Question: Are there any types of exercises that are good to help with my heart rhythm problem?
Answer:That's a complicated question because there are many different heart rhythm alterations, and so the best thing to do first is to have a diagnostic exercise tolerance test so that one can determine whether it's an upper chamber atrial rhythm disorder, or a ventricular, lower chamber ventricular rhythm disorder.
And then one has to find out what the cause of it is. So let us just simply classify them as benign or potentially serious. In the benign rhythm disorders, as a general rule, the better the function of the heart, the lower the frequency of the rhythm disorder.
And so various types of regular activity is thought to improve the function of the heart and has a good chance of reducing some of these benign rhythms.
If we're talking about serious, potentially life threatening rhythm disorders that occur in patients who have some destruction of the heart muscle -- scar or prior myocardial infarction, or blockage of a coronary artery -- that can be dangerous and that requires supervision and requires a more-complete evaluation.
So, it depends on the heart rhythm. It's not just a simple statement to say that you should exercise. Now if you're talking about young, healthy people, exercise on a regular basis, on a daily basis to control weight and to improve the performance of the heart muscle and skeletal muscle will provide some good dividends long-term.
But it's somewhat different if you're saying 'Is there a type of rhythm disorder that should be treated with exercise?' and I would say that has to be carefully evaluated first, otherwise I think one could cause more harm than benefit.