pacing during exercise

Hi again!
You, my fellow club members, have helped me figure out many things about life as a pacer in the last 6 months. Thank you so much.
I didn't get much response though to my question about "pacing during cool down" I posted in the exercise section. I know there are many of you exercisers out there.
Perhaps I didn't explain well enough. I only know I'm pacing during exercise because the heart monitor jumps considerably, say from 75 to 145 or whatever and stays there for 3 minutes. (when I'm sleeping I feel pacing, but not during exercise)
During exercise, I find singing (yes I said singing) helps me to keep from pacing (better breathing?)..... but once I try to slow down, actually when I hit about 130 strides/minute..... heart rate jumps.
I still figure it's still better to exercise than not, but would like the knowledge of those who have gone before me. You have been right in so many areas so far.
In case it helps to know, mine is for vaso vagal, so has settings for rate drop as well as minimal heart rate.



by heckboy - 2008-02-17 11:02:02

I'm not sure that I understand... are you saying that your pacing is inconsistent during exercise?

How do you know if you're pacing or not? I'm not sure what exactly you're asking without knowing more about what's "normal" for you.

For comparison, when I'm at rest, I may be pacing or I may not. When I exercise, I am pacing about 90% of the time as my issue is poor ventricular pacing. If I'm not pacing, I get winded and lose all endurance. A fast walk on a treadmill will get my HR up to 110-120... an slow run will get it up to 160+ and on cool down, I'll fall back to 110 and stay in that range if I continue with a brisk weight workout. Sitting here typing I'm at about 65.

Treadmill monitors

by axg9504 - 2008-02-18 03:02:38

can't always be trusted as noted by others. At my Y they now have Polar HM's in their treadmills. I don't remember what we had before they switched to new but I remember my towel registering a consistent rate on some of them!!
I'm at 5 weeks, and I don't think there's any way to 'know' when you are paced, not if your PM is working as it should. I know I am definitely being paced when I walk fast because I couldn't go more than 5 mts without my rate dropping. Now I know my PM must have kicked in at some point but I can't tell. I rarely see any large fluctuations in rate when I'm walking at a steady pace. If I do I know it's my errant natural conduction chiming in. From many observations with a heart monitor before the PM went in, I have seen my heart rate recover briefly during exercise. That's how I can tell.

Re: Via's stuff

by ridera - 2008-02-18 03:02:52

Monitors are not really calibrated, they just count pulses. Your experience with them is quite common. The main problem is that the sensing pads are not making a reliable connection to your skin. Make certain they are good and wet with saliva and the strap is fairly tight.

Via's "If your setting is 140 bpm then you should not push yourself during exercise to > 140 bpm because at this point your PM will be triggered to intervene (sensing you're in trouble) and "force" your HR to 140 bpm." is nonsense for PMs, ICD's are another matter.

PMs only intervene to maintain a MINIMUM HR, they do not intervene if your intrinsic rate is higher. Thus, if your natural SA wants the rate to go above the PM's upper setting, it won't intervene. If your intrinsic goes above your max for your age, then see your cardio or EP right away. If you don't know your max rate, use HRmax = 205.8 − (0.685 * age) [

Don't worry about cool-down. PMs, I assume all, have a controlled slow-down rate profile which should be just fine.


by Shelly - 2008-02-18 06:02:20

Not 100% sure I fully understand what you mean about feeling the pacing, but if it's any help, I also notice the heart rate monitor on the treadmill seems to be very random.

For example, it can go from 80bpm to 130bpm to 110 bpm to 150bpm within a couple of minutes!!

It also seems to get higher when I start to cool down, then it seems to 'sort itself out' and go down properly (130...120..110 etc).

Just to be on the safe side, I do an extra long 'cool down' period until the heart rate reads below 90bpm.

Since I feel absolutely fine whilst all this is going on I PRESUME it is simply the machine getting confused by my pacemaker, BUT I don't know that to be true, I've only guessed, and may be wrong, so if anyone out there knows what is actually happening, I'd be grateful for any comments or ideas - thanks.

