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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

 

 

 

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

 

My Knees …Hey they feel Better April 12, 2015

As a football player…in my questionable youth… I did some damage to my knees { shoulder, head, ankle, elbow….} but I have been fortunate to keep them useful and supple by remaining active for the 30 years since I last strapped on knee braces and gold helmet.

I am constantly asked , “you run?” Then invariably the next question is isn’t it bad for the knees?    I ALWAYS chuckle and then tell them of my pre-running knee history but I quickly follow that running for fun and fitness from the time I finished playing football has kept my knees in useful condition.

A recent conversation with a friend led to this posting and hopefully will help her and maybe some others.

One thing I learned ass that injured body parts need to be used as soon as possible, even if in a light REHAB mode.  I found that keeping the knees supple was a matter of :

A. Smart exercise – regular but easy walking and running ( I have run many races ,including marathons BUT I do it easily and have fun) almost all NO 99.9% of running injuries are caused by running and training at limits without proper rest, recovery and balance.

Many people talk of overtraining but I see much more UNDER-RESTING.

More on this later….

Some other info to share.

The following is a few exercise s that are helpful for a many people. They are especially helpful if you are active or wish to be active again.

http://kneestrengtheningexercise.com/knee-pain-relief-exercises/

** A specific and useful exercise for knee pain and stability. It has the added benefit of increasing positive between hips,low back and knees. This all important triad can lead to long term comfort.

http://www.prevention.com/video/penguin-walk-knee-pain?cid=socFit_20140705_27208296

https://twitter.com/martyroddy

 

Keep OLD LEGS Healthy and Strong August 6, 2014

What is the most important exercise for life and longevity?

Now this OPENS UP THE POSSIBILITY of a GREAT DEBATE— like Lincoln vs Douglas.

But I am going to narrow the query and focus on 1 specific situation I witnessed recently (as well as a personal challenge a few years ago)

PUSHUPS ? – Now I love Pushups and think they are a SUPERB Total Body Movement that is simple and easy.

But No Not PUSHUPS.

 WALKING / RUNNING …How about walking / running ? Used properly these exercises can improve health and fitness and add to longevity. A daily 30 minute bout with either will burn between 250-500 calories, pump blood throughout the body, process sugars and fats and clear your “head”.

Again No Not Walking / Running.

 Theses are both great and I recommend them highly but recent situations I witnessed ( and then started seeing a lot) made me think about the value of maintaining and increasing leg strength throughout life, especially as we age (51 here).

 I witnessed 2 people – in the span of 3 hours-

A} Struggle to squat down to pick a grocery item from the bottom shelf and stand up

B} Step with 1 leg up on a small stool- reach a book on top shelf in the library. Their leg wasn’t strong enough to lift them.

Two years ago I broke a leg and after weeks of recovery my legs (the right especially) were too weak for me to do the above moves with the same ease as before.

There are 2 simple exercises [that will become easy with practice], and a third that is necessary to balance the new muscle growth.

Squats. Lunges and Good Mornings ( also known- Straight Leg Deadlifts):

SQUATS – Stand with feet armpit width and with eyes forward or upward squat down until thigh is parallel with floor   [can do ½ or ¼ squats to begin with]

-can use a stool or chair as a target to help you stop smoothly without stressing your knees

-can also perform in a doorwayto use for balance/support

LUNGES-with feet at armpit width, Step forward with RIGHT foot- Approximately 2 feet(varies with height) – Slowly drop the Knee of the LEFT (rear) leg to the ground and return back up.

After completely the repetitions (Reps) with the RIGHT foot forward, Reverse feet and do for that leg.

STRAIGHT LEG DEADLIFTS– Stand with feet Shoulder width apart- with eyes facing forward and hands on the fron of your hips- bend forward at the waist and roll hands down your thighs to the ground-

Return up, without bending knees or back. Do this movement slowly.

This exercise stretches the glutes (butt) and lower back and Strengthens the hamstrings (back of the thighs) This is a necessary balance for safe stability.

The squats and lunges building lifting/ stepping/ climbing strength and the deadlifts add stability and balance.

Workouts can vary and be built up over time but a basic recommendation- Add to any current workouts- But 3 sets of each movement with varying numbers of reps but some possibilities

     BEGINNER

3 sets of 5-7 reps

Squat- Deadlift- Lunge…..Squat-Deadlift-Lunge……

     INTERMEDIATE

3 SETS OF 9-12

Squat-Deadlift-Lunge……

      ADVANCED-EXPERIENCED

3 SETS OF 15-20

Squat-Deadlift-Lunge

Enjoy and happy legs…

https://twitter.com/martyroddy

 

Cardio Cross training- THE ROWER July 31, 2014

Several years ago I discovered the Concept 2 Rowing trainer. I WAS INSTANTLY HOOKED.

MAYBE i SHOULD HAVE BEEN A ROWER Instead of banging my head on the football field….Less concussions and reduced threat of knee injury (some surgeries while playing).

The Concept 2 website http://www.concept2.com/ Shows equipment and information that amazes and entices me. I love the logbook and the workouts available.  

 

It also tempts me to “compete” with other 50-51 year old men that have posted in the logbook.  This is also a great TOOL TO GET THE HEART GOING AND burn some calories without the pounding that running/hiking gives- plus it allows me to strengthen the heart for more challenging runs and hikes in the future.

 

**The logbook provides some interest and fun .

http://log.concept2.com/log_start.asp?p=/log.asp

^^^^ The logbook also allows for world rankings- dream zone for me but a few years ago I was able to get into the top 25 for a brief stint…..

http://log.concept2.com/rankings.asp

Naybe iI will see if I can post my logbook and updates….

 

https://twitter.com/martyroddy