Pacemakers and Sporting Heart Rate Monitors

I've had some troubles with my PM and running (see Breakdown at 130 posting) and have recently bought a Polar F6 heart rate monitor to keep an eye on my heart rate during running, biking, etc. I talked to Medtronic and they didn't think it (heart rate monitor) would interfere with my PM. Polar (manufacturer of the HR monitor) didn't know. Does anyone with a Pacemaker have any experience using a training type heart rate monitor. Thanks.


heart rate monitors

by pace1 - 2007-04-29 02:04:47

I have a Cardiosport monitor and it doesn't seem to interfere too much. Sometimes it does if I'm on the bike because when you sweat the strap doesn't seem to "stick" to your skin tight enough to get a reading, but that's for anyone. My dr. couldn't tell me for sure and I was told the same by my medtronic rep, that it shouldn't. I use mine when I run too and sometimes it jumps around, but I was having some trouble before my PM with it (it's old, I think I need a new one!)
I read your other post and you have me thinking...when I get my heart rate really up (160+) it almost feels like my heart will get crazy and skip a beat. My heart rate monitor has never read above 172, but I don't know how accurate it is because I can't double check it and take my heart rate with my fingers because if you try to take your pulse with your fingers when your heart rate is that high, it's hard to get an accurate count since you're moving. I'm thinking that I'm hitting my 180 max and the PM is interfering. My PM is running on my own natural rhythm. I'm shocked your dr. set your max so low, I think you said 120 originally? For a runner that's pretty low! I'd like to get on a treadmill and take a stress test because that is the only way I will get a true reading I think. Good luck and let me know how the Polar works out for you!


by jlesher - 2007-05-21 09:05:23

Thanks for the comments. I'm using my HR monitor a little more now and it doesn't seem to be interfering with the PM or vice versa. I'm still trying to get back into the shape I lost when I couldn't run at all but I'm getting there. I'm now able to run 8:45 or so pace for about 4 miles so I'm getting there. You said you were surprised that my doctor had it set so low. I'm not. Doctors, if they aren't runners or athletes (mine isn't), don't have a clue about what runners do or want to do. I used to keep a log of all my running, biking, swimming, etc when I was in the process of being diagnosed with my problem, and the doctor h ad no clue what I was doing, even though I was giving him a weekly log of my activities. I need a running doctor like I used to have. He was great, but unfortunately he retired. Oh well. Thanks again for your comments and advice. I appreciate it.

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As for my pacemaker (almost 7 years old) I like to think of it in the terms of the old Timex commercial - takes a licking and keeps on ticking.