Search 59,165 Camino Questions

A donation to the forum removes ads for you, and supports Ivar in his work running it


Advertisement
Fine art photography from the Camino Ways.
2022 Camino Guides
The 2022 Camino guides will be coming out little by little, most of them by the end of 2021. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.

Anybody out there doing a Camino with A Fib?

Ed Aster

Member
Past OR future Camino
2019
I have A Fib and would like to hear from other walkers/hikers with the same who are walking a Camino and how they deal with it.
 
Camino Jewellery
A selection of Camino Jewellery
Camino Cups
Browse our selection of Camino Cups on the forum store

Marbe2

Active member
Past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
I have A Fib and would like to hear from other walkers/hikers with the same who are walking a Camino and how they deal with it.
I am not sure what you want toknow? Is your A-Fib controlled well with meds that keep you in Sinus rhythm. Does extended exertion of walking distances give you pause about staying in Sinus rhythm?
 

CAJohn

Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances Sept/Oct 2019
Many people who are in atrial fibrillation are never in a sinus rhythm.

I think that the real question is your exercise tolerance. There are plenty of hills and mountains that do cause exertion. How do you perform in those situations with your atrial fibrillation?

Are you taking Coumadin? That might require blood tests along the way depending on how long you are walking. Xarelto and the other NOACs don’t require that sort of testing.

Some sections are strenuous, but you can always take a break. It is not an Olympic competition. It is more like a month of day hikes.

In cooperation with your cardiologist, you could do some hikes that incorporate lots of hills (or hill substitutes) and see how you do. I think that will give you more information pertinent to you than other people’s experience, since there are so many other confounding variables (always in a fib or intermittent, fitness, weight, other cardiopulmonary ailments, age, etc).
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
Most years since 2012. Hoping now for 2022.
A forum search for "atrial fibrillation" brings this list of posts, that might be interesting for you. One year, I walked with someone with a-fib - we started the VDLP. However, she wasn't feeling great so we switched to the Camino Frances where the infrastructure is much better and we could adjust our distances more easily. We had to consult a pharmacist at one point to discuss anti-inflammatories for her shin splints, and the pharmacist in the town was very up-to-date with knowledge related to the possible drug interactions.
 
Last edited:

BigT

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances (2020)
Understand that I am NOT providing any medical advice, I am just chiming in with some personal experience, and just IMHO.
We trained doing 6-9 mile hikes 3-4 times a week, riding a bicycle, and swimming for 9 months and we were late 60s in age. We were 3 late 60d men with various chronic medical issues.
Two of the three in our group were on beta blockers and Xarelto or Eliquis for atrial fibrillation.
By the time we departed the USA to start, one of us had an ablation 2 months before our Camino start date. We did part of the CF, and were to continue to Finisterre, Muxia, and back to SDC.
Covid intervened and we had to leave for the USA in mid-March, 2020. But that is another story.
Four things were suggested to us that we did do and worked well for us.
1. We used a luggage transfer service and carried small backpacks with our food, drinks, blister and first aid gear, cellphones, all of our medications, and emergency contact information with medical summaries in English and Spanish, and each member of our group had a copy of each members' information.
2. We bought travel HEALTH insurance for our trip.
3. We bought travel insurance and paid for our trip with credit cards that had some type of air evacuation and or repatriation of remains insurance. (My funeral director friend gave me his card to tape to my chest, just in case. I know, I need better friends.)
4. We bought the $99 Alivecor Kardia device and attached them on our respective cellphones. (I have no relationship to the company or anyone working at the company.) We also bought the $99 per year program to computer read EKG tracings for a year, and one of us had an inexpensive pulse oximeter.

We did EKG tracings daily or if we felt any irregular heartbeat so we could objectively determine if we had atrial fibrillation.

Preparation, preparation, preparation, can help people reduce risk and have a safer Camino.

Discuss your training and plan for your trip with your physician.

And walk with a friend or three that walks about the same pace
It's not a race.

We went at the beginning of March, when the leaves were largely off of the trees, so we could actually SEE Spain.

If you are medically approved to go, then go before you can't go.

Burn Camino!

