AFib (or AF) is short for atrial fibrillation and is an episode of irregular heartbeat or arrhythmia. Diagnosing AFib isn’t always easy because some people don’t have symptoms.
Many people do have symptoms that come on quickly. The results can be dire.
Are you wondering about AFib prevention? Keep reading for five ways to prevent an AFib episode.
How Does It Feel?
How does it feel? That’s one of the tricky things about AFib since some people don’t have symptoms.
If you do have symptoms, you may have a sudden rapid heart rate. Some people feel a flutter-type sensation in their chest while others feel discomfort in the chest area.
Dizziness, shortness of breath, and fatigue are also signs of AFib.
Nearly three million Americans suffer from AFib. If you think you have it, treatment is important since the condition increases your risk for stroke, blood clots, and heart failure.
If you think you’re having one episode of AFib, there are some ways of preventing future episodes. Check with your doctor if you think you have AFib. If you have sudden chest pain, seek medical attention immediately!
Otherwise, read on for 5 ways to prevent an AFib episode.
1. Breathing Exercises and Meditation
Deep breathing and meditation exercises activate the parasympathetic nervous system. This helps calm your heart rate and blood pressure. It also reduces anxiety that can lead to AFib episodes.
Practice deep breathing exercises every day so you’re in the habit. Sit up straight with your feet on the floor.
Take a deep breath through your nose for a count of four. Hold it for a moment and then slowly release your breath.
Try doing this for at least 10 minutes a day. While deep breathing and meditating, notice your thoughts but let them go.
2. Low-Impact Aerobic Exercise
You should exercise every day for better health, but also if you feel an AFib episode coming on. Try a low-impact aerobic activity, such as walking.
It’s important to check with a doctor first before you use low-impact aerobics for preventing AFib.
Yoga is another great exercise for preventing AFib since it combines strength training with meditative breathing.
At least one study shows a reduction in AFib episodes and symptoms with regular yoga. The study showed decreased heart rates and blood pressure after yoga training.
4. Drink a Glass of Water
Try drinking a glass of cold water. Don’t guzzle or gulp the water. Drink at a slow pace.
It’s important to stay hydrated throughout the day since dehydration can trigger an AFib episode.
5. Good Nutrition
Stick to a nutritious, heart-healthy diet. Avoid alcohol and caffeine since both can affect your heart rate.
Stick with healthy fruits, vegetables, and protein, while avoiding processed foods and high amounts of sugar.
Prevent an AFib Episode
You can help prevent an AFib episode through a healthy diet, exercise, and regular breathing techniques. Always check with your doctor first before starting any exercise or nutrition programs.
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