Athletic 52 year old and exercise

Looking for someone who may be in my situation or experience.

I"m 52 years old....I've always had a heart rate in 50's with no issues, felt great... but now bottoming out in low 40's for some reason.  Throughout my years, I've worked out, cross fit, running 10K's, 5 K's......never had issues until last month with getting fatigue with routine activities.  Had a heart cath......all is well other than low heart rate and subsequent fatigue.   

MD has mentioned a pacemaker is possible......

Question....... since my problem is low heart rate and with all other aspects of my heart normal..... is a capped heart rate always done......and if so, would that limit my ability to exercise maximally?  If the goal is to maintain baseline heart rate, is a capped maximal rate always done?



Capped heart rate

by AgentX86 - 2019-05-30 22:49:31

Every pacemaker has a maximum rate.  You're going to want one that has all of the capabilities you need to support, not only your health, but also your lifestyle.  This is something you really have to discuss with your doctor prior to the procedure.  He will select the device that's best for you.  He can also make sure that you're able to sustain a high heart rate safely.

Note that participating in endurance sports is just asking for arrhythmias, like Afib.  It's a well established link.

PM for athletic/active folks

by ar_vin - 2019-05-31 01:56:15

I got a Medtronic PM in September 2018. It took a lot of research, reading and discussing with some very helpful foum members here to finally adjust my PM settings to help me work out the way I like. I hike and run big hills and mountains and the Medtronic is not suited for such activities. From my reading I think a Biotronik (with CLS) would probably work better.

The Medtronic PMs use just a single accelorometer to detect movement: this works fine if you mostly run or walk on flat ground. When walking or running up hills one's moving quite slowly but expending significant effort (requiring more oxygen); unfortunately the Medtronic PMs have a hard time adjusting the heart rate in such situations.

Good luck in picking the right PM. 

One other thing: after the implant give yourself some time to bounce back but be persistent in getting the right settings for your PM! It's easy to get discouraged when your exercise performance declines. Just keep pushing first for the right PM and then push to get the settings dialed in until you're performing as you're used to.

It took me almost six months and a lot of back and forth. But I now finally feel like my pre PM self.



Probably a good call

by Zackalope - 2019-06-04 22:44:37

I would say that the last ten years of my implanted pacemaker have been a big improvement, and I was bradycardic as well due to a 3rd degree block.

I never had symptoms, but my athetic performance definately improved with the pacer.

However, if you read my recent post, I have been getting a little paranoid about things, so perhaps (and I think this is with much of modern medicine) there is a give and take. And everything carries a risk. What does your MD think the risks are to NOT getting one?

already had a slow HR with no issues

by Sports Chaser - 2019-07-02 19:38:57

We just hadn't crossed the final line to making the decision to clear all other health aspects medically.    The doc stated that as long as I don't have symptoms, then keep on trucking.

The fatigue issue is relatively new and as a athletic 52 year old, it's just so unexpected. I have had a slow heart rate for years and just thought I was in great shape.  Now it's slowly sinking in that the old ticker is dragging, after confirming that all other apsects are clear (echo, ekg's and a previous heart cath).

I have to mentally cope that a PM may be my only option.....but I'm tired of being tired. 


Active sports

by - 2019-07-15 18:02:02

I have had pm 2 weeks only, but it looks like it does not impede my sports activities at all. I do martials arts also, 69 yr.

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I live an extremely normal life now and my device does NOT hinder me in any way.