Skip to Content
Home > Wellness > Health Library > Atrial Fibrillation and Daily Life
Most people with atrial fibrillation don't have to change their daily activities. You can live well and safely with atrial fibrillation.
There are some precautions you can take to prevent problems from atrial fibrillation. For example, tell your doctor about any activities that trigger an episode of atrial fibrillation. And talk to your doctor before you start a new exercise program or change your workouts.
The table below describes some of the ways your life may be affected
by your arrhythmia. It also offers tips on preventing problems.
Aspect of life
Potential impact of atrial fibrillation
Tips for success
Stressful situations can trigger an episode of atrial
fibrillation or make your atrial fibrillation worse.
Try to lower the amount of stress at work or with
Try meditation and other relaxation techniques when stress is
Most people with atrial fibrillation can continue
Avoid strenuous activity and extremely stressful situations at
Most people with atrial fibrillation can lead normal sex lives as long as they can exercise and be active without having symptoms.
Let your doctor know if you experience symptoms of atrial
fibrillation during sex.
Intense exercise may trigger your arrhythmia or make your
Call your doctor to report any symptoms. And avoid strenuous
exercise if it causes symptoms.
You can drive unless your doctor advises against
Pull over and call your doctor if you start to feel symptoms or
become lightheaded while operating a motor vehicle or other
Before each trip, talk with your doctor about your travel plans. He or she may be able to refer you to a doctor in the area that you will
Bring the name and phone number of your doctor, in case your
arrhythmia comes back and you need medical attention. Also, make sure to bring
For more information, see the topic:
Other Works Consulted
Levine GN, et al. (2012). Sexual activity and cardiovascular disease: A scientific statement from the American Heart Association. Circulation, 125(8): 1058–1072.
Shea JB, Sears SF (2008). A patient's guide to living with atrial fibrillation. Circulation, 117(20): e340–e343.
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerRakesh K. Pai, MD, FACC - Cardiology, ElectrophysiologyMartin J. Gabica, MD - Family MedicineSpecialist Medical ReviewerJohn M. Miller, MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology
Current as ofJanuary 27, 2016
Current as of:
January 27, 2016
Rakesh K. Pai, MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology & Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine & John M. Miller, MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2016 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
I Want To...
Our interactive Decision Points guide you through making key health decisions by combining medical information with your personal information.
You'll find Decision Points to help you answer questions about:
Get started learning more about your health!
Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups, and pregnancy.
Feeling under the weather?
Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.