General information


I'm a 32 year old male and just got a pacemaker last week. 

I'm looking for general advice on do's and don'ts when it comes to lifestyle choices and how to carry on as normal. I have no underlying health conditions that led to my pacemaker I was however passinging out due to my heart stopping for periods of time throughout the day. So far everything is working out fine but I am still in the recovery process. 

I would just like to know if there is certain things I would have take into account going forward such as drinking during social situations. I do smoke. I also enjoy spending time in the gym and wasn't sure how this would be impacted going forward. Any advice on lifestyle changes would be greatly appreciated. 

Thank you in advance 




by Penguin - 2023-10-23 09:13:23

Hi Kieran, 

Welcome from me.

Sorry to hear that you've needed to have a PM implanted at 32 years young. There are quite a few others on here in the same situation.  My own PM journey started with pauses like yours. 

Re: Lifestyle - Phew! there's a question. We could all do better I'm sure. 

Alcohol - depends on how you react to it would be my response.  I find it triggers arrhythmia, and therefore I now avoid. Others drink alcohol moderately and as medication / doctor's advice dictates / allows. 

Gym - go for it unless your doctor says otherwise. Avoid heavy weights immediately after your surgery and if you gym and swim avoid swimming until the wound is healed to avoid infection. Move your shoulder frequently to keep it loose and to avoid frozen shoulder but don't lift above your head initially as per medical advice. Go by how you feel when you exercise and build it up gradually if you feel concerned. 

Smoking - same advice as for the general population but slightly more important if you have other cardiac issues.  Not the healthiest habit for anyone. How do you feel about smoking? Could you give up easily or would you need support if your doctors advised you to do so?  

A pacemaker should enable rather than disable you. 

Sports etc

by LondonAndy - 2023-10-23 14:02:27

Welcome too, Kieran

Good advice from Penguin, already. You have doubtless been told to be careful during the first six weeks, whilst everything heals. Also, some settings may not have been done yet, such as "rate response" - they can adjust how quickly your pacemaker speeds up on exertion, eg for when running or swimming, and also the upper and lower limits of beats per minute. These are often done at your first checkup.

But after then you should be careful about things that might impact the part of the body where the pacemaker is: shooting, boxing etc.


by new to pace.... - 2023-10-23 14:40:29

It would help in answering some of your questions if we knew the model, make and at least your location, as sometimes our answers are different depending on location or model.

new to pace

I absolutely love Penguin's final comment

by Good Dog - 2023-10-23 20:36:05

A pacemaker should enable rather than disable you. 

I love it! It is so true! I think that more people that are a recipient of a PM need to understand that early-on. Obviously, I am referring to folks that have no other underlying health problems like Kieran.

I just turned 38 when I got my pacemaker about 37 years ago. I did not change my lifestyle even a little bit. Well, I guess that I did for a few months immediately after the implant. But then my attitude was well, that problem is fixed, so now I can get on with my life. I was determined not to allow my PM to define who I was and to determine what I can and cannot do. In retrospect I thhink that worked-out well for me!

So that is the advice I would give Kieran. Just get on with your life. Be happy, don't worry! Hey; those would make good lyrics for a song............



by piglet22 - 2023-10-24 08:28:13

The short answer is see it as a return to normal with a few commonsense restrictions.

You have a sensitive electronic device sitting inside you and you need to respect it.

Don't put your fingers into power sockets and don't do pullups from the door frame.

Don't try seeing what a powerful magnet held 2-centimetres away does.

I would be quitting the smoking, PM or not. You've already had an indication that your heart is not 100%, so you don't want to be putting any extra strain on it. I wouldn't substitute vaping either..

There are many, many people with similar problems and similar solutions and as new to pace says, fill in some details, minimum device type, make etc., to make it easier to help or advise.

Good luck.

You know you're wired when...

You always have something close to your heart.

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