It appears you have not yet Signed Up with our community. To Sign Up for free, please click here....



Exercise & Fitness Message Board
Post New Thread   Closed Thread
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 09-20-2010, 09:43 AM   #1
Newbie
(male)
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: St. Augustine, Florida
Posts: 3
TimothyB HB User
In terrible shape and wanting to start the road back to good condition!

Hello everyone, first, let me apologize for such a long-winded post. I want to make sure the information necessary to answer my questions was presented.

I'm new here on the forum and I've joined to help me find answers to questions I have about my decision to regain my physical strength and reduce my dependence on medications.

First a bit of background; In February of 1998, I suffered a series of smaller heart attacks and then two very large ones. Because I had no idea that I was having small heart attacks, I ignored them as nothing more than "feeling pretty bad today" and my body let me know this was my heart while at work. I had a major heart attack that almost killed me. After arriving at the emergency room, I had another, even more severe heart attack and after 3 days of stabilizing me, I received 4 bypasses and one re-routed blood supply from my pectoral area into my heart.

Then I developed Type II Diabetes and it was discovered that I had progressive liver disease.

I take eight medications daily, in two batches of six pills morning and evening. These include; Metformin, Terazosin, Metoprol, Furosemide, Klor-Con, Lisinopril, Aspirin and finally, Omeprazole for chronic acid reflux.

Ok, that catches you up with my health problems that are currently under control via meds.

In 2004, my wife passed away after 6 very hard years of Cancer treatments. The combination of my own health problems and her passing, sent me into a depression that lasted until recently, when my mind came back alive and I've regained my will to be back in the realm of living, active people.

During this long six years of almost complete inactivity, my muscles have suffered to the point that I get winded if I walk for even 5 minutes at a moderate pace. Just last week, I walked 4 blocks and had to sit down for 5 minutes before I could get my legs to make it back to my car. I even had to rest two times on the return trip because my legs were really hurting.

The rest of my muscles are in as bad of shape also, so starting some other exercises may be a good idea also, but I don't know which ones are safe for me and how to do them.

Ok, that's perhaps enough background for everyone to realize where I'm at as far as my current ability to exercise.

Here's my question; Since I doubt I'm the first one to be this bad off in physical shape, I need someone to help advise me in a method to start gaining back what I've lost.

I own a treadmill now, so I can set it up in my house and use it whenever my exercise plan dictates its use. I live in a hot, humid swamp in Florida, so walking or exercising outside isn't feasible for me at this point.

Should I monitor my heart rate while exercising and if so, can someone suggest an inexpensive fingertip or wrist monitor that I could purchase to do this?

What heart-rate limit should I observe while exercising? I can ask my Doc this if there isn't a guideline.

Should I start with a flat surface to walk or should I use the "hill" feature of the treadmill initially?

How long should I walk in each set and how many sets per/day should I do?

Ok, well that's probably enough information and questions for a first post. Thanks to anyone who can help me get started on the path of regaining my health as much as possible. My goal to improve my physical health dramatically and as a result, perhaps getting off some of the meds or reducing them.

Thanks to everyone in advance!

 
Sponsors Lightbulb
   
Old 09-20-2010, 09:50 AM   #2
Inactive
(female)
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 5,111
writeleft HB Userwriteleft HB Userwriteleft HB Userwriteleft HB Userwriteleft HB Userwriteleft HB Userwriteleft HB Userwriteleft HB Userwriteleft HB Userwriteleft HB Userwriteleft HB User
Re: In terrible shape and wanting to start the road back to good condition!

Timothy,

Welcome to the boards, I can relate to your situation and I think I will follow along if you don't mind. I am in the same boat as you are, and am interested in the same information you are seeking. Except from living in a swamp though...
Let's see what the other posters have to say.

 
Old 09-20-2010, 09:55 AM   #3
Newbie
(male)
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: St. Augustine, Florida
Posts: 3
TimothyB HB User
Re: In terrible shape and wanting to start the road back to good condition!

