Lifestyle Strategies for Atrial Fibrillation
What can I do to reduce my risk for atrial fibrillation?
To reduce your risk for the onset of atrial fibrillation, also called AFib or AF, maintaining a heart-healthy lifestyle is always your best option. If you have been diagnosed with AFib, take medications if they are prescribed for you. Also get proper treatment and management of your condition so that you can reduce the risk of AFib’s harmful consequences.
View an animation of atrial fibrillation.
What can I do to reduce my risk of complications associated with atrial fibrillation?
These actions help lower the risk for heart disease and keep your circulatory system in the best condition:
- Get regular physical activity
- Eat a heart-healthy diet low in salt, saturated fats, trans fats and cholesterol
- Manage high blood pressure
- Avoid excessive amounts of alcohol and caffeine
- Don’t smoke
- Control cholesterol
- Maintain a healthy weight
Download: Food Diary (PDF)
Other underlying conditions may need treatment because they can contribute to the onset of AFib, including:
- High blood pressure (the medical term for hypertension)
- Sleep apnea
- Thyroid disease (hyperthyroidism)
- Chronic lung disease
- Other heart conditions (heart attack, heart valve disease or heart failure)
- Family history
What can I do to reduce my risk for stroke?
The risk of stroke in an AFib patient is as much as five times greater than that of a person without this heart disease.
Treatment for AFib is imperative to reduce your risk for stroke.
Know your additional risk factors
Other examples of stroke risk factors include:
- A history of high blood pressure
- Increased age
- Previous stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA)
- Heart disease
- Family history
Commit to a heart-healthy lifestyle
The good news is that you can greatly reduce by making healthy changes and treating your medical conditions as instructed.
Download our patient information sheets on how to live a heart-healthy lifestyle.