PVCs and Exercise


Submitted by Dr T on December 16, 2012 – 10:23am

I have PVCs when I am resting and exercising.  Over the last three years since the PVCs started I have become more sedentary, overweight and I am now sleeping 10-12 hours a night to reduce the PVCs when at work.  I sleep like the dead, when I used to be a 6 hours a night sleeper.  At work I sometimes end up panting when the PVCs do not stop.  I work in public and look like a freak, panting while sitting.  The PVCs come in streams for minutes at a time.  I am 45 years old.  My blood pressure and cholesterol are fine.  I had a stress test a few weeks ago and they informed me I am fine.  No heart disease, or valve problems.  No drugs on board yet, but I expect that is coming at my next Doctor’s visit.I find these PVCs painful, distracting, elevating my breathing rate so that I am panting etc.  My chest during the stress test was quite uncomfortable.  I could see the huge PVCs bumps below the line on the EKG.  Scary stuff.  My weight is drifting up and I am no longer fit.  I would like to start exercising again, like I did before the PCVs started.If I could exercise, I am sure I would feel better.  At various times I used to powerlift, run 5k events, cycle, cross country ski, play softball.  I stopped when my knees were sore from age and these PVCs hit around the same time putting me on the couch.  At this point, I go for a long walk and the PVCs welcome me when I get home and I need a nap.   Here is my question.  Can someone with this level of PVCs go back to running, or cycling?  Will weight lifting hurt my heart?  If I have perscription drugs on board, will I be able to run, cycle, weightlift?  What kind of fitness activity is safe when you have a lot of PVCs?  Dan

Hi Dan,
I am sure no doctor has ever told you to stop exercising, gain weight and sleep all night. You have a normal heart function. I have written about this many times before. Here is an updated version.

Thus, while these PVCs are an uncomfortable nuisance they are not dangerous in most patients with otherwise normal heart function. Once properly diagnosed, beta blockers are the best treatment to reduce the frequency to more tolerable levels.
Hope this helps,
Dr T

Comments 7

  1. Post

    I am 44 years old this is my day number 8 with PVC sometimes I have 3 in less than 30 second , sometime there is 5 minutes gap, what exactly trigger it , please help , it disappeared while I am at the gym

  2. Post

    A lot of times PVCs are related to sleep apnea/hypopnea and or caffeine consumption.
    People do not know they have sleep apnea or hypopneas for the most part, but there are some clues. Waking up to urinate, snoring, daytime tiredness, decreased energy. There are negative physiological processes happening when you have even mild sleep apnea/hypopnea. Non productive sleep can cause stress, anxiety, and even depression.
    Some pre-work out drinks have different forms of stimulants in them which can also cause PVC’s.
    Many factors to look at, make your cardiologist figure it out and help you instead of writing them off as a normal abnormal.

  3. Post

    I used to run 3 miles a day but this did not help my PVCs. I would get them everyday, back to back several times a day.
    Then, I switched to strength training 6 days a week that included a 15-20 minute HIIT workout 3 times a week. After 2 weeks of doing this, my PVCs completely disappeared!! I am planning to continue this weight training/HIIT combo because it has not only healed my heart but I am seeing nice results in my body makeup.
    I read recently that strength training is better than cardio for heart health.
    Btw, I am a female, 34 y/o, with a history of palpitations/PVCs for the past 13 years, weight 133 lbs, height 5 foot 1 inch.

  4. Post

    Supposedly I’m healthy in every other way, 62 years old and I get frequent but mostly unnoticeable PVCs (I wasn’t aware of them at all until my mid 50s, but in hindsight, I had them all the back in high school). However, I do get them very noticeably now at high exercise levels. I’ve biked up steep hills and started feeling very noticeable PVCs but (since my Doc said “don’t worry about it”) and not noticing any undue fatigue beyond incredible exertion, I’ve pressed on up the hill many many times now and have been fine. Your milage may vary.

  5. Post

    Hello, I am Art 45 years old having an heart pvc last year sometime i felt on my chest like fluttering or skipping beat on my heart and i felt sensition, i am undergo for check up to cardiologist at Norway last year and the result given by the doctor was Good function of the heart i am undergo ECG or EKG, chest X ray blood test echogram, but sometimes i felt pvc and i will do it the second option to secondary check up at heart Center in the Philippines i undergo to de echo test, stress test and blood test and ECG asper the result of the cardiologist is normal my heart function but the Doctor give one medicine for highblood losartan 50gram because asper with him my blood presure sometime high in low so for now on i take losartan 50grm everyday, Sir my question is i can do it my regular exercise is not a dengerous to my pvc.thank you

  6. Post

    I was having the same problem for over a year. They were literally sending me into panic attacks as I was unaware of what was going on. I just chalked it up to anxiety/stress for a long time until the palpitations/PVCs progressed and got worse. It was like I could feel my heart stop OR beat really hard once, the feeling was almost unable to be described. I ended up in the ER as they had gotten so severe from just sitting on the couch watching tv and driving to work. The ER doctor ruled out GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder) and referred me to a cardiologist to get everything squared away. I was informed to stop working out, which I already had as working out exacerbated my heart condition (I was also drinking coffee, energy drinks, and pre workout). I have since laid over the caffeine, pre workout, and energy drinks. I’ve had no alcohol (which can cause PVCs in excess) and I was also prescribed Propranolol as well as Potassium pills as mine was a bit low. I started this medication regiment over a week ago and much to my surprise, I haven’t felt a PVC or palpitation in about a week now. I would highly encourage all of you to get checked out by your primary care doctor, as just the peace of mind knowing what was going on seemed to calm me down a bit. My blood pressure is better than ever, I feel more level, and as the medication is a Beta-blocker, it slows the heart rate down which is also beneficial as well. As far as the exercise aspect of this, I have yet to find that out. I’m very early into this whole treatment piece, but I’m sure I will have to slow it down a bit as I’ve never been able to just workout for health and fitness, it was always a competition in my head as I played sports my whole life. It seems a life-style change is in order for this 28 year old as far as food and exercise, but that will come in time! Hope this helps at least one person 🙂

  7. Post

    I’m having the same problem .they put Holter for 24 hurs than the results was extra heart bet 3400 bet I. Worried dont what to say .is there anyone can help me guys ??? Right now I’m sending this to u guys while I am in GYM do exercise. The time now here is 11.34 pm 04.01.2018 .I need help and advise .Pls world help me.im 41 years old.from sultanate OF Oman 0096894022250

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