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HEART FAILURE – OK Now Whats for Dinner? May 30, 2017

The diagnosis of heart failure is/was shocking but additional information and research revealed that :

  • it is not a death sentence
  • it can be lived with and
  • it can be overcome with diet and exercise

Now when I arrived at the hospital I could not walk 20 meters without being out of breath, the diagnosis was actually a relief before it was a shock.  I now knew why I felt so bad. AND the medical team made it clear that I  could overcome and even thrive.

A lifestyle change that includes adjustments in diet and an increase in exercise. The diet will be a lifestyle change “forever” not just temporarily reducing calories and  weight for now. It has been fun, learning some new foods and recipes.

There are 2 authors/physicians and cardiac experts that i have read about before and have read A LOT about recently.  Drs. Dean Ornish and John McDougall have been proponents of very low fat, plant-based/plant focused diets.

Dr.Ornish published a great book, EAT MORE, WEIGH LESS  and it is loaded with great recipes as well as tremendous common sense information with evidence that such a diet improves and even heals heart damage.

Dr.McDougall has 2 “cornerstone books” , MCDOUGALL PROGRAM FOR MAXIMUM WEIGHT LOSS and THE STARCH SOLUTION. Both focus on plant-based, low/no fat diet choices much like Dr.Ornish.

Where to find these guys?  search the web or go to:

  1. http://www.ornish.com
  2. http://www.drmcdougall.com

BUT WHAT CAN WE EAT?

  • Beans- dried or canned (choose salt-free) – loaded with fiber and protein
  • Garlic – eat, add to foods and take as supplement
  • Spinach and Dark,leafy greens
  • nuts and seeds – good fats and loaded with minerals and protein (almonds,walnuts, brazils, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds
  • salmon- great omega fats as well as protein
  • soy protein- organic tofu, tempeh, miso , edamame beans
  • whole grains
  • fresh fruits and vegetables

A future post may include information on specific nutrients required for heart failure patients( magnesium, potassium, good fats).

 

 

@martyroddy

 

 

 

Some Secondary Goals as I Return to Fitness and Health. May 21, 2017

I realized the other day that I need to expand my set of goals and objectives for my current fitness journey. The obvious and most pressing is strengthening the heart and lungs, the entire cardio-pulmonary system, as a result of my heart failure diagnosis. As that is going forward I need to expand the focus to  total body program .

I need to :

  1. increase knee flexibility and suppleness
  2. add some speed and even “jump”
  3. total body flexibility ( exercises and maybe Yoga)

The following videos address some of my personal concerns with my knees as I start over and get BACK in shape. I find that my knees have been stiff and occasionally sore. As I continue to exercise I will do these moves to help the knees…which will help me continue. I have also joined a gym @Snapfitness and I have used the bike and rower ( @Concept2 ) for knee relieving cardio. Some workouts I combine cardio tools for increased burn and reduced stress on knees.

In the long “run” my body will improve and knees will feel great as I maintain a steady weight loss and fitness program . Lower body weight will stress the knees much less , and since i have already dropped 100+ pounds the knees feel pretty good.

VIDEO: A few exercises to help keep the knees healthy and flexible

VIDEO: Specific exercise for the knees

 

Now I will address the 2nd and 3rd item in more depth later but here are  few related links.

SPEED….

http://pin.it/dnVAW6Y

and

http://pin.it/HdRdjdJ

FLEXIBILITY…

http://pin.it/t2qikKx

and

http://pin.it/4URU54z

More to come- add any questions or suggestions- always love to learn and grow.

 

@martyroddy

 

Heart Failure, Exercise and Improvement May 16, 2017

Now that I have heart failure and am dealing with it , I will write about it as I work to,overcome and live a long happy, healthy life.

I have been living with the diagnosis for 2 months now and my exercise has helped my head and my heart and even my fat butt…. keep the blood pumping and clean as I exercise and ear right….diagnosis of no more failure….just a healthy 54 year old heart.
The following video discusses some basics for the use of exercise to improve life after the diagnosis.

Fun info on overcoming the challenge and training for Ironman…or life…..QUOTE: You can get off the couch and live the life you want…even with heart disease.

@martyroddy

 

Getting close to ACTUAL MILEAGE with My Workouts/Walks May 1, 2017

This is a little bit of fun with the words as I continue my journey to recovery from heart failure and creation of a fit and healthy body. Walks are increasing to 5 per week and time/ distance is also growing.

The play with the title is the fact that I am about to walk a mile. I have been mixing up walks of .25, .55 and up to .79 miles so far. One day this week I should cross the mile marker in a workout.  This will also be the walk of longest duration. Future plans include daily walks alternating 30-40 minutes with workouts of 50-70 minutes. As I get more fit, lose the weight and strengthen my knees I hope to add miles and once a week go,for a personal best distance and eventually…..RUNNING. 

Break out new runners and get going…Of course I am walking in these and will run in them as well.

