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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

 

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High Intensity Training???Too much for Heart Just yet?? August 5, 2017

I have been an athlete my whole life and was doing HIIT type [High Intensity Interval Training] workouts 2-4 days a week in the off season as part of daily training. The did not have a fancy name or label like HIIT but were generally Hard day vs. Easier/Moderate day.  As I am now 54 these workouts take names to emphasize the intensity level.

I am dealing with heart failure and Atrial Fibrillation so my weight loss and fitness efforts are specifically aimed at building and rebuilding cardiac muscle. The aerobic workouts get the heart pumping and calories and fat burning. Ultimately aiming for a target bodyweight as recommended by my doctors and a regular schedule of exercise to keep the heart strong and supple.

The following is one type of exercise I have been doing at the gym. I also use a Heart Rate Monitor ( HRM) to track my heart beat as I exercise and the recovery before the next Intense session.

 

The first time I did this I was only able to do 3 periods of all out effort, but recently i have gotten to 7, and plan to complete 10-12 intense efforts soon.

I will post some additional HIIT workouts I have done or am planning to try in the future.

 

@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

 

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

 

A FIB, Atrial Fibrillation – Getting the Rhythm Back June 11, 2017

I have been writing lately about my diagnosis of heart failure / Atrial Fibrillation {A Fib} and the reasons I was unable to breathe comfortably at the beginning of March ( actually I was struggling and living a risky life for a few weeks before). Now that the diagnosis is in, I have the opportunity to overcome the problems that led to it and prepare for and live a healthy life.

The first situation was a 10 day stay in the hospital where the primary concern was helping me breathe easily again. This was achieved through an intensive medical regimen-centered on diuretics to flush my body of excess fluids. I lost nearly 50 pounds of fluid during the hospital stay. I continued to flush and lost more than 100 pounds.

What else was done or is done to treat and /or deal with heart failure and AFib ? What was prescribed for me?

  1. Medical- While in the hospital the doctors tried a handful of medicines to see what would work and eventually I ended up with prescriptions for 2 blood pressure medications(anti-hypertensives) One and A.C.E. inhibitor and a Calcium Channel blocker. I have also been taking a baby aspirin as a blood thinner(platelet thinner) As well as continued use of a low dose diuretic to reduce fluid build up.  I have also been taking magnesium and potassium since these valuable electrolytes are often flushed with diuretic use.
  2. Exercise- Though it was not specifically “prescribed” I was determined to get back to working out and the doctors seemed to let me go. I was essentially starting over so I was not able to overdo things at the beginning, and now almost 3 months later, I still can not really overdo it when I walk or ride or row BUT I have been tempted to push it a little with the resistance exercises ( lifting weights/machines)  I have experienced an increase in strength and fitness as I do the work and have even felt the cardio-vascular fitness improve. I have short and long term goals that include completing another marathon….but today I hope to be able to walk 2 1/2 miles in the next few weeks.
  3. Lose Weight- The goal here is to reach a weight that puts my BMI in the right zone, allows me to walk and run with little or no pain in my knees and I can wear clothing sizes I have not looked at in years.  Though I have listed this as a separate prescription it goes hand in hand with #2 and #4- [exercise and diet] I also got  nice head start with the 100 pound fluid loss , reduce stress on knees and body and allow me to keep moving. I recently started using a Heart rate monitor(I will write about using it later).
  4. Diet- The dietary recommendations were simple….NO SALT….NO SALT…NO SALT with a secondary focus on limiting fluids to 64 oz a day and a final focus on eating a low fat, low sugar diet with a focus on veggies and fruits and whole grains. I have just started on a specific popular program for weight loss and heart health and will write about it later.                                 AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST
  5. CARDIOVERSION TREATMENT -Cardioversion is a medical procedure done to restore a normal heart rhythm for people who have certain types of abnormal heartbeats (arrhythmias). Cardioversion is most often done by sending electric shocks to your heart through electrodes placed on your chest. This may also be accomplished with medicines. This treatment will take place this week and i an eager for the results. I am curious how my fitness activities will feel when my heart is beating in a normal fashion.  http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/Arrhythmia/PreventionTreatmentofArrhythmia/Cardioversion_UCM_447318_Article.jsp#.WT1lTozyuM8

 

@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