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10 Ways to Prevent Heart Arrhythmias

10 Ways to Prevent Heart Arrhythmias

For most healthy adults, the normal heart rate is around 60 to 100 beats per minute. Any irregularity, such as the heart rate being too fast or slow, is called arrhythmia or heart palpitations. It can be an indicator of a serious condition itself. If left alone, it can lead to more serious conditions, even death. Palpitations usually appear suddenly, and without warning, so it pays to know how to stop heart palpitations in order to avoid any further complications or more serious health problems.

Heart Arrhythmia: All You Need to Know

Here are 10 ways how to stop heart palpitations:

  1. Quit smoking

A study has found that smoking 10 sticks of cigarettes per day can increase the risk of heart palpitations by 14%. The risk goes up even more if a person smokes additional cigarettes.

This is why it would be a good idea to quit smoking if you’re a smoker, or not to start at all if you don’t smoke. Aside from the risk of heart palpitations, there are also a host of other health conditions that can be caused by smoking.

  1. Lowering alcohol intake, or quitting drinking completely

Researchers have found that drinking alcohol, specifically wine and liquor, can increase the risk of heart palpitations. The risk is also present even when a person drinks moderately, around one to three drinks per day. Alcohol and its by-products directly damage the heart through oxidative stress and cause the heart to function slowly.

For heavy drinkers, the risk might even be higher. So it would be a good idea to cut back on the alcohol, or if possible, to stop drinking altogether. It would significantly lower the risk of arrhythmia and is one of the best ways on how to prevent heart palpitations and other heart problems.

  1. Eat healthy foods

Eating too many fatty foods and foods that are high in cholesterol and trans fats can lead to coronary heart disease, which can manifest as palpitations. In order to lower the risk of heart attack, it would be best to eat healthy foods.

A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and fish not only can lower the possibility of palpitations but also lowers the risk of coronary heart disease as well as a host of other illnesses.

  1. Exercise daily

Daily exercise helps keep the heart strong, and can also help prevent heart arrhythmia. It would be best to exercise for at least 30 minutes each day to help keep your body strong and healthy.

  1. Keep your weight under control

Being overweight or obese can cause problems in your circulation, making it harder for your heart to pump blood throughout your body. Being overweight also increases the risk of heart disease and other heart-related conditions.

This is why it would be a good idea to maintain your weight at a healthy level. Not only does this help with heart palpitations, but it also helps you avoid a host of diseases that are related to being overweight.

how to stop heart palpitations

  1. Be sure to get 8 hours of sleep every night

People having trouble getting 8 hours of sleep every night, such as those with insomnia, or those who wake up in the middle of the night, have a higher risk of having heart palpitations.

One possible explanation for this is that sleep disruptions put extra stress on the heart, which can, in turn, cause arrhythmia. In addition, not getting enough sleep can increase the risk of hypertension, obesity, and stroke, all of which can contribute to the risk of palpitations.

  1. Avoid getting too stressed

One great tip on how to stop heart palpitations is to avoid getting too stressed out. Suffering from stress and anxiety can trigger palpitations.

A good way to avoid getting too stressed would be to practice meditation and mindfulness. Other forms of exercise, or therapy to lower your stress levels, can also be helpful.

  1. Breathe deeply

If you’re experiencing palpitations, you can try to keep it under control by using deep breathing.

You can do this by sitting down, closing your eyes, and then breathing in slowly through your nose. Your abdomen should move downward when you breathe in, and upward when you breathe out.

Breathing deeply should help regulate your heartbeat when you feel any palpitations.

  1. Know the Valsalva and Vagal maneuvers

Another important tip on how to stop heart palpitations is called the Valsalva maneuver. This is a maneuver that is done by doing a forceful and attempted exhalation against a closed airway.

You can do this by pinching your nose closed with one hand. You may also try closing your mouth, and forcibly trying to breathe out your nose.

Another way is attempting vagal maneuvers. You can do this by clenching your anus, and tightening your stomach muscles, and then bearing down, as if you were in the toilet. Doing these things can affect the nerve that helps control your heartbeat.

This should help calm down your arrhythmia if you should experience any palpitations.

  1. Don’t hesitate to call your doctor

Lastly, don’t hesitate to call your doctor. There are situations wherein you’re unable to control your palpitations. And if this happens, you need to call your doctor immediately or go to the hospital.

If you experience dizziness, chest pain, shortness of breath, or if you’re feeling faint, it might be a cause for concern. Your best option would be to seek medical assistance as soon as possible.

Learn more about Heart Health here.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

Cardiac arrhythmias, https://www.health.harvard.edu/a_to_z/cardiac-arrhythmias-a-to-z, Accessed Sept 4, 2020

Poor sleep may increase risk for irregular heart rhythms, https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/11/161114143833.htm, Accessed Sept 4, 2020

Skipping a beat: The surprise of palpitations, https://www.health.harvard.edu/heart-disease-overview/skipping-a-beat–the-surprise-of-palpitations, Accessed Sept 4, 2020

The more you smoke, the greater your risk of heart rhythm disorder, https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/07/180712100524.htm, Accessed Sept 4, 2020

Alcohol may cause irregular heartbeat, https://health.clevelandclinic.org/alcohol-may-cause-irregular-heartbeat/, Accessed Sept 4, 2020

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Written by Jan Alwyn Batara Updated Oct 07, 2020
Medically reviewed by Mike-Kenneth Go Doratan, M.D.
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