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Superfoods ?? =Superfitness and Health August 5, 2017

I have been eating better and exercising quite seriously most of my life BUT the focus has gotten tighter in the last few months with a diagnosis of heart failure / atrial fibrillation .  The weight started coming off but a focused plan for the exercise and eating was needed to reach the ultimate weight.

I have written and continue to write about the workouts but this is a quick discussion of the food plan, with a focus on some of the so called “super” foods.

I have not focused on too many crazy foods but on foods that are great for the broad spectrum of nutrients inherent in them as well as additional benefits such as fiber, feelings of fullness and convenience(carry for lunch).

 

My SUPERFOODS include:

  • cabbage and brussels sprouts
  • turmeric, ginger and garlic
  • rolled oats
  • whole grains
  • legumes/beans
  • sweet potatoes
  • green tea
  • raw nuts and seeds
  • apple cider vinegar
  • citrus fruits
  • PLUS others…

Great list of “super”foods that is reasonable and easily purchased and available.

 

I don’t eat all of these daily or even weekly but I eat many of them on a regular basis as well as the foods above.  I feel full , my body functions well and I feel pretty healthy all the time.

I am maintaining a relatively stable calorie count along with a solid exercise regimen with significant cardio. If things continue as planned and currently rolling I will reach targets early in the new year.

 

@martyroddy

 

High Intensity Training???Too much for Heart Just yet??

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

 

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

 

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

 

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