AFib experience times of fear or feeling blue.

If you can begin to manage your feelings this will prove helpful in the long run, as stress itself can be a trigger for AFib.

Talking to your doctor about your feelings and concerns is important after being diagnosed, as they will be able to offer practical assistance to put your mind at ease. In addition to this, you may also want to consider relaxation tapes and meditation techniques which may prove very useful in keeping a balanced frame of mind.

If you are used to being a primary caregiver, you might need to realize that it’s okay to put yourself first from time to time. The value of this decision lies in the positive impact this can have.

Diet

Food for Thought

Food for thought

Eating healthy means having a varied diet and getting nutrients from all the different food groups in healthy proportions. Your diet is an important consideration in the management of your AFib.

  • Alcohol and caffeine have the ability to trigger AFib symptoms. If this tends to affect your AFib, speak to a doctor and consider avoiding them.
  • Reduce salt by following a low-sodium diet. Salt should be used sparingly; switch to low-sodium salt alternative, and consider using spices and herbs to add flavour to your food.
  • Stop smoking. After five years of quitting smoking, you are at the same risk of stroke as someone who has never smoked. Smoking is also a known risk factor for coronary artery disease.