Thanks for the welcome, WriteLeft. I guess I can say that I've seen both ends of the spectrum of physical conditioning. At one time of my life, I could run up 8 levels of stairs carrying a 50 pound tool box at 11,500 feet elevation. Now watching someone exercise makes ME tired. I hope to end this current condition and get on my way back to being in as good of shape as possible! I'm glad you joined in. Please let me know how you do as well. TB

 
Old 09-20-2010, 04:27 PM   #4
Senior Veteran
(male)
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 1,440
tjlhb HB Usertjlhb HB Usertjlhb HB Usertjlhb HB Usertjlhb HB User
Re: In terrible shape and wanting to start the road back to good condition!

Starting from a very low level of physical fitness and with known heart disease and other high risk factors like diabetes, you will need to start slowly and increase exercise intensity and duration gradually. Consult with your doctor on the appropriate intensity and duration to start with and the rate of increase as your fitness improves.

It is well known that the first snowfall of the season brings more heart attacks into the emergency room, as people of low physical fitness with undiagnosed atherosclerosis engage in intense exercise (shoveling the snow), causing unstable plaques in their arteries to rupture, causing heart attacks. This is a risk that you may face if you try to start at too high an intensity or increase the intensity too rapidly.

It is common for a heart rate monitor to be used to ensure that you are exercising within a target heart rate zone, which is a proxy for the intensity of exercise. As your fitness improves, it is likely that you will get more performance (e.g. faster walking/running/bicycling/etc.) at the same heart rate. Consult with your doctor on the appropriate exercise intensity and target heart rate zone.

When your doctor tells you that it is safe to do strength or weight exercises, you will likely want to include them, since building muscle generally improves health when starting from a very low fitness level. Obviously, you will want to start at a level (weight and repetitions) appropriate for your current state, gradually increasing the weight as your strength increases.

Last edited by tjlhb; 09-20-2010 at 04:30 PM.

 
Old 09-20-2010, 11:21 PM   #5
Inactive
(female)
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 5,111
writeleft HB Userwriteleft HB Userwriteleft HB Userwriteleft HB Userwriteleft HB Userwriteleft HB Userwriteleft HB Userwriteleft HB Userwriteleft HB Userwriteleft HB Userwriteleft HB User
Re: In terrible shape and wanting to start the road back to good condition!

Timothy,

I set a goal with my cardiologist that I would drop 4 or 5 pounds in the next month...funny, I already forget if it were 4 or 5. I set myself up with a three prong plan to get the 4-5 pounds off, and move towards improved fitness.

My first prong is my diet, which I have decided has quite a few "losers" in it, so I am going to one by one exchange them with healthier choices. For example, my first "loser" was Dr. Pepper, as silly as that sounds. I decided to trade my beloved Dr. Pepper in for iced water with fresh lemon wedge. Way better for me, WAY less calories, and the lemons grow right on my tree! I used an easy on first so I could taste a little victory just to get started.

The second prong, is the exercise. I have been sitting in a recliner for months on end, while living with some horrible pain. The least painful position for me is when I am perfectly still, with pillows around me and reclined in my chair. As you can see, that does not allow for any movement, which is what I have to change.

I am a 4 stroke survivor of 7 years now, and have been hit with more and more illnesses as time has passed, but I am only 49!. I have to get my life back, it is not a choice.

I do have many restrictions too though, and have no choice but to take it very slow. I will likely always need someone here with me, in case I fall, or faint. What a huge challenge! How about I will cheer you on...

Best of luck!

 
Old 09-21-2010, 08:30 AM   #6
Newbie
(male)
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: St. Augustine, Florida
Posts: 3
TimothyB HB User
Re: In terrible shape and wanting to start the road back to good condition!

Quote:
Originally Posted by tjlhb View Post
Starting from a very low level of physical fitness and with known heart disease and other high risk factors like diabetes, you will need to start slowly and increase exercise intensity and duration gradually. Consult with your doctor on the appropriate intensity and duration to start with and the rate of increase as your fitness improves.

