Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Heart Patient Exercise #163

Exercise is important to your drive of becoming heart healthy. At what level you are in heart attack recovery determines what exercises and at what exertion you should attempt. First of all you do not attempt any exercises including walking until you have discussed this with your cardiologist. He will know based on your ongoing exams when and how much exertion should be a safe level for you. Lets us assume you are okay to go moderately which based on my experience and opinion should be the maximum level for any beginning heart patient. Walking is number one. Start slow and short walks as most of us did in the beginning. You will know at what pace and distance you are capable. Do not push yourself too far in the beginning. My first 4 months was all walking. I began short walks,(less that 100 yards) the first week home. I grew that to a couple of miles at at fast pace after about 4 or 5 months. I never pushed myself past my limits. My heart rate and breathing were my guide. I was going for endurance at a sensible pace to regain my normal physical strength. There were times when my breathing or heart rate became elevated and when that happened I simply stopped and rested myself before finishing my walk. I elevated from that to joining a fitness center to move forward in a full physical recovery. Remember you are in a long term process to achieve lasting results in becoming physically healthy. Exercise, weight control, and the foods you eat are all equally important in how successful you will become in reaching your goals.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Healthy Heart Lifestyle 3 Basics #162

Today in my mailbox I found a circular on a particular product that states. "keep blood sugar and cholesterol at healthy levels. no meal replacements, increase your will power over food, reduce binge eating, lose weight by burning fat not muscle." There also was the following testimonial from a user of this product.

“I began taking products xxxx and xxxx a few months ago. I love the taste and the way I feel on the products. My energy level is amazing. In three months I lost 15 pounds and 11 inches. Over the holidays I was able to maintain my weight without denying myself. XXXX has amazing products and I am now making extra money just by sharing my story. Thank you xxxx for changing my life!”

Now back to me.
There is absolutely no miracle pill or magic wand that can turn your life around and make you healthy. There is only one way and it is not easy. It begins with your desire and motivation to change your lifestyle and become a cardiovascular healthy individual. There are 3 simple basic elements. Eat healthy foods. Lose excess weight and maintain a healthy weight. And finally, regular and effective exercise. The formula to put all of this together and make it work. Your motivation and desire.

There are hundreds of diets and diet books out there that will help you lose weight. Most of those are short term solutions. You have to be a strong individual to stay on a strict weight loss diet for an extended time.

Do not be fooled by magic drinks, fruit or vegetable solutions or any other expensive plan to solve or improve your recovery as a heart patient. If you will read the above beginning statement and testimonial it does not really commit to solve those health problems, it only implies it is healthy for you. Now before going any further there are some well known health drinks consisting of natures pure ingredients which are good for you and healthy. But even they alone are not going to make you healthy. There is no getting around the 3 basics.

I know last time I said we would go over some exercises good for heart patients. this subject came up and I felt it should be addressed. Next post we will get back to exercises.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Best Exercises And Equipment for Heart Attack Patients #161

What is the best exercise equipment for those who are recovering from having a heart attack and want exercise to be a part of their recovery? I am not an expert on the various types and brands as a commissioned salesperson might be. However I do consider myself to be as informed and a proven hands on expert due to my experiences. I have over 3 years experience as a heart patient who entered into an intense 5-6 day a week exercise program to improve my health. And I have been successful in improving my cardiovascular strength and stamina. A recent test showed my heart ejection fraction rate to be 60. (55-70) being normal.

Keeping in mind only you know your abilities and limitations I am going to give you some valuable advice based entirely on my trial and error continuing experiences. First you do not attempt any exercise until you discuss and are confident your cardiologist has guided your recovery to a point of where you are ready for more physical exercise and activity. Your cardiologist will quickly tell you what your limits in heart rate, endurance, and efforts are. You should keep your efforts well within those limits as a beginner. Based on this information I contacted a trainer at a local fitness center who had experience in working with people as you and I being recovering heart attack patients. Starting with baby steps and working forward from there I began with very short walks in my neighborhood and worked toward spending 30 minutes per day on a treadmill at a fitness center....not running but at a nice medium walking rate for me...From my first day walking my neighborhood to walking a treadmill for 30 minutes it was a 4-5 month transition for me. This was during my first 6 months home from heart surgery. (Go to and read April 2011 posting #6 - #15 for complete info)

Begin with a treadmill for sure. An elliptical may be for you but not me. It was awkward to use and too stamina draining for me. The same for a StairMaster. You know the machine that imitates you climbing stairs...stay away from that one until you are in excellent shape and your cardiologist says you can use it. Actually as a heart patient I do not consider that machine or an elliptical important to having a good cardio exercise program. To answer a direct question from a reader....Begin with a treadmill and some simple floor exercises. Nothing else is needed until you have regained your normal strength and stamina. Beginning floor exercises and weight lifting will be in our next posting.