[Edited to clarify "no relationship" to #4 above]
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Pilgrim Pouch carry bags with different designs
A lightweight carry bag handy for walking, biking, traveling, & Caminos
2022 Camino Guides
The 2022 Camino guides will be coming out little by little, most of them by the end of 2021. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.

Marbe2

Active member
Past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
Agree with @CAJohn that there are a number of people who have A-Fib who are not in sinus rhythm. But walking a camino can be quite stressful on your joints and your heart, depending on your specific medical condition. A-Fib may, or could indicate other heart disease? So seek counsel and discuss this possibility seriously with your cardiologist before embarking on such a journey.

If your cardiologist clears you to do it, start on the Camino Frances.
you might want to test the waters by beginning with a shorter camino, such as beginning in Sarria and walking to Santiago de Compostela. A bit over 100km. These are stages of circa 10-12 miles per day but have the infra-structure so you could do shorter sections each day if you needed to. Most of the larger towns on these stages have medical centers. The terrain does have a few hilly spots but is relatively easier.

Make sure you have health insurance for a pre-existing condition abroad.

Train at home, before you go.

Would you be traveling alone or with someone?
If traveling alone, you might want to wear some type of medical identification bracelet so if you have an emergency your history could be quickly obtainable and if it is available in the Spanish language, that would be helpful.

Correos has a paq mochilla service to transport bags or packs the entire year from Sarria, So you could send your pack ahead.
 
Last edited:

wayfarer

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
2012
I walked the CF in 2012 and 2013 with A Fib. My doctor and cardiologist encouraged walking so no problem doing it. No special equipment needed other than my meds. Listen to your body, take plenty breaks but most importantly get advice from your own doctor and cardiologist rather than from the experts here.
 

Tom Hagger

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Francés, Norte, Primitivo, Português, Plata etc.
Ed, I walked the Portuguese Camino and the Camino del Norte with AF a few years ago and had no problems. I would ask your doctor what he thinks, then go for it unless he clearly states that it is unwise. Best wishes, Tom
 
2022 Camino Guides
The 2022 Camino guides will be coming out little by little, most of them by the end of 2021. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.
Camino Way Markers
Original Camino Way markers made in bronze. Two models, one from Castilla & Leon and the other from Galicia.

CaptBuddy

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Fall 2012, again Fall 2014.
Fall of 2014, my wife and I walked the CF, while I had AFib. I had had a failed ablation in August that year (equipment failure), and my doctor was against me doing the Camino. My response to him was, if I didn't go would he promise me that I would live forever. He thought for a moment, then told me to be smart and enjoy the trip. I promised him that if it became a problem, I would abandon the CF and head for the beaches of the Med.
I was careful, I took my time on hills, up and down. Stopped and rested when I needed to rest. What slowed us the most was my wife bad knee.
We made the entire walk, with little issue, and had the greatest adventure of our lives. Not a day goes by that we do not think about making the right choice for us. We spent 3 weeks after reaching Santiago, visiting family in Cantabria and 'touristing' in southern France and northern Spain.
I had a successful ablation in January of the following year and am looking forward to our next Camino.
I just turned 74 two days ago.
Best of luck to you. Buen Camino.
 

Old Git

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2018 Portuguese
2019 Finisterre/Muxia
Understand that I am NOT providing any medical advice, I am just chiming in with some personal experience, and just IMHO.
We trained doing 6-9 mile hikes 3-4 times a week, riding a bicycle, and swimming for 9 months and we were late 60s in age. We were 3 late 60d men with various chronic medical issues.
Two of the three in our group were on beta blockers and Xarelto or Eliquis for atrial fibrillation.
By the time we departed the USA to start, one of us had an ablation 2 months before our Camino start date. We did part of the CF, and were to continue to Finisterre, Muxia, and back to SDC.
Covid intervened and we had to leave for the USA in mid-March, 2020. But that is another story.
Four things were suggested to us that we did do and worked well for us.
1. We used a luggage transfer service and carried small backpacks with our food, drinks, blister and first aid gear, cellphones, all of our medications, and emergency contact information with medical summaries in English and Spanish, and each member of our group had a copy of each members' information.
2. We bought travel HEALTH insurance for our trip.
3. We bought travel insurance and paid for our trip with credit cards that had some type of air evacuation and or repatriation of remains insurance. (My funeral director friend gave me his card to tape to my chest, just in case. I know, I need better friends.)
4. We bought the $99 Alivecor Kardia device and attached them on our respective cellphones. (I have no relationship to the company or anyone working at the company.) We also bought the $99 per year program to computer read EKG tracings for a year, and one of us had an inexpensive pulse oximeter.

