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Thread: Cardio Rehab

  1. #1
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    ... and if we just ... Cardio Rehab

    Suffered heart attack in April and went through quad bypass surgery. Am recovering excellently. Passed stress test with flying colours and was told I did not need to attend regular rehab course. Chest incision kept me off bike for first 2 months after surgery. So took up mtbing again. Am not allowed to get heart rate over 132 bpm. Originally was told 120. Found that to be almost impossible. Would have been quicker to get off and walk. Had to demonstrate ability to achieve 125 without collapsing and dying. Did 45 minutes on stationary bike under supervision. Holly crap was that rough. I did it though. Not easy was huffing and puffing large when finished. Get a nasty cough when I over do it. From years of smoking. Yes you can ride and smoke too. Have done 75 mile road daysand used to do over 100 miles per week. You can't race and smoke. I don't suggest riding with non-smokers either. Don't smoke anymore. Well not cigarettes any ways. Lefties yes and the occasional Cuban (you don't inhale them). Have to keep in mid ring and cadence kept high. The tendonitis in my right elbow is causing me more issues. I think I will recover from the heart attack before the tennis elbow. Have final stress test in October. After that they will lift all restrictions from me allowing me to put knobbies back on, get off road and get heart rate back up into a meaningful rate >130. Got some hilly roads near me so intend to get road bike out again and attack some hills. Now I'm off smokes and got new plumbing for the old ticker I should rock!
    Hang on, Newt. She's heading for the rhubarb.

  2. #2
    Shut up and ride
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    how old are you?

  3. #3
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    43 years young,high cholesterolruns in family,bro died at 38,mumdied at 46,uncle died at 47, dad died at 64 mum's parents 64, I amsolucky I survived mine and got fixed up
    Hang on, Newt. She's heading for the rhubarb.

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    Glad to hear your on the mend. Keep of the smoke and take care of yourself. You can beat the odds. I have close friend with a similar history.
    He's out lived every male in his family by 30 years through a healthy diet and exercise.
    Keep the rubber turning

  5. #5
    I'm a dog person
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    I read an article in the AMA Journal recently that found that fitness was the #1 most important factor in determining longevity. This single factor outweighed hypertension, high cholestorol and diabetes.
    "It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings."

  6. #6
    Shut up and ride
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    Quote Originally Posted by RomSpaceKnight
    43 years young,high cholesterolruns in family,bro died at 38,mumdied at 46,uncle died at 47, dad died at 64 mum's parents 64, I amsolucky I survived mine and got fixed up
    My 2 uncles died in their 50's (heart attack's), my dad had his 1st heart attack at 46 or so, and never really was healthy afterwards but made it to 71.

    71 is not bad but when you get winded going up a flight of stairs......yeah, I plan to do things a little different.

    note: I turn 39 plus 1 next year

  7. #7
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    My brother did not smoke, jogged, cycled and swam. His autopsy showed 2 previous heart attacks before the one that got him. Have met a few people who had, yet did not know, heart attacks. Fitness is critical but am thinking genetics can overide. My surviving bro is undergoing a battery of test to determine how/if his cardiac arteries are blocked. He is lucky to live in Canada. I would hate to imagine how much that would cost. If it is in your family history get checked out by a specialist,please. I feel fantastic. With getting off smokes and backon bike I got way more energy.
    Hang on, Newt. She's heading for the rhubarb.

  8. #8
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    This is all really familiar to me. I had a heart attack & quadruple bypass surgery in March-April 2004. I smoked like a chimney for years - and yeah, I also smoked while riding, despite genetic cardio issues on both sides of the family. They let me back on a bike that August, and I worked my way back up to being able to do the road again. Since I need to ride year round now, I took up mountain bikes. From there I discovered single-speeds, and here I am.

    I'm faster than I've ever been, which is NOT to say that I'm fast - but you never know, it gets better every month ...

    In addition to not smoking and exercise, diet is a big deal. I've been eating lots of whole grain stuff, lots of lean protein, and avoiding foods with high fructose corn syrup. It's made a difference.

    Good luck!

  9. #9
    It's the axle
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    I think Nathan Pritikin was right. Exercise.

    I worked in cardiology for many years. A number of patients came back for repeat bypasses. As long as there aren't extenuating circumstances, I think riding is the way to get back into health.

    Stay in shape or you might be going back in for a sequel. I don't think I could handle it, having seen what you have to go through. I salute you guys, big time.

  10. #10
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    My diet is so different from before the heart attack. Docs have me on a low fat no salt added diet. I used to eat at restaurants all the time (not fast food), practically lived at Tim Horton's and ate mega junk food. Now I read all labels, am surprised I made it to 43 before heart attack. I haven't had a donut or cheesie puff since. I eat at home and grill most things. Have become a bit of a grillmeister and now have friends over regularily for dinners. I have discovered salads with raspberry vinegrettes, No-Fat Miracle Whip, and 98% fat free chocolate ice cream. If it wasn't for the ice cream I would be trans fat free. You can treat yourself or I would go crazy. I have always been a chocoholic. I go with fish and chips once per month, an xtra large Cafe Moca from Timmy's once a month and 1 Mars bar monthly (cut in half and eaten every 2 weeks). I feel almost guilty drinking a chocolate milk at 1% fat. Munchies are now strawberries and fat free evap milk, fig newtons, and fruit (apples, pears, bannanas, oranges and mangroves).
    Hang on, Newt. She's heading for the rhubarb.