It is well known that the first snowfall of the season brings more heart attacks into the emergency room, as people of low physical fitness with undiagnosed atherosclerosis engage in intense exercise (shoveling the snow), causing unstable plaques in their arteries to rupture, causing heart attacks. This is a risk that you may face if you try to start at too high an intensity or increase the intensity too rapidly.

It is common for a heart rate monitor to be used to ensure that you are exercising within a target heart rate zone, which is a proxy for the intensity of exercise. As your fitness improves, it is likely that you will get more performance (e.g. faster walking/running/bicycling/etc.) at the same heart rate. Consult with your doctor on the appropriate exercise intensity and target heart rate zone.

When your doctor tells you that it is safe to do strength or weight exercises, you will likely want to include them, since building muscle generally improves health when starting from a very low fitness level. Obviously, you will want to start at a level (weight and repetitions) appropriate for your current state, gradually increasing the weight as your strength increases.
Hello tjlhb,

Thank you for your reply. However, you've told me nothing I didn't already know. I understand that you have no way of knowing my experience or intelligence level, so starting with the very basics is important for safety.

I was hoping that someone on this group had already matched my condition with thier own or with someone they've already advised. If that had happened or does happen, they may be able to tell me the types of exercise, repetitions and duration that they had success or failure with.

I will be seeing my Doctor on the 28th of this month, so I'll get a target heart rate, during exercise, from him.

Quote:
Originally Posted by writeleft View Post
Timothy,

I set a goal with my cardiologist that I would drop 4 or 5 pounds in the next month...funny, I already forget if it were 4 or 5. I set myself up with a three prong plan to get the 4-5 pounds off, and move towards improved fitness.

My first prong is my diet, which I have decided has quite a few "losers" in it, so I am going to one by one exchange them with healthier choices. For example, my first "loser" was Dr. Pepper, as silly as that sounds. I decided to trade my beloved Dr. Pepper in for iced water with fresh lemon wedge. Way better for me, WAY less calories, and the lemons grow right on my tree! I used an easy on first so I could taste a little victory just to get started.

The second prong, is the exercise. I have been sitting in a recliner for months on end, while living with some horrible pain. The least painful position for me is when I am perfectly still, with pillows around me and reclined in my chair. As you can see, that does not allow for any movement, which is what I have to change.

I am a 4 stroke survivor of 7 years now, and have been hit with more and more illnesses as time has passed, but I am only 49!. I have to get my life back, it is not a choice.

I do have many restrictions too though, and have no choice but to take it very slow. I will likely always need someone here with me, in case I fall, or faint. What a huge challenge! How about I will cheer you on...

Best of luck!
Hi writeleft! You and I have our conditions and other factors in common it seems. I was 46 when I had my heart attacks. It was a "denial" type condition. I had convinced myself that I was somehow immune to the results of a terrible diet. It worked for many years because, no doubt, of my extreme exercise that was work related as well as my habit of working hard while playing also.

I ate in a manner that was the far end of the "Bad" types of food and quantities. I guess while I was in extremely good condition, my body was able to cope with lots of what I put in it.

Then came the lazy years. I decided that I had "busted my butt" enough and deserved some time off to enjoy my life of hard labor.

I got a new job as a desk-jockey, doing programming. I worked long hours at what I loved doing. However, it was sitting on my butt for 12-16 hours a day at work and then coming home and sitting while eating my continued awful diet of fatty foods and plenty of them.

I went from 150 trim, hard muscled pounds to 210 soft-bellied and out-of-breath pounds over the next few years.

In 1998 my body paid me back for my abuse. Since then, I've been in what I imagine a shrink would call a severe depression. I did as you have and laid in a recliner almost every waking moment that I wasn't sitting behind a PC monitor.

Now, finally, I'm climbing out of the depression and I realize my late wife would be ashamed of me for acting in this manner and letting myself go so badly.

