Exercise with Pacemaker

Dear Friends,

I have Dual chamber pacemaker in upper left Chest portion.

I want to keep myself healthy and active, hence i decided to go for Strength and bit of cardio workouts. Can you help me with my below questions ?

1: Can we lift normal weights like dumbells, Weight bars and do push-ups with Pacemaker considering it should not harm the leads ?

2: What is the limit for weights ?

3: I get ectopic beats 10-15 times in a day and more when i do some workouts like jogging, umping jacks, cycling. Is it normal to have them ?

4: Were you able to cure your ectopic beats (PVC) ?

5: What workout routines you follow to keep yourself healthy considering pacemaker in place?

From last 1 year, i have been living in fear due to sudden PVCs and couple of flutters everyday even though there is a pacemaker in place. I want to get into normal way as i was before 1 year back without any medicines and PVCs


I appreciate your help, thanks in advance.



by Tracey_E - 2023-09-28 12:55:48

Ask your doctor what you are allowed to do, but I have no limits. Leads are thin and flexible and intended to move with us. I did Crossfit 5x a week for ten years (all while paced) until my joints rebelled. I also run, hike, kayak, ski, and this year I added cycling. 

Some feel more comfortable with dumbbells over barbells. If the bar presses on your box in front rack, or if your box is just under the collarbone, then be careful about anything that would put pressure on the box or leads. 

Ectopic beats/PVC are generally considered annoying but harmless. But confirm that with your doctor! Everyone is different. 


by piglet22 - 2023-09-28 16:35:43


I'm currently having on average 100 PVCs per hour.

As Tracey says they are normally harmless, but as I'm finding out, they can mess with the pacemaker.

If I get a bad run, the pacemaker will not maintain the minimum rate of 70 BPM, it drops to below 40 BPM and I fall over.

Currently controlled by a hefty dose of Bisoprolol and seeing the consultant in just under 2 weeks.

It's taken 18 years to develop, so not so bad, but I could do without.


by Penguin - 2023-09-29 03:55:47

I've had two PMs and both have provided a counter which tells me how many PVCs I get. Like most people I got quite a few with my first PM and with this one, but have never noticed them or felt them.  Others are not so lucky. 

Recently I've had them in a row and I feel those - not pleasant - and having never experienced them before, I find them difficult to differentiate from another ventricular nasty I've acquired.  

So, I tend to agree with Piglet that these seemingly innocuous events, may be triggering for some people and seriously worrying and dangerous for others when they present in large numbers and are symptomatic e.g. cause a faint or collapse.

Strength based exercising seems to be 'the thing' rather than cardio based exercises at the moment according to my doctors.  I  can't advise easily on max weights, but building strength and endurance rather than biceps would be my priority. 

If you are very afraid and have your own good reasons for this (which I respect) you could try to find a cardiac exercise class. Exercising with other cardiac patients builds confidence and friendships and both are valuable IMO, because you're more likely to keep going to the class if you enjoy seeing the people there. 

no limits

by dwelch - 2023-10-07 05:13:49

36 years with pacers, no limits, when younger all kinds of activities, vert ramp skating, which means you tumble down a ramp several times an hour for a few hours a day.  Have twice taken very hard direct hits on the pacer, not that I recommend it, but did not break a lead. (did not break the skin, very lucky, point being these things are tough and leads are flexible).

now if you are talking full on body building with massive arms and legs, I would still expect no issues or limitations whatsoever, but you would likely be banging the weights into your chest when doing various lifts.  and that is not good.

As Tracey_E says though, check with the doc.  

The concern for pulling out leads is those first few months AFAIK.  As far as breaking the lead you need to hit the device or lead just right with the right force, etc.  You could get lucky but at the same time you have an equal risk of tearing the skin and landing in a whole world of infection risk as well as rushing to get that thing closed up...

Note two of my leads are 36 and 29 years old.  And I went from active pre-pacemaker (should have died almost every day, one time the doc lectured me on an activity and I (the teenager) simply stopped telling the doc about my activities (and kept doing them)) to eaqually if not more active post-pacemaker.  The one lead that broke was the doc broke it when taking out device number one to put in device number two.

You know you're wired when...

You have an excuse for being a couch potato.

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