  11. #11
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    I'm afraid I can relate to your situation genetically. I've never smoked, but my father did. Had his heart attack just past 40. I'm now 38. He died 2 years ago this October from heart related surgical complications. He was confined to the hospital and on the heart transplant list.

    I've also had an uncle and 2 grandfathers die from heart issues.

    Needless to say, my choice to get into biking after a very long layoff was partially motivated by his death. I've always been borderline in-shape, though the last few years I've really slacked off.

    Genetics is a hard thing to beat, but I'm fighting it too. Hang in there (and to anyone else in the same boat).

  12. #12
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    Gald to here your still ridiing RomSpaceKnight & rfitzgerald !!

    I had a heart attach at 37 (now 41). Seem to come out of nowhere, looking back there were signs. Most likelly my genes, very low HDL plus I'm a formally a type A personality. I never smoked, had not drank in 15 years, vegan for 17, no family history ?!

    I'm lucky my cardiologist is a former marathon runner, cyclist and now prof. body builder so he has been very helpfull in my recovery back to riding.

    Your stories are inspirational, thanks for posting. I work out regularly but sometimes get nervous when the BPM's go up. I hit 160 on my treadmill test this week and 145 on the trail yesterday.

    I am trying to start a website for cardiac survivors www.keepriding.org. I'd love it if you could post somthing about your success to help motivate others.


    Eric

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    The two most important things

    To long term survival, if you have a family history of Cardio problems, at least in my opinion, are 1. An exercise activity that at least once a week gets your heart rate to a level of exertion that will show any problems, and 2. Listen to your body. Your heart will tell you if something is wrong. Recognize and act on it.
    I inherited the Coronary Artery Disease gene from my fathers side of the family, he died at age 48. I grew up knowing that it would probably get me also. To do something about, I have always led an extremely active lifestyle. For years competitive table tennis did it for me. Twice a week I would beat myself unmercifully for 2-3 hours. Sure enough when I was 45 I found I couldnt get my second wind for a second best of three series and sat it out. Next day at the doctors they found a 90 percent clog in the right ascending artery. Balloon angioplasty was just becoming popular then and they did one on me. A few weeks later I was cleared to run a marathon ( Doctors words not mine, Heredity also gave me bad ankles). Took off some weight, quit smoking, changed eating habits, got serious about cycling by taking up mountain biking. Fast forward 11 years. Doing my Sunday morning group ride and find I cant keep up with the novices. Let the pack go and turn around and slowly pedal out of the woods. Call my Cardiologist (hes a friend and fellow cyclist) tell him something is not quite right. Next day he scopes me and finds the clog has retuned in exactly the same spot. He balloons me again and this time installs a medicated stent (thank you boston scientific). Problem solved again.
    The point I am trying to make here is that if you are at risk for a heart atttack and your major activity is pushing buttons on the remote, you will never see it coming. Get active, get that pulse rate up at least once a week, and listen to what your body is telling you. You want to suvive your father by twenty years or more this is the proven recipe. IMHO jim

  14. #14
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    Eric, I am surprised that after all this time you still have limitations. Will know for sure on Oct. 31 but I think my docs are going to lift all my restrictions (max. heart rate <130 bpm) and stop my beta-blockers ( for those who don't know beta blockers slow down your heart and restrict it from working too hard). Did you big time damage to heart? From what I understand even though I had to get zapped twice my heart attack was sorta mild with minimal damge and scarring. I saw 140 bpm once climbing a smallish hill. This was immediately after a cardio rehab session to prove I could sustain a heart rate >120bpm. I immediately stopped go off bike and slowly walked up hill but I had no cause to be fearful ( I think) and had no discomfort. I don't even have any nitro. Did you have a bypass or was your heart attack caused by something else. Emotionally I feel fine, work still sucks ass bad and is kinda stressful (complete lack of leadership and plant due for closure in 1st Q 2008).
    Hang on, Newt. She's heading for the rhubarb.

  15. #15
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    I just went past my 6 months "back on" bicycle after heart attack and quad bypass in April. A hill on my way to work was at first done in "9th" gear is now being done in "14th" gear. Average speed is up from 12 mph to 14 mph. Have lost 5 lbs. Have always been a bone rack so weight loss is not a huge issue for me. For first 2 weeks of riding I put on a huge gel seat. As quick as my backside would tolerate it, I went to my old Bontrager Ti railed saddle. Was hoping to have all restrictions lifted but I guess that is not in works yet. Have to go for another stress test in April. Still under max. heart rate limits from doc (<138), but limit is now high enough that I can get actually perceive some effort. Winter is fast approaching so am putting my knobbies back on this weekend. Looking forward to some XC skiing for some extra cardio rehab.
    Hang on, Newt. She's heading for the rhubarb.

  16. #16
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    Glad to hear that your recovery is coming along well! I know you got to be pretty excited to mount the knobbys back on the bike!

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