Can you exercise if you have a defibrillator?
Moderate exercise can keep implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) patients fit, without raising the shock risk.
Many people fear working out might cause their ICDs to deliver a shock to restore heart rhythm. However, moderate aerobic exercise, bowling or golf can improve cardiovascular health in patients who have received an ICD, without causing the device to deliver the shocks.
Moreover, recent studies show that for many people with ICDs who participate in strenuous sports the risk is actually low. The study followed more than 400 ICD patients that participated in soccer, basketball, running, volleyball, tennis, skiing, snowboarding, and other strenuous sports. Even though some of them received electrical shocks while participating in sports, they were not harmed.
It's important for people with ICDs who want to play strenuous sports to consult their doctors for their individualized decision. Your doctors should give you safe exercise heart rate limits for your ICD settings.
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