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Heart Failure,Atrial Fibrillation (A Fib) and Exercise September 27, 2017

Now that I am 6 months beyond the diagnosis of Heart Failure with Atrial Fibrillation I am looking at information about both of these conditions and my personal feelings and health.

I am still in A Fib but I have also lost well over 100 pounds and continue to workout , eat well and workout some more. I am doing a variety of cardio workouts to pump the blood, exercise the heart and of course burn some calories and fat. I am also doing some resistance exercise ( weightlifting and bodyweight moves)  to rebuild the body and muscular system.

I have written about the exercise and will do more in the future but my cardio includes walking outside, rowing on the Concept 2 Erg Trainer, Riding the Cybex stationary bike and the Cybex Arc Trainer ( Elliptical ) and starting on the Nautilus Stairmaster.

Now as Dr.Gupta says in the exercise video I may be able to attempt  a marathon again in the future. I need to take it easy and build up slowly- if I continue with a smart diet( currently plant based low fat diet) and the exercise program and a plan to build up to the kind of training necessary for a 4-6 hour run.

Regardless of that outcome I plan on dropping more of the weight- keeping it off and maintaining healthy lifestyle while dealing with the long term concerns with the heart failure diagnosis and possibly changing/improving on it.

Time to publish and eat a proper meal and later to the gym.

A video with info about A Fib…Not a good diagnosis BUT not the END either.

 

Exercise and Heart Disease video- good info and a great quote, ” for most, exercise allows for people to fell better AND a longer life than most medication only plans.”

Another good quote- wrong to dive into exercise , gradually increase effort and amount of exercise.

 

@martyroddy

 

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I got a little Focused on the Concept 2 Rower this Month August 29, 2017

During the recent month( ending today , as far as Concept 2 measures, for Dog Days of Summer Challenge) I was ( we were) challenged to row a total of at least 100,000 meters between August 1 and 28. It seemed like  fun idea when I first read about- a distraction from us sweating and a goal to reach for.

I looked at it a little more closely and was shocked to realize that in the 3rd and 4th weeks I would need to row 4300 and 5800 meters per day to reach the weekly/month goals.

Now these totals were not that big for someone who had been rowing hard for some period of time or was in training for races etc, but I just re-started rowing in April following a diagnosis of Heart Failure ( A-Fib)  I started with a cautious and slightly difficult 500 meters. BUT>>>> I decided to  GIVE IT A GO and jumped in and had some fun. Prior to August 1st I had been mixing up my cardio at the gym and doing some resistance work. After week 1 other cardio went away. I needed all of the gym time o get the rowing done…now I was a little upset but then realized it was a good substitute and temporary.

As the 2nd week started ( goal of 20,000 meters) I shifted away from Cybex Arc-trainer and Cybex bike cardio cross training but continued to do some resistance exercises with machines and barbells. The resistance work was also more narrowly focused during this time to Push type exercises (presses and similar moves) since the rower was concentrating on Pull type work.

Then I had to figure out how to do all of this rowing and keep my focus, I utilized the workouts sent out everyday in emails from Concept2  ,http://www.concept2.com/ , and from some suggested interval training workouts found on youtube. In much the same way that a “watched pot doesn’t boil” a watched “workout monitor meter measurement doesn’t add up”  I needed some ways to pass the time as I worked out. I was rowing 20-30-40 or more minutes everyday. As I did the workouts(i.e 2 minutes hard, 1 easy or 250 meters hard and 250 easy…) I was able to achieve the distances required and avoid the potential boredom

The following video is an example of one of the workouts I used.

It was fun and I look forward to the next challenge and I may create one for myself- like building my lifetime total on the rower to the 1 million meter mark. I am above the 1/4 million point after this recent month. My ultimate goal for the current period is reaching my bodyweight from middle high school years (245lbs).

An example of workout I was doing and am returning to ( in addition to rowing or biking or walking) now that I have completed the challenge

 

@martyroddy

 

 

Superfoods ?? =Superfitness and Health August 5, 2017

I have been eating better and exercising quite seriously most of my life BUT the focus has gotten tighter in the last few months with a diagnosis of heart failure / atrial fibrillation .  The weight started coming off but a focused plan for the exercise and eating was needed to reach the ultimate weight.

I have written and continue to write about the workouts but this is a quick discussion of the food plan, with a focus on some of the so called “super” foods.

I have not focused on too many crazy foods but on foods that are great for the broad spectrum of nutrients inherent in them as well as additional benefits such as fiber, feelings of fullness and convenience(carry for lunch).

 

My SUPERFOODS include:

  • cabbage and brussels sprouts
  • turmeric, ginger and garlic
  • rolled oats
  • whole grains
  • legumes/beans
  • sweet potatoes
  • green tea
  • raw nuts and seeds
  • apple cider vinegar
  • citrus fruits
  • PLUS others…

Great list of “super”foods that is reasonable and easily purchased and available.

 

I don’t eat all of these daily or even weekly but I eat many of them on a regular basis as well as the foods above.  I feel full , my body functions well and I feel pretty healthy all the time.

I am maintaining a relatively stable calorie count along with a solid exercise regimen with significant cardio. If things continue as planned and currently rolling I will reach targets early in the new year.

 

@martyroddy

 

Cardio Training at the Gym July 23, 2017

Now that the Heart Failure diagnosis has been "lived with" for a few months and physical activity and exercise has been adjusted to live with AND overcome the challenge.

