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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

 

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

 

 

 

What  a Heart Failure ? May 26, 2017

Now that I am dealing with, treating this diagnosis and was surprised by it when I went to the hospital in March. Initially I was relieved to hear a diagnosis and a couple of doctors and nurses tell me that it can be overcome.   

They gave me that hope without any deep information nor explanations. Eventually a few folks from Social work, social service offices brought information about Heart Failure. It include a cursory description of what it was and a little bit how it gets started. The information also had suggestions for living with it and treating it.

  • Heart failure is a chronic, progressive condition in which the heart muscle is unable to pump enough blood  to meet the body’s needs for blood and oxygen.      
  • the heart can’t keep up with its workload.      
  • The heart is a muscle that pumps blood to the other organs of the body, but “Heart Failure” doesn’t mean the heart has stopped working. It means it can’t pump properly

Certain behaviors can lead to heart failure:

  • Eating foods that are high in salt, fat, and cholesterol 
  •  getting enough physical activity. 
  • Being overweight

I found a few videos with some basic info.

– this first one was interesting as I started my journey with symptoms of bronchitis and ended up in the Emergency room. Unable to breathe with A FIB AND heart failure.

-The following has a few useful tips for dealing with and living with heart failure.

@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