Take care,

Shelly (uk)

suprrssed beats

by heckboy - 2008-02-18 06:02:55

Contrary to a post above, a pm will supress beats if you have an upper limit set and your activity level is pushing for it to go higher.

I used to have an upper limit, but it has since been turned off since I pace at my own rhythm. I used to routinely bump against the upper limit and I didn't pay it any mind. My drs didn't seem concerned about it as long as I felt fine during the activity.

We all seem to be sensitive to different things. If there's anthing to be learned from this thread it's that he monitors may not always reflect what's going on.


by heckboy - 2008-02-18 10:02:34

Those HR monitors on the treadmills can be wacky. I find that while they may jump all around, if I take my pulse by putting my fingers to my jugular, it's pretty steady.

Why don't you try taking your pulse the old fashioned way and see if the problem persists. It coul dbe your monitor isn't functioning properly.

pacing & exercise

by Vai - 2008-02-18 12:02:05

1. Exercise is a necessity more so if you have a PM.
2. Do not solely rely on the monitors on the exercise equipment like a treadmill or bike. Remember these are not calibrated medical equipment. Use them as indicators only. You may check this out by exercising on different machines or different models. You will find the readings vary from machine to machine though not by a big margin.
3. Find out what is your PM upper setting. If your setting is 140 bpm then you should not push yourself during exercise to > 140 bpm because at this point your PM will be triggered to intervene (sensing you're in trouble) and "force" your HR to 140 bpm. You will really feel the pacing when this happens. Mine is set at 140 bpm upper limit and my doc reminds me the purpose of exercise is not to push my HR to a point where discomfort sets in. I push myself to 130-135 bpm max as monitored on the treadmill (I try to use same equipment or same model in the gym).
4. SInce your rate drop response is turned on, then you need to manage your cool-down gradually, say a drop of 10 bpm every 2 minutes or so to ensure your PM does not get to detect that there is a sudden drop in HR and is triggered to intervene.
I hope this helps.

Treadmill HR monitors

by ElectricFrank - 2008-02-19 02:02:36

Any HR monitor that uses the ECG method may not work right with a pacer. The pacer changes the waveform that is detected between the arms and the monitor isn't programmed to work with it.
The best thing is get a HR monitor that senses the blood pulse in finger tip or ear lobe.


Heckboy, is that right...

by axg9504 - 2008-02-19 03:02:38

can a PM suppress beats? I have rate response turned on and my max is 140, I know that my natural pacer will not run my heart at 140 very long if I need it because I've done many monitoring sessions while running/walking with my HRM before the PM went in. So, if the pacer steps in it can only go to 140. However my intrinsic conduction, if it wakes up can chime in and push me to 150 or whatever (tho' I doubt it will) and the PM is not going to stop it.

Is that right?

Yeah, it's right...

by heckboy - 2008-02-21 11:02:06

Soon after my 1st PM, after running my warmup I took my pulse. I was concerned that it was going, BEAT, BEAT, pause....BEAT, BEAT, pause... in an irregular way. then when the beats slowed to my upper rate, they smoothed out to a steady beat. When I asked my EP what was going on, I was told that beats were being suppressed to keep me from going over my upper limit.

Thanks for your replies

by mandogrl - 2008-02-25 07:02:29

I don't believe my PM is not set for an upper limit. Most of the time I'm exercising, my pulse is in the 60's thru the low 80's. On my eliptical, I'm usually going 160-170 strides/minute. When I hit the cooldown, I slow down gradually, watching the strides/minute counter. It's when I hit 120-130 strides, that my pulse (on the eliptical's monitor) does an instant increase of about 40 beats/min. It's just my guess that a jump that fast means I'm pacing.
I'm not going to let it keep me from exercising, but I was wondering what happens to others who have PM's.
P.S. the only time I actually "feel" pacing is when it wakes me up in the middle of the night. When my body is active, i rarely notice it.

You know you're wired when...

You have a new body part.

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