Tachycardia is characterized by the heart rate that is over 100 beats per minute which is above the normal readings of heart rate. This condition is among the most common types of arrhythmia. An episode of tachycardia can be accompanied by any of these symptoms: dizziness, palpitations, anxiety, pulsation of the vessels in the neck, or even fainting. In those patients who already have a cardiovascular pathology, tachycardia can provoke the development of heart failure and aggravate their life prognosis.
However, tachycardia can also be observed in healthy people due to:
- The use of certain drugs, drinking alcohol, coffee or strong tea;
- Physical or emotional stress;
- Sudden body position change;
- High atmospheric temperature, etc.
Therefore, depending on tachycardia cause it is divided into physiological and pathological tachycardia. Physiological tachycardia occurs in healthy individuals as a physiological response of the healthy heart muscle to different external impacts. Pathological, on the other hand, develops against the background of various disorders. It can be dangerous because it causes lowering of the cardiac output volume and some intracardiac hemodynamics disorders. High heart rate that causes decreased blood filling of the ventricles provokes decrease in blood pressure, poor blood circulation and hypoxia development. However, on its own, tachycardia is more often a symptom and not a separate disorder.
They say that sport is good for a human health, but is it safe to exercise for patients with tachycardia? Experts say that for most people with tachycardia moderate and regular exercise is acceptable and encouraged. Nevertheless, in some patients with tachycardia, when it’s accompanied by certain conditions, exercising is strictly prohibited since it can cause life-threatening complications. The list of such conditions includes:
- Cardiac aneurysm;
- Recent heart attack;
- Aortic aneurysm;
- Paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia;
- Ventricular extrasystole;
- Kidney or liver malfunction;
- Severe hypertension, etc.
So, once diagnosed with tachycardia, a patient should first of all see a cardiologist, obtain an approval for exercising and develop a safe plan of physical activity together with a physician. It’s important to remember that physical activity should not be exhausting and too intense. If a patient has a history of any cardiac diseases, it’s recommended to begin an exercise program in a safe and monitored environment. In other cases, it’s better to begin exercising slowly and eventually develop exercise tolerance. If a patient is new to regular exercise, it’s recommended to begin with walking for 5-10 minutes and then, little by little, increase the time and distance. While increasing the intensity of physical activity, the patient should be able to tolerate it and be comfortable with it. If physical activity is accompanied by chest pain, palpitations or lightheadedness, that should be the sign for the patient to lower the intensity of the exercise routine.