Please Tell Your Cardiac Story.

I’d (and I assume many others) would love to hear how you have dealt with, conquered or beaten heart disease. Do you still ride a bike, surf, mountain bike, bmx, skateboard, ski or snowboard since your heart attack or heart disease started? Any little story you have can go a long way in providing motivation for others who struggle with wanting to ride.

After you write your story here I’ll make a special page for it so other can communicate about it.

Thanks,

Eric

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Prevention: Gains From Exercise After Heart Attack Are Lost if Exercise Stops

Published: March 20, 2009

Some important benefits of exercising after a heart attack can vanish in weeks if the exercise is stopped, a new study has found.

The researchers tested F.M.D. — flow-mediated dilation, a measure of the flexibility of an artery as blood flows through it — in 228 heart attack survivors. Their arteries averaged about 4.2 percent expansion, compared with the 10 percent considered normal in healthy people.

Then the scientists divided patients into four groups to undergo resistance training, aerobic exercise, both together, or no exercise program at all.

Finally, the exercisers “detrained,” remaining idle for four weeks.

The study, published in the March 16 issue of the journal Circulation, found that the dilation had increased to 5.3 percent in the people who had not exercised, but to an average of more than 10 percent in the training groups. After four weeks of detraining, dilation returned to almost exactly the initial levels in all three exercise groups.

“Cardiac rehabilitation is cheap,” said Dr. Margherita Vona, the lead author and director of cardiac rehabilitation at a clinic in Glion-sur-Montreux, Switzerland, “but the price of losing its benefits is high. It’s important to educate patients about exercise, and essential that they continue for the long term.”

Article Link


heartATTACKrider is now on twitter

But they limit the number of characters in your name so my twitter is heartattackride NOT heartattackrider…..oh well close enough and still kinda makes sense. Why twitter? I come across little things that I want to post and instead of having a zillion little bits and pieces here a thought it would be easier just to do it there and I can hopefully reach more people that way.

Cathy Rides 310K After A Blocked Left Artery.

From the Toronto Rehab Foundation

Less than a year after she had cardiac bypass surgery, Cathie Singer and her husband Peter celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary with a 310-kilometre bicycling tour of Vietnam. “A year ago, I never would have imagined that I would move forward so quickly and feel so normal,” says Cathie, 53. “I recovered enough that on the trip, I wasn’t any different than the other cyclists. I felt totally normal, totally recovered – just another one of the group.”

Always a physically active person, early in 2004 Cathie began to experience chest pain. Her father died of a heart attack at 43 so she was aware of her increased risk. An angiogram showed that her left coronary artery was 95% blocked. Following heart surgery, Cathie enrolled in Toronto Rehab’s cardiac rehabilitation and secondary prevention program to rebuild her fitness and confidence.

“I thought I was knowledgeable about fitness and diet. I’ve always exercised and I read a lot on the subjects, but I learned so much from the cardiac rehab staff and the other participants,” she says. The staff helped Cathie, who is the mother of three grown children, to train for her cycling trip. Since her trip coincided with the cardiac rehab program’s fundraising walk-a-thon, On Track to Recovery, Cathie and Peter decided to get pledges from family, friends and co-workers for each kilometre they cycled in Vietnam.

Not only did they thoroughly enjoy seeing the country and meeting the people – including many children but they raised more than $2,300 for Toronto Rehab’s cardiac rehabilitation program.

Controlling My Heart Rate While Riding.

“Mindfulness is built around the premise of disengaging from overly emotional responses and extraneous thoughts that clutter the mind’s ability to think clearly. By using techniques such as breathing, visual imagery and meditation to slow down and focus on the present, the theory goes, a person can tap into a higher level of awareness. The more acute awareness is the byproduct of more active brain waves brought on by meditation, studies have shown.”

Can I really control my heart rate? On Friday I didn’t have much time to ride (preparing for the Avenue of The Oaks) so I decided to do some hill repeats in preparation for April 4th. After warming up for about 1/2 hour I started riding a hill I like that is 0.6 miles/205′. S0 for me that was 5min 30sec – 6min 30sec with a coast back down of 2min 30sec ‘ish. My goal was to do 10, I made it to 8 before I limped home. My heart rate would range in the 145-150bpm range at it’s peak and by the time I recovered back down the hill and turned around to go at it again I’d be around 107-110bpm. After my 5th uphill battle I was approaching 155bpm a little too easy for my liking  my doc doesn’t like me to go more than 155 bpm for very long)  so I concentrated very hard and focused on my breathing pattern, almost a meditative trance if you will. I made deliberately strong exhales and inhales while imagining (invisioning) in a very real time way that my heart was very relaxed and barely working to pump. I also imagined every artery in my body was widening open as I had to make through the steepest section. When I glanced at my heart rate on my Garmin after 20-30 seconds my heart rate was 4-7 beats lower every time I did this. Now this isn’t scientific but I did make sure my cadence was same on each of the last 3 hill climbs as a reference. I was now able to maintain 147-148bpm. Whenever I stopped this “technique” I would instantly raise my bpm.

I learned this technique of controlled breathing soon after my heart attack. I got terrible panic attacks and would “freak out” that I was going to have another one. I started listening to Jon Kabat Zinn’s cd made with Dr. Andrew Weil,  Meditation for Optimum Health. Also through Pranayama yoga classes where breath awareness is a major component of your practice.

I really started to utilize Mindfulness Meditation when I first started riding again after my heart attacks. I was terrified to go too far, to hard, too fast etc…so I decided to use what I had been listening to at home and what I was earning in yoga while pedaling. It seems like such and obvious think now but I still forget about it. But, when I see a hill coming up or my heart starts to get a little out of range for my liking I try these techniques and they work for me.

Anyone with arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasi, RVD, who rides a bike?

This is a message from Chris D who askes:

Hi; I have been looking on the web to talk to people with heart issues who cycle still or in the past. I heard Paul Sherwin describe Haydens durin the TOC and have been on the web looking since. I get the Riki thing he shared however he is younger and likely with much less scar tissue etc… I do not doubt Riki and will likely try it. question, does anyone else know what other treatments he went through; meds etc…. I told the Doc his story and She said that he is is taking great risk regardless of Riki and any meds etc…. I have been a cyclist since I can remember . Over the past 6-8 years I have experienced fatigue issues and lightheadedness and poor results but I fought through and thinking I could get back to the Level; but I never have come back and now just ride with a slower group and not with the bigboys here. I had no idea that I had this condition like Hayden Roulsten arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasi. That is until I stood up one morning after breakfast and hit the floor like Ali did Fraizer. a VTAC type arrhythmia slowed blood flow to the brain and I went out. The good news is my family say what happened and forced me to go to the hospital. Whereas before I would have chalked it up to over training and poor recovery nutrition etc… After many days in and out of the hospital and Dr’s office’s; Cardiac Ablation and Meds (BetaPace)(Toprol). Another Ablation procedure is in the table and if that fails and my ejection fraction remains low then it is a Defibrillator…great. My question is this: Do people ride moderately on Betapace? Can one at least spin for leisure and fitness still? I have the same question to anyone with cycling experience and defibulators? And improve fitness level? My Doc saiy no riding….I mean this hurts me like nothing else Cycling is ingrained into my life and family I fear losing the ability to stay involved… The question is real here and I do not ask anyone to play Doctor. I have heard it all from them and understand the risks from their perspective. However I feel like my definition of exertion is different than theirs and I know they are not the least bit athletic aerobically…. I am not in denial; just looking to learn and live on the bike again regards