Now the most simple exercise is walking and later running BUT with funny knees I must do a variety of cardio/ aerobic exercises to pump the blood, build up the heart and lungs and rebuild the rest of my body. I joined a gym in my neighborhood that offers a few benefits…in this order:

  1. Concept 2 Rowing machine
  2. Reasonable price
  3. 24 hour access

I posted a video of the Cybex ArcTrainer, it is the first "elliptical " cardio machine I could use. It has a proper range of motion for my 6 foot 8 inch body, and long monkey arms.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r58nxtqD_zQ&feature=share

I have gotten to,the point where I can go 20 minutes ion the machine but I am loving it and will push until I can go,30-45 minutes. I am enjoying the ArcTrainer almost as much as I enjoy the Concept2 Rower. I also mix in walking at home around my neighborhood And when necessary on the treadmill at the gym.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_YfAjjVsWEI&feature=share

I continue to workout, get strong and lose weight. I have a distance to go to reach my target weight (weight freshman year in High school) and it is a good ways still to go BUT I have lost over 100 pounds to date,
My food plan is working and might be do-able for he long term.

@martyroddy

 

What are My Goals?  Do You have Goals?? July 6, 2017

What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.                    Zig Ziglar

I have been a goal setter and goal planner for a long time. In my younger life my goals..or my written goals were almost exclusively sports , athletics and physically related. A few examples included improvements specific stats in a sports situation or reaching a target weightlifting maximum during offseason workouts.

There were some goals in other settings, usually academic but they were barely written done and if so, the details and plans were limited to the target accomplishment but with limited details about the work required.

Later in life I wrote out some goals and even accomplished them. This was limited in scope and success. 

I have now created a broad set of goals and my current health/ physical goals have taken on a new importance. The March 2017 diagnosis of HEART FAILURE, created an urgency that a “generic” weight loss / GET FIT goal may not have. Doctors have suggested diet recommendations and limitations as well as some exercise, they have agreed to my general plan of getting back into shape as I drop weight and move towards a physical situation that is most healthy.

    My physical goals include a variety of the following….
  1. Weight loss of 150+ pounds (good progress..)
  2. Return to running and participate in a few races for fun and travel
  3. Participate in group fitness classes and/ or events
  4. Have great energy, good rest and a positive attitude because I feel great

Time to get to the gym, us ether elliptical, now,that I can, and work on the tower and bike as well.
@martyroddy

 

Elliptical Machine- Low Impact Heart Training Machine June 30, 2017

I recently tried to use the elliptical trainers at the gym[ @Snapfitness ] and was pleasantly surprised that i could use these machines. Over the years I have tried different elliptical trainers at different gyms BUT they were all too small.

Small is a function of the rage of motion or stroke length for each leg/foot movement as well s the arm motion.  Using these “too small” machines created discomfort and cramps in short order. Now I tried the machines at my new gym and loved the motion. So I took the machine “for a spin”  and enjoyed the workout. Heck “enjoyed” might seem like  funny word for the sweaty, discomfort I found my self in after 10 minutes. It was a joyful discomfort and i looked forward to future workouts.

I went back to the gym the next day and did it again  This time I planned for a 10 minute workout and when I recovered, I did it again for 5 minutes.  This was a good workout and i look forward to doing it regularly , now that I can.

This will be great for my body and heart as it cranks the blood through me and burns the fat and gristle from me. All of this with minimal stress and threat to my questionable knees. I will also walk outside and on the treadmill until I reach a target weight..at which time I will start running and a run-walk program.

I have attached a basic elliptical use video and fun workout video. I like workouts with a structure, especially that can require a little bit of concentration during the workout- helps pass the time.

I am down almost 140 pounds…..Now with this new calorie eating tool…. bring on bikini season.

 

 

 

@martyroddy

 

Change Begins with Choice (thanks J.Rohn) June 20, 2017

“Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going”    -Jim Rohn

I read an article by Jim Rohn about making changes and how to go about it, even when it is difficult. The fact that it is easy to ignore  and take the easy path so it is true that we must make the decision, the choice first…..

In  recent medical WAKEUP I found I had developed heart failure and Atrial Fibrillation (A Fib) . The initial treatment focused on losing, flushing fluid from the body…a secondary benefit of that was a loss of weight. This benefit showed itself when I began exercising and walking. A drop of 50 then 70 and now over 100 pounds has reduced the strain on my body, knees and legs allowing me to workout more frequently.

The cardio workouts are strengthening my heart and lungs and the weightlifting is strengthening the body and spirit…I love walking and running BUT pushing weights is a BLAST.  As I lost a lot of fluid weight and it is still gone- now I workout and lose the Fat and Gristle and continue to drop the weight, move towards a target body-weight and body shape for my 80 inch body .  Time to decide on where to settle but for now somewhere in the 245-250 lb neighborhood is the target.

Looking at the article by Mr.Rohn- I need to make the decision everyday to workout and eat properly. This will help develop the HABIT to allow for success in the process and later maintaining the target fitness level.

Will use this and other Rohn ideas and writings for setting and achieving goals and success.

 

http://www.success.com/article/rohn-change-begins-with-choice?utm_source=Maropost&utm_campaign=5%20Money%20Principles%20You%20Need%20to%20Know&utm_term=Jim%20Rohn&utm_medium=Email&mpweb=574-3714673-742241295

 
@martyroddy