We did EKG tracings daily or if we felt any irregular heartbeat so we could objectively determine if we had atrial fibrillation.

Preparation, preparation, preparation, can help people reduce risk and have a safer Camino.

Discuss your training and plan for your trip with your physician.

And walk with a friend or three that walks about the same pace
It's not a race.

We went at the beginning of March, when the leaves were largely off of the trees, so we could actually SEE Spain.

If you are medically approved to go, then go before you can't go.

Burn Camino!

[Edited to clarify "no relationship" to #4 above]
I agree go before you are told you can't go. I had 3 strokes at 70 and it was found that I had atrial fribulation. With a mis spent youth that has caused a knee revision and a lumbar spine problem I decided it was time to take control. If I am lucky I do 15 km a day, it is your camino do what you can. 2 camino down I'm planning the third. Take care and just go for it.
 

backpack45

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Vezelay (2017, in progress); Primitivo & Norte; Geneva/LePuy; Arles; Portuguese; Francés + more
I have A Fib and would like to hear from other walkers/hikers with the same who are walking a Camino and how they deal with it.
I have been taking meds as a result of two A fib incidents more than 10 years ago (and have not had any further incidents in that time). I regularly hike, backpack on occasion, and have done about 3,500 Camino miles. But everyone is different. My advice: as your doctor's opinion, ask yourself if your A fib is under control, and what happens when I hike at home. In addition, many people I read about doing the Camino seem to be doing what I consider unnecessarily long distances daily. (We generally do 10-12 miles.) They may have limited time, but sometimes it is because they are following some guidebooks suggested stages; you don't have to follow stages, plan your own hikes according to the distances that you know you can do without injury. I hope you can find your Way!
 

Ed Aster

Member
Past OR future Camino
2019
Many thanks to all who responded, after completing the Frances in 17,18,19 before being diagnosed with AFib i knew the Camino was an important part of my life. At 73 now am prescribed some good meds that have calmed down the aspects of AFib , my Cardiologist has me off our local mountain here in New Zealand but I am going to have another talk with him hoping to be able to get a go ahead for the Frances again in 22. Just neede to know how others have handled this situation. Very helpfu.
Buen Camino
 

jpflavin1

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Madrid/San Salvador/Primitivo-2021
I have A Fib and would like to hear from other walkers/hikers with the same who are walking a Camino and how they deal with it.
I went and had Ablation surgery. One of the smartest things I have ever done.

I found meds (Beta blockers ((made me lethargic)) and blood thinners (testing) to interfere with the quality of my life.
 
Camino Socks
Browse the Camino Socks collection on the forum shop
2022 Camino Guides
The 2022 Camino guides will be coming out little by little, most of them by the end of 2021. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.

CAJohn

Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances Sept/Oct 2019
I went and had Ablation surgery. One of the smartest things I have ever done.

I found meds (Beta blockers ((made me lethargic)) and blood thinners (testing) to interfere with the quality of my life.
Some people are good candidates for ablation, but sadly, others are not. When the ablation works, it can be very liberating. Some people have initial success with ablation, but later have recurrent atrial fibrillation. Your cardiologist can give your better information about the likelihood of success of an ablation in an individual patient's case.
 

Ian and Helen Miller

Donating Members
Past OR future Camino
Sept 16/ 2016. Leon to Santiago . Sept/2019 SJPDP to Santiago.
Hi I have A Fib and I have been in A Fib for the last six years, I,m 80 years old/young and I walk with a tri implant. I let the camino guide me thru my journey, if I felt tired I stopped or did not walk on that day, I just walked at a slower pace ( in the whole length of my camino I did not over take anyone ) I stayed in muni albergues each night and I was always aware of my heart problems. At the start of my journey I put my health in the hands of a higher power, I belive that my camino was a call that I could not say no to. I hope you enjoy your journey and give thanks to who you feel you need to. God Bless. Ian.
 
