Tachycardia is one of the most common types of cardiac arrhythmias; it is characterized by increased heart rate (over 100 heartbeats per minute). When a patient has an episode of tachycardia. he or she experiences palpitations, pulsation of the neck vessels (sometimes), anxiety, dizziness, and even fainting. In people with a cardiovascular pathology, such arrhythmia may worsen their prognosis for life and provoke the development of such complication as heart failure.
Tachycardia occurs in healthy people:
Due to emotional or physical stress;
Due to increased atmospheric temperature;
When using certain drugs, drinking strong tea, coffee or alcohol;
Due to sudden change in body position, etc.
Depending on the cause of tachycardia, it can be defined as physiological or pathological tachycardia. The first one appears in healthy people as a physiological reaction of a healthy heart to various external influences. The latter develops in the setting of various diseases. Pathological tachycardia can be dangerous since it causes decrease in the volume of cardiac output and a number of other disorders of intracardiac hemodynamics. Increased heart rate accompanied by reduced blood filling of the ventricles leads to lowered blood pressure, poor blood supply to all organs and development of hypoxia. Nevertheless, tachycardia, on its own, is more of a symptom rather than a separate disease.
It’s believed that sport is good for health, but what level of physical activity is allowed in patients suffering from tachycardia? Only for several genetic types of cardiac arrhythmias activity is not approved, and such arrhythmias are quite rare. For most people with arrhythmias, including tachycardia, regular and moderate exercise is not only acceptable, it’s encouraged. However, exercising cannot be recommended to all groups of patients. In some cases, it is strictly prohibited since it can provoke dangerous complications. The following conditions do not go well with exercises:
Recent myocardial infarction;
Paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia;
Malfunction of the liver or kidneys;
Aortic aneurism, etc.
So the first thing a patient diagnosed with tachycardia should do is to see a cardiologist, get an approval for physical activity, and develop a safe exercise plan together with his or her doctor.
The main rule to follow for every patient is that physical activity should not be too intense and exhaustive. If you have any history of other cardiac disorders, it’s better to start your exercise program in a monitored and thus safe environment. In other cases, it’s recommended to start exercising at a slower pace, monitor how you feel and develop exercise tolerance with the lapse of time. If you are new to regular physical activity, it’s better to start with 5-10 minutes of walking and then gradually increase the distance and time. While you gradually increase your level of activity, you should be able to get used to more intense exercise and be comfortable with that. Such symptoms as lightheadedness, palpitations and chest pain should tell you to lower the intensity of your exercise routine. Inform your doctor if you experience any of them.