I'm 71 years old. Hadn't been too active this year due to shortness of breath/light headiness. Then started having dizziness in March. Had echo/stress test/ 48 hr monitor. All tests came back ok.
Then fainted in July while walking. ER put a 7 day monitor on. 
I already knew I had LBBB. Found out I had First degree AV block (2nd degree Monitz I).

Anyway had dual chamber PM put in 8 days ago. My question has been how much to exercise. Am I doing too much or too little. Tried to find answers here. People talking about walking miles and hiking in mountains etc.

No way I could do anything like that. Monday walked across street up a few houses back across the street and back home. Checked heart rate and was 132. I felt a little breathless. However, before PM  I got to 108 sometimes after barely moving and would feel dizzy. So I tried to see this as encouraging and improvement. 
Sorry this is getting long. Just looking for advice. Did others take it slow especially older people my age? Am I being to cautious? Have my 1st visit with doc next week. 


Little and often

by atiras - 2023-08-17 15:50:44

I'm 65, and had my first pm 5 years ago after years of very little activity due to very symptomatic atrial fibrillation (and underlying heart failure due to cardiomyopathy, although I didnt know it at the time.) My motto was little and often - 5 minutes walking every hour, or less if I wasn't able but I made sure I  got up and moved. I did the same after my heart transplant last year and gradually built up to walk for more and more minutes. I was told not to focus on how fast I walked, or what my heat rate was, but just to work on stamina. Also not to worry about a little breatlessness which is normal if you're pushing yourself a little beyond what you're used too.


by SusanKay - 2023-08-17 16:01:16

Thank you Atiras. Good advice. 

bio and questions for your doctor

by new to pace.... - 2023-08-17 17:00:04

If you would fill in your bio, sometimes the answers we can give you are based on your model, make and your location where you live.

Also before your next appt. do write down all your questions you want the doctor to answer.  Will help you  to find out what you need to know.  Basically now just do not raise your left arm above your shoulder or lift anything heavy .  You will do just fine.  I got my pacemaker when i was 79.

new to pace


by AgentX86 - 2023-08-17 17:15:30

The bottom line, unless you've been told otherwise, as much as you feel that you can/want to do. 

I was 65 when I gor my pacemaker.  The day after I got home from the hospital (second day after surgery) I walked 5mi. Don't do more than your body tells you to do but if your doctors haven't placed restrictoins on you, there are no restrictions.  That said, your doctors should always know how active you are and what activites you're involved in. It makes a difference.

Atrias has the ight idea.  If you've been sedentary, do a little the first day, then a little more.   Eventially you'll get to where you want to be.  When I had my bypass surgery, I hadn't been doing anything for a long time.  After, walking to the corner of our property (maybe 100yds) was too much.  It was winter, so my wife would take me to a Walmart of Home Depot and we'd just walk around. Each day a little more, intil I got tired. I kept going a little more and then a little more until, well, my cardiologist started calling me a "nut".

You'll find that the most important gauge measuring your heart/pacemaker is your body.  If you feel good, all is right. Not much else matters.




by piglet22 - 2023-08-18 06:49:07

Unless you are told otherwise, exercise will be a positive thing to do. I mean physical. Add in some mental exercise as well.

I used to do a lot of cycling before and after pacemaker, but eventually, decided it was getting too dangerous and that includes designated cycle tracks.

I now walk a lot and do at least 10,000 steps or 4-miles a day. Clock up 3-million steps annualy or 1500-miles. This is every day, all weather. My town is very hilly as well.

UK research and advice suggests that as little as 4000 steps a day has a positive effect.

Getting out makes you feel better. See nature, get in touch with the seasons. Exercise also puts you in a better position if things do go wrong.

I do some nutty things as well while walking, like relating the NATO phonetic alphabet forwards and backwards, singing some songs like Wichita Lineman and belting hymns like All things bright and beautiful.


by Laurette - 2023-08-18 09:23:41

I am 66 yrs had a Boston Scientific 8 weeks ago. Prior walked 2-3 miles a day, water aerobics 2-3 times a week, took care of my 7 yrs old granddaughter during the summer 3 x a week. It's been very slow recovery with walking, 6 weeks made a huge difference. Now doing good walking around my house and up an hour at a time but have not wandered out yet. Scar healed nicely just sore near armpit and left arm/ hand. Wishing you well it gets better overtime.


by SusanKay - 2023-08-18 14:02:46

Thanks for all comments/suggestions/advice.Someone asked where I live. I'm in the US and specifically live in Nebraska. I felt better reading Laurette's comments. Sounds like you were much more active than I was prior to getting PM. And still it's been slow for you. I'm taking it slow but doing a little more each day. 

Exercise and pacemakers

by Selwyn - 2023-08-19 12:51:35

A pacemaker should not make any difference to your exercise capacity, other than increasing it if your heart had heart block prior to having the PM. 

If you were unfit prior to the PM, you will be unfit after the PM. If you were fit before the PM, you will be fit after the PM, unless you let your fitness evaporate.

Pacemakers need to be tweeked according to your exercise needs. The rate response (DDDR, the R part is the rate response)  may need to be switched on and set for start and finish, along with some rate adjustments and timing blanking issues  - blanking being the interval that there can be no impulse response.

Personally, I was riding my bicycle 20 miles a couple of days after my PM ( the bicycle riding position making sure I was not using my arms). I managed to keep fit whilst recoving from the implant. 

I then went back to swimming a mile every other day, and more or less still do.  Table tennis for a couple of hard hours playing quite hard, coaching teenagers yesterday, and shortly out to go ball-room dancing. I am 70 in a couple of weeks. 

I am trying to persuade a table tennis club to get a defibrillator as exercise, although beneficial in the long term, is associated with sudden death.  See:


It is probably best to get medical clearance as to the exercise you want to do as things like blood pressure, coronary disease, heart failure, etc., may affect the outcome adversely.  

If you are not fit, it is certainly best to get  medical clearance and start off at a pace that is not causing distress and build up slowly. Even a couple of weeks without exercise will see your fitness decline.

Overall  proper exercise is beneficial to longevity. I have never talked to a 90 year old male that did not exercise. My 93 year old friend has just had a mild heart attack. At 92 years old  we were out cycling with him and had trouble keeping up.  

no issues, just do it

by Martino - 2023-08-31 23:00:23

I am 67 yo have a CRT-D and go to the gym 6 days a week and work out as hard as I can, weights machines and HIIT. The cardiologist is fine with everything I do

I myself was afraid for the hear rate and the D coming to work, specialist from Medtronic informed me that the D only comes in play after 3 criteria are checked. So the elevated heart rate being only one is no issue..

I was a little incertain as well when I started but am doing fine a year after implementation on back in the gym for 3/4 year...




by Happygirl8 - 2023-09-07 11:59:36

I have an ICD, it was implanted in April.  After my EF increased from 40% to 50-55% in June, my cardiologist said I had no exercise restrictions . I chase to do a little cardio with light weights.  I was doing fine until last week.  Upon returning home, I had a VT lasting about 5 min.  Luckily, my ICD brought me back into rhythm.  I asked the EP if I could still exercise.  The aanswer was yes, but he wants me monitored now.  I'm a little anxious to exercise again. Not sure what tot do. 

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I have had my pacer since 2005. At first it ruled my life. It took some time to calm down and make the mental adjustment. I had trouble sleeping and I worried a lot about pulling wires. Now I just live my life as I wish.