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Topic: Cardiac/Exercise anxiety, heart palpitations

7 posts, 0 answered
  1. 44Max44
    44Max44 avatar
    147 posts
    8 November 2019

    So I used to work out and exercise quite a lot and never had any problems with my heart, but recently I've started to get anxious about the health of my heart and have been paying close attention to my heart rate a lot of the time. I went to the doctors around a month ago and they told me I had above-average blood pressure and a high pulse but said it's probably due to high amounts of stress and my anxiety which makes sense to me.

    I tried working out today but couldn't even get through a few sets of weights before I started getting what I think were heart palpitations every minute or so, kind of like my breath was taken away but just for a split second, which just made me super anxious and made me stop exercising just 15 minutes in. I've never had heart palpitations like this during exercise before, and I used to do much more intense workouts so this is a very new issue for me. I'm concerned because I'm not sure if this is just due to my anxiety and because it's the first time I've worked out in quite a while, or if it's a legitimate heart problem that I should be concerned about. I don't get chest pains or anything, it's just the very occasional (maybe once or twice a day) heart palpitation while not exercising and regular heart palpitations when I'm exercising.
    I have a blood pressure measurer at home and the last time I measured it my heart rate was slightly over the average and my blood pressure was slightly over normal too.

    I'm not sure what to do. I want to keep my heart healthy by exercising regularly, but whenever I try to exercise I get heart palpitations that just make me anxious and very hesitant to exercise anymore. Even if it is just my anxiety causing these heart palpitations they are still very unnerving because it's a very unsettling feeling and makes me worry that I'll have a heart attack.

    Does anyone else have similar issues or advice? It'd be very much appreciated.

    1 person found this helpful
  2. blondguy
    Life Member
    • Awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    blondguy avatar
    10722 posts
    8 November 2019 in reply to 44Max44

    Hi 44Max44

    I understand you Max as I used to have chronic anxiety which has reduced to low level anxiety yet I still get palpitations and sometimes even shaky hands even after using a whippersnipper (or doing weights) for a long time and the feeling can be scary for sure

    You mentioned "it's probably due to high amounts of stress and my anxiety which makes sense to me" Good on you for speaking from the heart Max...Sometimes when we are engaged in physical activity we already have some elevated levels of adrenaline....this can sometimes cause palpitations which are harmless...I am in my late 50's and my anxiety levels also contribute to my palpitations as well

    When you mentioned it felt like your breath was taken away for a few seconds....it made sense to me as adrenaline flow (anxiety issues) can sometimes restrict our chest muscles.... giving us palpitations as well as episodes of a 'tight' feeling in our chest where our breathing is concerned.

    Subject to your doc's opinion of course Max

    Hey...Its great to have you as part of the Beyond Blue family. The forums are a safe and non judgemental place for you to discuss what you wish Max. Your well being and privacy are paramount to us

    any questions are always welcome! We will do our best to provide the best support we can :-)

    my kind thoughts


    2 people found this helpful
  3. therising
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    therising avatar
    1409 posts
    9 November 2019 in reply to 44Max44

    Hi Max

    A different way of looking at a work out:

    • Some folk will undertake a work out to work out a bit of lethargy (out of their body) and build up energy
    • Some folk will undertake a work out to work out stress (out of their body) and release energy

    Sounds a bit strange but I know a couple of folk who love rigorous work outs (cycling and tennis to be precise) because the love to relax this way. They get rid of their 9 to 5 work stress. If they don't have these outlets, they get more stressed and rather agitated.

    Have you considered a slightly different more relaxing type of work out, to work out the anxiety? This may help the build up of energy that's impacting your heart rhythm.


  4. 44Max44
    44Max44 avatar
    147 posts
    15 November 2019 in reply to therising
    Thanks for the responses guys, they really helped out. I'm not going to lie, it took me a few days just to come back and look at the replies on this because I was worried I'd see bad news, but it was the complete opposite!

    I love cycling so I'll definitely start doing that more often. I'll probably try to ease myself into working out regularly by cycling first and then eventually get back into the weights. The heart palpitations definitely are scary but it's good to know that they're harmless and common for anxiety sufferers. My heart could take intense exercise just a year ago, so I'm sure it can take it now.

    Thanks again :)
  5. blondguy
    Life Member
    • Awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    blondguy avatar
    10722 posts
    15 November 2019 in reply to 44Max44

    Hey Max

    No worries at all and thanks for touching base too :-)

    you rock!


  6. Velvet94
    Velvet94 avatar
    1 posts
    26 April 2020 in reply to 44Max44

    Hi Max,

    i experienced something very similar 12 months ago that I went through for a total of 6 months. Having delt with anxiety for a period of time I was familiar with the feelings of heart palpitations but unsure of their origin, after experiencing an increase of palpitations when working out in the gym my anxiety flared and I began to worry excessively.

    i started experiencing 100’s of these palpitations a day and was extremely concerned for my health, my doctor continually assured me that they are benign and will have no impact on the health of my heart. However still felt very un nerving, my doctor sent me for a stress echocardiogram and a 24hr holtermonitor, these test returned and reported that I have a structurally normal heart and that the palpitations were benign.

    being a registered nurse I began to do a bit of research and became aware of the broad spectrum of body systems that can impact the heart and cause palpitations and with a few simple tweaks in diet and switching to a more cardio based exersice routine in combination with taking measures to reduce my anxiety I found that I was able to eliminate all my palpitations.

    if your concerns about your heart health continue, tell your doctor that you would like to take some tests. Because in the absence of structural abnormalities these annoying little heart palpitations are just that ANNOYING! and won’t cause any detriment to your health.

    If you wanted to ask anything further about how I tackled this please do not hesitate to ask. :)

    1 person found this helpful
  7. Heart ♥
    Heart ♥  avatar
    7 posts
    21 July 2020 in reply to Velvet94

    OMG ME PLEASE!!!! I am sitting here with my heart banging away at about 90 - 100 because of anxiety and I am pretty sure I am now going to be leaving my bike here at work overnight because I am scared out of my mind at how high it will get when I am riding home...

    Max - it is like you are me - so Velvet94 I would appreciate any advice you have....my heart has also been tested and all appears ok but my pulse is high. So I worry it will make it worse.

    I am 45 years old, ride 120ks a week and have done for years - I too only recently clocked the speed of my heart and now its ruined me....the anxiety about my heart has created even more anxiety. Fun cycle...but I am right in the thick of it and I don;t seem to be able to get out....

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