I have also felt and increase in strength for my legs as I have been doing a few sets of squats . I will add step ups, and lunges. 

I recorded a video during a recent workout….​

Now to,get back to work and have a good eating day.
@martyroddy

 

Training Takes Effort..Sometime Effort “Hurts” April 24, 2017

My mileage is still limited to fractions of a mile but my lungs and heart are getting stronger and my body is trying to keep up. I should cross the 1 mile mark shortly and ….THE MARATHON DISTANCE IS SOON IN SIGHT…. Current complaints are coming from (in order of severity):

  • left knee
  • right shoulder
  • right knee
  • both ankles
  • low back

Now I am planning to strengthen the legs and back and increase the flexibility of the joints involved with a 2-3 stage program . Starting with easy sets of exercises, with low reps and advancing to some heavier work and eventually High Intensity sets and Intervals.

The first 100 pounds came off with help of the medicine to drain the excess fluids, now the next 100 will have to be earned with sweat and discipline. I am still walking but hope to mix in some easy running intervals in 2-3 months.

I have read a few books and a lot  web-based information on the training but one book I have is one of the famous IDIOTS guides…..

I am also relying on several books and sites for the walking/run training but my favorite is ChiWalking / ChiRunning information, videos and books by Danny Dreyer and Katherine Dreyer. Their website http://www.chirunning.com/ is loaded with great information and can send us on a great journey of information gathering and fitness adventure. The central focus of the running and walking programs is doing so injury free. This has great appeal to me as I come back to walking and running with a bucket of injuries.

I will keep a clear record of my progress and maybe even some photos but some of the potential “selfies” are still too gruesome to contemplate, even after a 100 pound loss.(how bad was I?)

NOW TO THE TITLE…

Yesterday I went for a medium distance walk and felt good and walked a little faster than I had in recent efforts. While doing the walk I felt a bit of strain in my lungs but I was breathing OK so I kept going. Ever since the diagnosis any question in my breathing /cardio-pulmonary system gives me pause. When I finished and checked my phone app…I had completed the workout at a level 20% faster than any previous walk. It certainly wasn’t a No Pain No Gain effort but there was some discomfort and i am glad for that. Time to try that a little bit more…maybe every 3rd workout.

now to figure a way to measure this and keep it both safe and effective for improvement

 

 

@martyroddy

 

Make this a Training Log or Keep Writing About Workouts or ?? April 16, 2017

I continue to walk and do the workouts on my journey back to health and then fitness. I have comfortable crossed the half mile distance and should be beyond a mile soon. Some basic goals for the immediate future :

  • Adding distance
  • Increasing speed
  • Improving flexibility and softness/ suppleness in my joints( knees)
  • Adding strength throughout entire body

The first is a simple proposition…keep walking and everyday go a little bit longer. The biggest challenge I face with this (many of us face it) is repeating the daily mileage without hurting legs and knees that have already been stressed and damaged on the gridiron and basketball court.

This concern is being addressed with the 3rd and 4th bullets in this list. Increased flexibility and improved suppleness will allow me to move “over ” the ground rather than on and through the ground with the related pounding. Strength will also improve the ability of my muscles to “catch and release”each footstrike with negligible pounding.

When I start working on speed I will pick a few workout routes or section of routes to time and then later to ” time trial”. A section that took me 10 minutes might have an ultimate goal of 6 minutes 30 seconds but intermediate goals of 9 and 7 minutes. Successfully increasing speed will ultimately rely on common sense and patience….not always strengths of mine .

I hav been joking with a high school friend about getting ready for a Fall half marathon …when I wrote that to her on Facebook I had just walked a half mile for th first time since my heart diagnosis.

I am still looking into creating some sort or running/ walking / fitness club or group for folks recovering from or living with some sort of heart health diagnosis. 

martysmarch@yahoo.com for information or interest in the club.

@martyroddy

 

Looking into Starting a Fitness Club for Heart Patients April 6, 2017

I have been walking and exercising and getting stronger at a slow and steady pace since my diagnosis with heart failure and Ateial fibrillation . With the medicines I have also lost significant weight, which I hope to keep,off with healthy lifestyle ( exercise and diet). 

The best thing about the current weight loss is of course easier breathing but a secondary benefit is the reduced stress on my legs when I go for a walk and eventually runs .  My knees have some damage from other sports and the loss of weight gives me a chance, an opportunity to workout and get fit and heal the heart, knees and body.

I have been part of running and training groups in the past and the group “pressure” and camaraderie made for a great dynamic. Therefore I thought a group of like minded ( and body) cardiac-heart Patients could support, push and help each other reach physical goals.  The goals include weight loss, restoring heart function , life extension and possibly overcoming the dis-ease with exercise and diet.

There might be some medical guidance needed but exch member will also be responsible for their own medical needs and controls.

I have sent an invite out with Craigslist and will see where and how,this goes.
@martyroddy