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New, Cardiac Rehab Exchange
DeadManWalking56 posted:
Not much information on exercise for heart disease patients that I have found on WebMD, so I created an Exchange specifically for that cardiac rehabilitation.

I had to stop my previous exercise back in:

October 2002 for an infected mitral valve to heal, then rehab.
April 2004 for a broken wrist, and could not exercise with it, then rehab
March 2005 for a strained mitral valve, then rehab
January 2006 for an emergency triple bypass, and rehab. I also had a dozen inoperable 80% blockages.
August 2006 for two stents and a minor heart attack
August 2009, Viral Meningitis, only a 1 week break, but slowed down a bunch.

I am 57, row, play badminton and basketball, do my own yard work, and also use a treadmill and some light work with weights.

Recovery is possible. Even very light exercise helps you heal.

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Byroney_WebMD_Staff responded:
Dear DMW,

Thank you for sharing your experiences and your determination. It's always inspiring to read your posts and recognize that we must not just advocate for ourselves, but take charge of our recoveries, too.

dtms1 responded:
I book marked you Deadman. Can't hurt to keep up with cardiac rehab. Smart to do all the right things before someone tells you that you have to--or else. I am assuming you will also be discussing diet. Thanks.

DeadManWalking56 replied to dtms1's response:
I had not been thinking of throwing in diet. I could. Again, I am a special case with all those additional blockages.

Many years ago canaries were kept in coal mines. Theywoudl sing while oxygen levels were good, but fal silent when the levels began to drop and it was becoming dangerous to work. Miners knew to get out while it was still safe, when the birds stopped singing.

Well, I am like a canary in the coal mines with diet and my heart disease. If I eat something with more than a tiny amount of fat, I get significant strong angina requiring multiple doses of nitro spray in from 4 to 24 hours. Typically for me, angina is rare, very minor, and passes away in a couple seconds.

Most people can eat more fat than I can, and do not get that reaction. So I am on very low fat, and I really don't breach it.

I suppose I can mention what I do, since my diet habits have aided my rehabiltation. Engineer Guy's Fuhrman Heart Health diet exchange is well led.
DeadManWalking56 replied to dtms1's response:

Don't be shy, throw me a discussion or question over there.

DeadManWalking56 replied to Byroney_WebMD_Staff's response:
I did not think of determination.

I was just not ready to be tired and weak. I knew it was either stay tired and get more frail, or see what I could do little by little, day by day.

Sometimes it is tough to keep it up. Worse people try to convince me to slow down, missing a day won't matter. But it does matter, and I can't just go every other day. I've backed off and done that, and I get more tired more easily in just a week of reduced or a few skipped workouts. My heart is trying to shut me down. So I try to exert control, and improve.
dtms1 replied to DeadManWalking56's response:
I can always tell that something good happens when I exercise (and do some strength training). My blood sugar gets nice and low--even if I have eaten grains or a starchy vegetable. My blood pressure is always at its lowest when I take it after exercising (about ten minutes to half an hour because I have to drive home from the gym or from where I walk. There are no sidewalks where I am and lots of traffic so--oddly enough I have to drive in order to walk.

Also if I prick my finger to get a drop of blood for my glucose strip, the blood flows freely. Great circulation then, I think.

I have to wonder if people are being conscientious about the exercise for cardiac rehab yet still eating the SAD. What do you think Dead, will the exercise still be effective?

DeadManWalking56 replied to dtms1's response:
They need both modified diet and exercise.

The exercise strengthens the heart, but may not improve blockages. It will also lower LDL, and more intense exercise can help elevate HDL.

Longer duration exercise will also prompt the heart to add new circulation, but this is just as slow a process as blockage development.

The crux of recovery in heart disease is reducing LDL, boosting HDL and heart strength, cutting down oxidized LDL, reducing blockages, and healing arteries.

That can not happen on the SAD diet, and sitting on one's rump with no activity.

Strength training is good provided blood pressure is monitored. It rises with heart rate. A good warm up first and cool down after are very wise. If arteries are brittle from calcification, anything elevating blood pressure can be dangerous. With that, it means light weights, no straining at all. But one can lift and slower slowly, which will improve strength even with light weights. Leg strength and lower back strength are most important to prevent falls.
DeadManWalking56 replied to dtms1's response:

It will be kind of fun to do a question and answer thing, but take it out of this post, and write each separate question in its own post on this exchange.

DeadManWalking56 replied to DeadManWalking56's response:
I mean over to the cardiac rehab exchange.
dtms1 replied to DeadManWalking56's response:
It is also necessary to remember to breathe properly when lifting weights and to never, ever hold your breath while lifting. Breathe out when lifting the weight and breathe in when letting the weight down. Holding your breath while lifting can cause the blood pressure to rise dangerously

DeadManWalking56 replied to dtms1's response:
Blood pressure rises lifting weights along with heart rate. So you can use a heart rate monitor while lifting, and should follow similar guidelines as with cardio as to how high your heartrate should go in any set of repetitions. 90 seconds or so between sets is good to let the rate rate and blood pressure drop back down.

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