People with long QT syndrome are advised to avoid strenuous activities and competitive sports altogether. It is a heart rhythm condition that is characterized by rapid, abnormal heartbeats. Exercising increases your heartbeat rate and for people with LQTS, it might trigger increased arrhythmia. However, you cannot help but wonder, is exercising bad for long QT syndrome? As a result of LQTS, patients experience symptoms such as seizures and fainting. So, if you exert your heart to any vigorous exercise, then there is a risk you might exhibit LQTS symptoms in the process. Therefore, it is important that you are careful with what exercises you engage in and be aware of your heart rhythm at all times.
Are There Any Exercises For Long QT Syndrome?
The recommended exercises for patients with long QT syndrome are very low-intensity sports that will not overexert their hearts. Patients with long QT syndrome are usually at a higher risk of developing arrhythmias during exercises. Therefore, they need to be careful with what activities they engage in and their state of prolonged QT interval. The symptoms, such as dizziness, can last for a short while after one has overexerted themselves or can elevate to unconsciousness or sudden death. The crucial thing to always keep at the back of your mind is monitoring your heart rate during exercising. If by any chance you feel something is aloof, then cease the activity and ensure you keep track of your heart rhythm at all times.
LQTS and Exercising: What’s Good and what’s Bad?
Exercising increases the risk of developing arrhythmias in patients with LQTS. However, there are no good or bad exercises for a patient suffering from long QT syndrome. The goodness or badness of an exercise is dependent on how one will react during the activity. While engaging in different activities, whether competitive or recreations sport or daily activities, as a patient of LQTS, you’re at risk of succumbing to the symptoms. The symptoms of long QT syndrome include fainting, seizures, and sudden death. Nevertheless, the outcome doesn’t have to be imminent especially if you are taking Beta blockers. Also, if you have an implantable cardioverter -defibrillator or pacemaker, you can survive through some exercises.
Studies show that cardiac events often occur during recreational and daily activities compared to competitive activities in patients with treated long QT syndrome. Exercise activities can either be classified as low, moderate or high classes of activities depending on power and endurance. Yoga, bowling, golf, and marching fall under the low class while dancing, biking, skating, and running are under moderate class activities. Exercises that fall under the high activity class include kickball, boxing and other activities that require high power and endurance. When it comes to swimming and diving, one needs to take extra care because it can increase one’s risk of LQTS symptoms. For people who want to engage in competitive athletics, they must ensure they have an automatic external defibrillator always.
What is Long QT Syndrome?
Long QT syndrome is a heart defect that one is diagnosed with from birth. The condition is associated with the recharge of heart muscles such that the heart is able to beat normally. If you have LQTS, your heart sometimes experiences a prolonged QT interval due to a delay in recharging heart muscles. This abnormality is what leads to cardiac arrhythmias in a form known as Torsades de Pointes (TdP). Causes of LQTS can be categorized into two groups where one is as a result of inherited genes and the other is due to certain medication. Inherited long QT syndrome can further be defined as Romano-Ward syndrome or Jervell and Lange-Nielsen syndrome. The latter is rare and more severe, and patients with this type inherit genetic variants from both parents. People with Romano-Ward syndrome only have a single genetic variant from one parent.
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