There’s a lot to think about as you prepare for your pacemaker implantation surgery. You’re probably focused on following the instructions provided by your doctor, eating a healthy diet, and planning your trip to see the specialists at Cardiovascular Associates of Lake County. And if you’re used to living an active lifestyle, you might also be wondering how soon you’ll be able to get back to exercising. The good news is that once the root cause of your cardiac issues has been treated, your life after a pacemaker implantation can include exercise–but you’ll want to make sure you follow some important guidelines to get you moving.
Talk to Your Doctor
Once you have recovered from the pacemaker implantation surgery and given yourself time to heal, you might get anxious to start working out again. It’s important to talk to your doctor before you begin an exercise program, because jerky movements in your upper body could disturb the implantation. In addition, everyone’s body is different, so some may be able to exercise in as few as six weeks while others may need to wait a little longer. Your doctor will be able to assess your tolerance for exercise. There might be some precautions to take and some milestones to reach before you get the green light to get back to exercising.

Take it Slow
Even after you get the go-ahead, it’s important to ease your way back into an exercise program. Jumping in too quickly could be hard on your heart or cause other injuries, which would keep you on the sideline for an even longer period of time. You may want to start with a brisk walk and gradually increase your distance and pace as strength and stamina improve. And when you feel comfortable, you can start exploring other exercise options.

Don’t Overdo It
There are a lot of athletic activities you’ll be able to enjoy after the pacemaker implantation surgery, and there are others that require some care. In general, swimming, playing golf and other activities that require a lot of upper-body motion might not be the best idea–at least initially–because they can lead to damage of the device’s wires. Contact sports can also cause problems. So don’t overdo it and make sure to talk to your doctor before beginning any new activity.

Stick to It
Your body will need some time to get back in shape. At first, your stamina, strength, and skills might be a little sluggish. But don’t let this stop you. Over time, your body will get stronger and your skills will return and continue to develop. So even if things are a little slow in the beginning, stick with it!

Listen to Your Body
Once you start exercising, make sure you listen to your body. If you notice any pain, shortness of breath, or other negative symptoms, it’s important to take a break–and let your doctor know so any adjustments to your pacemaker or exercise program can be made. You might also want to invest in a heart monitor so you can make sure you’re not overdoing it.

At the end of the day, exercise is supposed to be fun. So don’t let your pacemaker stop you from enjoying the activities you love. And if you need help developing an exercise program that’s right for you, contact us today. We’d love to help you get back in the game!