Cardiologist Questions Pacemaker

I had a pacemaker put in recently. Can I exercise?

I recently got a pacemaker for my heart. It has been about 3 months since the pacemaker was put in me. I haven't started exercising yet - I've been very nervous. Is it safe?

5 Answers

It is absolutely safe to exercise with a pacemaker. In general, exercise is healthy and encouraged. However, without knowing your medical history, you should discuss what kind and how exercise you should do with your physician.
Yes, it's safe to do any normal kind of exercise (but not bungee jumping!). After you have returned to full activity your pacemaker may need to be adjusted for optimum response.
Absolutely safe. Go for it. The rate may increase somewhat quickly with pectoral muscle use. Just watch that.
Yes, you can, but read the following points:

1. Make sure the pacemaker site has been checked at least one month following implantation and that it has healed properly and is functioning normally.

2. You should know the upper limit of the heart rate setting in your case.

3. In most cases, the upper limit is 120/minute.

4. When you exercise, check your heart rate via a very reliable system during exercise.

5. As soon as it reaches 120, that is the limit. Do not ever try to go beyond it unless you are in your cardiologist's office and he is monitoring you at that time.

6. In a few patients who are not completely pacemaker dependent, exceptions can be made by the cardiologist as their own heart can increase the rate safely and properly.

7. I have a patient who has completed a marathon (>26 miles) after pacemaker implantation.

Best of luck.
You have passed the period where we asked the patient not to raise their hand so you can start exercising now. If you are very active and, when jogging, all of a sudden you feel strong fatigue, you may need your pacemaker to be adjusted to accommodate the higher heart rate. So keep that in mind. It is called pacemaker syndrome, as the upper limit of a pacemaker may not allow the heart rate to go higher than the upper limits, but if you talk to your cardiologist and tell them you’re active, they can adjust this number.