Last edited:

Fred Gaudet

Member
Past OR future Camino
1341
I have A-Fib but walked for two months this fall on the Camino Olvidado, Invierno, and Dos Faros. I take a blood thinner every morning and carry Metoprol Tartrate with me whenever hiking. As an 81 year old, I'm a little slower and will stop to catch my breath if needed. Also take a break every few hours of so. And took some taxis during the Dos Faros so not to walk much more than 22-24 kms.

I have used the Metoprol twice while hiking near home--takes about 30-45 minutes to come out of A-Fib after taking the pill. It works and is a great psychological comfort to have, just in case...

Ask you cardiologist about Metoprol, or something, as a just in case.
 
Peaceable Projects Inc.
Peaceable Projects Inc. is a U.S.-based non-profit group that brings the vast resources of the wide world together with the ongoing needs of the people who live, work, and travel on the Camino de Santiago pilgrim trail network in Spain.
Camino Magnets
A collection of Camino Fridge Magnets
Past OR future Camino
Frances: 2016/17; LePuy 2018/19; Norte 2021
First, the answer to your question: Yes, I have afib. I walked the first half of the Camino del Norte this summer/fall. It was blazing hot beginning to mid-September and I was pretty careful about making sure I was hydrating and taking plenty of breaks. I shortened a couple days to be on the safe side.
Second, and most importantly, please do a deep dive consult with your primary care doc and cardiologist (updated tests/bloodwork, etc) to get all the information, and potentially other things, you need in order to have a wonderful and relatively worry/incident free camino. I'll spare you what meds I take and take along with me "just in case" as that should come from your medical team.
Third, I'm a solo walker and had some concern about getting a knock or scrape that might end up as a tough-to-stop bleed. Per my cardiologist, I swapped out from my kit my regular bandaids/bandages for ones that help with clotting.
Last, and joining others on this thread, enjoy the Camino!
 
Last edited:

CA_Pilgrim

Member
Past OR future Camino
El Camino Real de California
Camino Frances (2017)
Your cardiologist can give your better information about the likelihood of success of an ablation in an individual patient's case.
Very much agree! I work for a company that make ablation systems and could cite the literature for average acute and long-term success rates, but people are individuals and don't necessarily reflect the average. Your cardiologist knows your individual case history and is best suited to give you advice.
 

Teez

New Member
Past OR future Camino
June 2018 Camino Frances and March Coastal Portugues
I have A Fib and would like to hear from other walkers/hikers with the same who are walking a Camino and how they deal with it.
My husband has this condition and is on Xarelto and various other medications. We walked the Camino in 2019 when he was almost 80. He was took hills in a gentle manner - 100 or 50 or 20 steps and then rest for a moment - depending on the steepness of the hill.
 

Excursionista

New Member
Past OR future Camino
De VdBierzo (2004)
Planning Pamplona-Meseta (2021)
In addition to reiterating the advice to discuss the Camino with your cardiologist, I wanted to add that you should be sure to explain the importance that the Camino holds for you and what degree of risk you're willing to accept. Every case of afib is different, as are each patient's priorities. If walking the Camino is important to you, be sure to say that.
 

Did not find what you were looking for? Search here

Popular Resources

“All” Albergues on the Camino Frances in one pdf ivar
  • Featured
“All” Albergues on the Camino Frances in one pdf
4.95 star(s) 102 ratings
Downloads
15,344
Updated
A selection of favorite albergues on the Camino Francés Ton van Tilburg
Favorite Albergues along the Camino Frances
4.83 star(s) 35 ratings
Downloads
8,004
Updated
Profile maps of all 34 stages of the Camino Frances ivar
Profile maps of all 34 stages of the Camino Frances
4.88 star(s) 24 ratings
Downloads
7,772
Updated
Top