A cardiologist explains how exercise suppresses or inhibits PVCs: premature ventricular contractions.

Though some people with PVCs wonder if it’s safe to exercise, it’s a well-documented fact that exercise suppresses PVCs.

In fact, many individuals who have frequent premature ventricular contractions report that exercise is a reliable, predictable way to stop them cold.

How does exercise stop or suppress premature ventricular contractions?

“Premature beats originate during the ‘resting’ phase of the cardiac cycle, i.e., the time when the myocardial electrical activity has reset itself and is waiting for the next electrical wave coming down from the atria -> through the AV node -> through the His bundles -> and then through the ventricular myocardium,” explains Monica Reynolds, MD, a cardiologist with ColumbiaDoctors Medical Group in White Plains, NY.

“With exercise, the heart rate increases which essentially shortens the ‘resting’ time and reduces the amount of time that PVCs can originate.

“Basically, the increased electrical activity of the faster beating heart overrides the aberrant beats in the ventricles.”

So even though you may have heard that the reason exercise seems to make PVCs go away is because PVCs can’t be felt as much when your heart rate is elevated and you’re huffing and puffing during physical activity, it’s a fact that working out actually inhibits PVCs, and this process has nothing to do with the individual’s perception.

Since 1992 Dr. Reynolds has practiced clinical cardiology at ColumbiaDoctors Medical Group, one of the largest multi-specialty practices in New York State.
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.