Lisa's story

Watch the video to view Lisa’s full story.

Lisa’s Story

Lisa is a 57 year old non elite endurance road cyclist, who was recently diagnosed with atrial fibrillation (AF). AF is the most common cardiac arrhythmia with increasing incidence in Australia.¹

In the months leading up to her diagnosis she noticed regular episodes of ectopic beats (skipped heartbeats), along with symptoms such as palpitations, shortness of breath and light headedness.

Moderate levels of exercise have been shown to be protective against developing AF. However, it has been found that there is a U-shaped relationship between physical activity and AF, with increasing prevalence in endurance athletes.²

Watch the video to view Lisa’s full story.

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Arrhythmias

A regular heart beats around 60-100 beats per minute in a steady, regular rhythm. If your rhythm is fast, slow or uneven, this is known as an arrhythmia.

Many factors can influence your heart rate, including fitness level, emotions, medicine and age.

If your heart rate is notably below 60 bpm or above 100 bpm consistently you should contact your doctor for further investigation.

In most cases, an arrhythmia will be no reason for concern, however sometimes it can be a sign of other heart conditions, such as atrial fibrillation.

Atrial Fibrillation

Atrial fibrillation is the most common type of arrhythmia.¹ It causes your heart to beat irregularly and often fast.

People with untreated atrial fibrillation are at five times greater stroke risk than those without.³ It can also lead to other conditions such as heart failure.

Click here to find out more about atrial fibrillation.

30 second pulse check

Knowing your pulse can provide an important indication of heart health. Before checking your pulse, sit quietly for five minutes so your heart is at rest, don’t take it directly after any stressful activities.

 

Find your pulse

  • Put one hand out to look at your palm
  • Using your index finger (first finger) and middle finger of opposite hand, place the these fingers inside your wrist, at the base of your thumb
  • Press lightly to feel pulse (if you can’t feel anything, press slightly harder)

Start a 30 second timer

  • Once you have found your pulse, start a 30 second timer
  • If your pulse feels irregular, you should check for a full 60 seconds

Count pulses

  • Record the number of beats you counted throughout the 30 second period

Multiply by 2

  • Your total beats per minute will equal your 30 second count multiplied by two

Contact us

If you would like further information please complete the online form and we will be in touch.
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References:

1. Atrial fibrillation in Australia. 2020 https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/heart-stroke-vascular-diseases/atrial-fibrillation-in-australia/contents/how-many-australians-have-atrial-fibrillation.

2. Marius Myrstad, Wenche Nystad, Sidsel Graff-Iversen, Dag S. Thelle, Hein Stigum, Marit Aarønæs, Anette H. Ranhoff, Effect of Years of Endurance Exercise on Risk of Atrial Fibrillation and Atrial Flutter,The American Journal of Cardiology, Volume 114, Issue 8, 2014.

3. Heart Foundation 2021, What is atrial fibrillation?, viewed 6 May 2021. <https://www.heartfoundation.org.au/conditions/atrial-fibrillation>