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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

 

 

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

 

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
 

BROKEN HEART FITNESS – Fitness Group for Cardiac and Heart Patients  June 15, 2017

Broken Heart was the first name that came to mind. It doesn’t say the heart is done, just that it is broken in some way and can be improved or maintained. 

A fitness club or workout group that is focused  on cardiac issues relating to diet and exercise is an obvious group and many fitness clubs and groups address cardiac wellness and health in general . A group of this nature would focus specifically improving and / or maintaining the heart health , especially after a diagnosis of heart failure or heart disease.

Organizing, leading or supporting a helpful group provides the volunteers (some that are experts – interested patients or family members ) the opportunity to give back while also improving personal cardiac health and strength as needed. Service in the support of others is what we are here for.

God designed us to give or lend strength to others and those in need. It is one of the ways we fulfill His great Commandment : love other people as much as we love ourselves .  Heart Patients, heart experts and other interested persons can assist a group in organizing and succeeding.

The club/ group is being formed with the goals of :

  1. Assist all members in achieving fitness goals
  2. Promote best total health for all members
  3. Provide diet and food guidance and support
  4. Support lifestyle changes necessary for recovery and strength

If interested please follow up with comments and we will reply via email. 
@martyroddy

 

Breakfast Casserole- Leftovers Tomorow or for Lunch-Oatmeal(starch) and fruit June 12, 2017

I,have started with a specific diet with guidance from the,books and recipes of John ( and Mary)  McDougall. Dr.McDougall is a proponent of a starch centered plant- based diet. As a physician he has seen many patients benefit from this diet and do so for a long time.  It is a much easier lifestyle to adhere to since it is very satisfying with volume of healthful nutritious food. The starches as a foundation provide that satiety as well as fiber and nutrients. 

Potatoes and sweet potatoes plus winter squash , whole grains and legumes fill us up AND release nutrient rich energy.

What to eat in the morning? ( or save for lunch!!!)
        OATMEAL

Baked Oatmeal Casserole

Prep: 15 min. Cook: 10 min.                Serves:4-6

This is a great recipe to make the night before, then just heat in the oven for a rich and hearty breakfast. 

Ingredients: 

1 cup oatmeal

1 cup rice milk or non-dairy milk

1  cup water

2 Tbsp maple syrup or agave

1/4 cup walnuts, chopped

1/4 cup dried cranberries, currants, or chopped dried apricots

1/2 box oil-free, whole-grain cereal, crushed

sauce-

3 bananas

1cup crushed pineapple

1tsp cinnamon

1/2 cup orange juice or apple juice

1/2 cup blueberries

DIRECTIONS:

Combine all the oatmeal ingredients in a sauce pot and simmer, on low heat, until done, about 6 minutes. Pour into a casserole dish and top with the crushed cereal. Cover and refrigerate until morning.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes, until the cereal is just starting to turn brown. While the casserole is baking, make the sauce. Combine all sauce ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. Serve the sauce over the hot oatmeal casserole (the sauce may be heated if you prefer).
@martyroddy