I'm trying to get a new perspective on my life and to slowly pull myself back into shape as far as possible at almost 58 years old now.

The strokes you've had sound like they really slammed you. I had one stroke that they said was "minor", but it managed to slam my butt onto the floor unconscious while brushing my teeth while preparing for bed. I personally didn't see anything "minor" about the experience. I lost some of my eyesight as a result of it.

To have 4 strokes and survive them is extreme luck on your part. I can't imagine what you've been through.

You're welcome to share this thread with me if you like. Tell me about your experience and perhaps if you and I share our ongoing exercise and diet plans and their effects on us, we may help each other. Please, tell me only what you're comfortable with. We owe each other nothing and that is a great way to start a joint effort of better health and happiness.

Last edited by TimothyB; 09-21-2010 at 08:35 AM.

 
Old 09-25-2010, 03:59 PM   #7
Member
(female)
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: ireland
Posts: 70
Maneka5* HB User
Re: In terrible shape and wanting to start the road back to good condition!

Hello, I hope you wont give up your plan for a healthy lifestyle so easily lol...just kidding...anyway hi to writeleft and timothyb. You didnt specify your weight so maybe im barking up the wrong tree. Of course before you do anything, you should consult your doctor but may i suggest that you get an exercise bike. The reason being that it gives you an aerobic workout just like your threadmill will, but there is no pressure on your joints from the weight of the upper body while you are cycling so it may be a gentler form of exercise for you. If you are overweight you can get one with a more fitted seat to support the lower back and for writeleft who specified feeling more comfortable reclining, you can get a reclining one also. They come with a monitor, so when you enter all your statistics it will tell you which speed you are pedalling at, the time it takes, the amount of calories you are burning and most importantly your heart rate. It also has different resistances so you would start on the lower one and cycle for 5 minutes, then switch it to the next level for 30 seconds. Do this 4 times so it takes roughly 22 mins and thats it. You can do this every second day to begin with and work up to 5 days or even 5 days. As you get better you can increase the intensity for more resistance and for slightly longer periods. As a guideline if your resting pulse is approx. 65-75bpm you can let it rise to approx 100-120bpm but please ask your doctor first. Of course you know about switching to low calorie options in your diet and i assume you are already making progress with this. If not, just sit down and make a plan and try to stick with it. I congratulate you both on making the effort and I hope it goes well for you both. Ps my bike just cost 85 euro and im in love with it now. I also use very light weights just to tone up my bored arms when im cycling. lol....byeeee
__________________
Maneka5*

 
Closed Thread

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Board Replies Last Post
Feeling terrible because of huge weight gain lauripops Diet & Nutrition 3 12-09-2008 10:28 AM
Terrible two's at 17.5 months Tiff24 Infant Care (up to 18 months old) 7 07-20-2008 08:56 AM
Blood work normal, but terrible symptoms....what is it?? MarthaKW General Health 9 01-23-2008 08:14 PM
need to get in shape idontknow!! Exercise & Fitness 1 08-04-2007 08:52 AM
HELP!! Terrible lower back pain, chronic wishn Back Problems 0 11-18-2006 10:38 PM




Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




Join Our Newsletter

Stay healthy through tips curated by our health experts.

Whoops,

There was a problem adding your email Try again

Thank You

Your email has been added








TOP THANKED CONTRIBUTORS



diamond839 (17), janewhite1 (8), lenvegas (8), Titchou (4), tjlhb (4), bdrunner79 (3), sam 23 (3), Bexiesbruv (3), JohnR41 (3), james079 (3)

Site Wide Totals

teteri66 (1177), MSJayhawk (1004), Apollo123 (903), Titchou (847), janewhite1 (823), Gabriel (758), ladybud (753), sammy64 (668), midwest1 (668), BlueSkies14 (610)



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 06:14 PM.



Site owned and operated by HealthBoards.comô
Terms of Use © 1998-2014 HealthBoards.comô All rights reserved.
Do not copy or redistribute in any form!