Scared of doing exercise

Hello all! Im 38, I had a pacemaker implanted on November 2021, i used to have kind of a phobia for doing exercises cause i used to get tired easily, now im scared to do any exercise :( am i the only one expereriencing such a fear? 


6 Comments

SCARED

by athena123 - 2022-05-23 18:36:43

HI,and welcome. Keep with the gym because right now you most likely have anxiety, and overtime that will subside. the best thing for anxiety is exercise and to take your mind of the anxiety. Also, try cognitive behavorial therapy that will help you as well as some meditating. keep with it. good luck my friend 

Phobia

by AgentX86 - 2022-05-23 19:52:35

Unless your EP has directed you differently, exercise is a good thing, particularly for this with wonky hearts.  It's good to build reserve cardio capacity.

Barring such instructions from your EP, that's just what it is, an irrational fear. That doesn't mean it's not real or that it doesn't cause anxiety. Understand that this is your right brain talking.  You left brain evidently already understands that it's irrational.  Now the object is to negotiate a peace between them.

As Athena said above, behavioral therapy can help but you might also try immersion therapy. The idea is to confront your fears and slowly increase (immerse) yourself in the action or object that is at the root of your fear. You can find a therapist or try this yourself.  Walking is exercise, which you probably already do. Start by walking as far as you think you can without getting too anxious. After walking, then try another exercise, maybe an easy one.  Then a harder one.Then increase the distance slowly until you are less and less aprehensive. Walking is a very good, probably the best, exercise. If it's all you end up doing, it's enough.  It's all I do for exercise. I'm a little nutty about it and I don't expect anyone else to go down that rabbit hole.

exercise?

by skigrl3 - 2022-05-23 22:16:22

If your physician recommends, start slow - walking is great exercise. I have the opposite phobia, I just got my pacemaker. I have always been sorta athletic and exercise quite a bit. I was afraid to slow down during recovery from the procedure, for fear of not being able to get back at it..I know it is not rational..and my body needs time to get where it was with exercise. Good luck with your recovery finding a comfort zone on exercise.

Walking is Therapy

by SeenBetterDays - 2022-05-24 13:24:43

I am with AgentX86 on the walking.  It has really helped me mentally as well as physically.  I think that if you can get out into nature, maybe near some rivers or trees it really soothes an anxious mind.  Also, walking can be something where you vary the challenge, maybe start off flat then gradually build in a few hills.  Just take it slowly but try not to avoid it all together as I think it can really have a positive benefit.  Let us know how it goes. All the best.

Waiting Period is over

by PacerRep - 2022-05-24 20:14:33

Hi, 

The disclaimer is I am just an electrical geek, so barring any sort of UNK medical issue or another type of UNK issue, the below advice is from a pacemaker view only. 

The standard waiting period before doing any sort of rigorous exercise is only 30 days. However there is an argument to go beyond that to 60days if it involves lots of overhead motion (freestyle swimming and something that doesn't exist like jumping jack competitions). The reason for this is so the leads that are connected to your heart muscle and then to the device need time to "settle", which is just a boring way of saying that calcium and scar tissue need to build up around the tip of the lead and the body of it and "lock" it in place so the leads don't pull out. 

November 2021 is a long time ago when exercise is considered, so from that view alone, you are MORE than past the point where you can start taking that shiny new pacemaker for a test drive! So again, barring anything UNK here, get on out there and show the world what you can do.

PacerRep

I understand but that was then, and this is now

by Gotrhythm - 2022-05-26 16:04:20

Before I was diagnosed, when I was in my 40s and early 50s, I concluded that exercise wasn't for me. Everyone said you'll feel better after exercise and I acknowledged it might be true for them, probably was, but it wasn't true for me. Although there was "nothing" wrong with me and I had the lung function, blood tests, and EKGs to prove it, vigorous exercise felt terrible to me And that promise that the more you do it the easier it will get?--WRONG!

The older I got, the longer it took to recover from even trying. So I get how you might have developed an exercise phobia. The feelings of not being able to tolerate exercise are very unpleasant. In the moment, they even feel life-threatening.

But that was then and this is now. Once upon a time fear of exercise was reasonable, but it's not now. Now you have a pacemaker. Assuming you have no other conditions that limit your body's ability to respond to demands on it, it's time for you to come into the present time.

Unfortunately there's no way to do that except face the fear. Face it down. Be afraid and exercise anyway, until you are clear that exercise will not kill you, and even though you get tired, you will recover.

There are cardiac rehab programs. Usually they are for people with heart damage but you might talk to your cardiologist, tell the truth about your fear, and ask for referral. In rehab you could be reintroduced to exercise in a controlled (safe) environment, that would help you build up your stamina and confidence in your body's ability to tolerate,  in other words 'live through,' exercising. 

I really hate the idea of someone young as you staying crippled by a problem they used to have but don't have anymore! If rehab isn't possible, do get some therapy* to help in facing this fear and whittling it down to size.

*Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is often very effective in a short amount of time. (and less expensive.)

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