Hi after six weeks post pacemaker I am told by the technician that I can do light breast stroke swimming and gentle jogginng, not cycling yet as where I live is full of very long steep hills. Is there any guidance on exercise regimes for people who like to exercise and keep fit at this stage in my recovery. I used to do yoga with lots of upper body stretching etc - I am guessing this is out of the question and if so, is it for ever?


Peter (Bondy)


getting back to exercising

by justjoe - 2021-09-03 12:42:59

I was frustrated that it took a while to get back -- a combination of the cardiologist telling me not to do things and the pacemaker needing to be adjusted.

But, overall I was told that for the most part I can get back to do almost anything, but avoid doign a lot of the same very repetitive exercises that might put pressure on the lead. So my doc said swimming is fine, don't do butterfly. And the tech said that I can use a rowing maching, but they wouldn't row for a long time several times a week.

I started jogging/light running by 6 weeks, started lifting again at 2 months. 4 months in a am now running at whatever pace I want, I've swum up to a mile in the pool (altough mostly breast stroke some freestyle), and I am lifting barbells and dumbells and getting back up to the weights I was at prior to the pacemakers. 

When I first started exercising, I worried I wouldn't be able to get back to a satisfying intensity. But now I am pushing it while running -- it's still always on my mind because my HR is driven by the pacemaker so need to understand other signals for how hard I am pushing. And lifting sometimes I now forget about it while lifting.

Hope this helps! My biggest takeaway was that the first wo months I had strange feelings I was worried would never go away, but they did, part due to adjustments made to the pacemaker, I think part due to time and getting used to it. 

Welcome to the club!

by ar_vin - 2021-09-03 12:51:01

First, welcome to the club you never asked to belong to!

Second, to your question "is it for ever?". *Nothing* is forever! But you already knew that.

It appears your earlier post under a different username (Bondy) was deleted - did you delete it or was it removed by the "moderators"?

Please complete your profile with brand and model of your PM as well.

Now on to exercise: you are young and if you were in good shape prior to the implant, you should be able to do pretty much anything you were able to do pre-implant. If all you have is complete heart block, the PM should fix that quite completely with some settings tweaks if needed.

Of course you need allow some time for recovery from the implant procedure - six weeks is when I felt mostly well enough to start to push myself. But only you know how well you feel and use your EP/clinic's opinion to modulate your activity level.

About eight months post implant and after a few settings adjustments I was pretty much back to my pre-implant level of activity.  I hike, run, climb, bike. lift weights and backpack at pretty much the level pre-implant.

Three years on I mostly forget I have a PM.

Welcome back Peter

by Gemita - 2021-09-03 14:18:11

So glad you are back with us and all seems to be well this time.  Hope you have no further problems with your "login issue".  I note you also had to delete your account under User name "Bondy" and re-register again (for the second time)?   What a mountain to climb to become a member of the Pacemaker Club.  Hope it will prove worth your while.

I have written privately Peter,


Doesn't make sense

by crustyg - 2021-09-03 14:38:20

Having an EP-tech tell you that you shouldn't cycle hard up hills with a PM for CHB doesn't make sense.  A warning that until the PM has been adjusted for you it might be difficult to achieve your normal cycling performance might be appropriate, but even then I'm not sure that this type of advice is within the expertise of an EP-tech.

You've chosen not to share your PM vendor/model with us, so we can't know much much adjustment may be possible for road cycling.

I was out on my road bike on the 4th day post implantation.  I do Pilates, Yoga, swimming and we're of the same age, roughly.  You'll definitely get twinges from your PM pocket in cactus pose and any upper body stretching - you just keep going and the twinges disappear.

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My ICD/pacer is not a burden. I still play tennis and golf.