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Any survivors on here, cardiac arrest, heart attack, cancer....

Discussion in 'Training, Fitness and Health' started by Colin_P, 8 Sep 2014.

  1. bladesman73

    bladesman73 Well-Known Member

    hi mate i had a heart attack 3 weeks ago, currently been told just to walk 20 mins per day.i attend my first rehab session on Friday. How long did it take for you to start riding again? Also any tips regards to proactive rehab?
  2. PaulSB

    PaulSB Guru

    First I think everyone is different and it's very important to follow the advice you are given.

    I had an attack while on a club ride but didn't realise what had happened! I had two stents fitted and was home in less than 72 hours.

    My first tip is to be 100% positive, you can and will make a full recovery. Get a simple chest strap HRM - the NHS use Polar - and monitor your exercise. I was asked to work in the range 90-120 BPM. Walking as fast as possible I hit 96, the hardest exercise in the rehab classes had me hitting 125. My resting HR is 48/50

    I was offered rehab exercise classes and took these along with every other programme offers. If you're not offered NHS rehab classes the British Heart Foundation run them all round the country. I went to some after the NHS rehab finished - they were good.

    For the first three months I spent my time walking. Initially 2 x 30 minutes working up to 3-4 miles a day after a month and then 5-6/7 miles everyday for two months. I have continued to walk 3-4 miles 2 or 3 times a week. Borrow a dog if you can, makes a big difference! Get some walking boots if you can.

    After 6 weeks I went spinning twice weekly with my cycle club for 45-90 minutes depending on the session but only worked at a level which felt comfortable. Usually at HR of 130/140 for 3-4 minutes and then easing off till HR dropped back to 95ish.

    After 10-12 weeks I tried a ride of 10 miles. I was OK but the following day felt very, very bad. Could have been coincidence but I decided not to chance it. I waited till five months before trying again. First ride did 15 and the second 30. I then rode lots of our club "intro" rides. These are 30 miles at about 13mph and intended to introduce people to group riding.

    It's a year now and I'm riding better than ever. Last two Sundays people have commented on how strong I look. I'm doing 60/65 at around 16mph. I can get to 75 miles. Before the attack 85 miles was when it started to hurt. Can't get my HR above 162!!

    My advice is don't try to be too quick to get back on the bike. Follow the rehab programme. You body AND mind will tell you when your ready to ride. Walking gets you very fit and if you go every day the weight will drop off. If you are already fit as a cyclist you may find the rehab programme doesn't extend you much so use the walking to increase the exercise.

    I also took the chance to improve my diet. It was always OK but with more knowledge about cholesterol - that was my problem - I realised there were lots of small changes I could make. In the three months at home I got into cooking all sorts of things which we never really made time for before.

    Have you been told about cold air and temperature change? I wasn't. When weather turned cold after my walks I would get real discomfort. This is common for heart patients. It's caused by rapid temperature change. The trick is this. Put on your outdoor clothes and stay inside for five minutes until you are very warm. While out cover your nose and mouth so you breath in moist warm air. When you get home strip off quickly, don't sit in your coat getting hotter.

    The discomfort is caused by blood being pulled to the body core when you get cold - wrapping up stops this - and then being pumped rapidly to the extremities when you get in. I was really worried till this was explained to me

    Hope this helps. Ask away.
    Last edited: 2 Nov 2016
    Slick and dave r like this.
  3. ColinJ

    ColinJ Hillfinder General

    I used hill walking after my clotting problems to get me fit enough for hilly cycling. I found it very effective and it was easy to vary effort according to how I felt.

    My lungs were in a bad way and really objected to gulping in cold air for the first couple of post-illness winters. They seem to have settled down now, 4 years later.
    gbb likes this.
  4. Yorksman

    Yorksman Senior Member

    Cheshire NHS trust have a cardiac rehabilitation video on youtube. Just simple exercises done at home to get you started but they exercise more muscles than cycling alone would. They are designed to give a a safe workout but as it is gradual and varied, it is good for seeing how you feel as you go on.

    dave r and youngoldbloke like this.
  5. youngoldbloke

    youngoldbloke The older I get, the faster I used to be ...

    Very much as I remember. I found it much easier to to be with a group than trying to go through the exercises at home, and really recommend continuing with the cardio rehab follow up sessions at local sports centres if available in your area. The Hospital rehab sessions also offered lots of advice about lifestyle and diet, drugs you might be prescribed etc.etc. .
  6. PaulSB

    PaulSB Guru

    Yep the video is very similar to the classes I attended and fully agree with youngoldbloke re working in a group and the other information classes.
  7. DRM

    DRM Über Member

    West Yorks
    I have just got back to riding again, 6 weeks after my heart attack, I too wrap up well and put a buff over nose & mouth, the only thing is my sunglasses steam up as soon as I stop :eek:
    Yorksman, classic33 and dave r like this.
  8. Yorksman

    Yorksman Senior Member

    You need:

    classic33 likes this.
  9. bladesman73

    bladesman73 Well-Known Member

    thanks for the feedback all. ive been told by my rehab nurse not to go near my bike for at least 2 months, despite me being really fit before the attack. i have also been told not to go back to weight training for a couple of months..i used to do 2 weights sessions pw, 2x 40 miles rides plus cycle to work and back daily..its hard getting used to being more sedentary. interesting to see others have got back on the bike 4-6 weeks after the attack. were you advised against this like me?
  10. PaulSB

    PaulSB Guru

    @bladesman73 I would never question what others decided to do but 4-6 weeks seems very early. If the rehab nurse says two months stick with it. My physio said to me, after I'd asked about the bike for the nth time,"if we don't get you back to where you were before the attack we've failed. Be patient."

    Today I was out with some of my club's tougher riders. 64 miles, 3609 feet of climbing, average 15mph, 4 hours 7 minutes. Not too shabby for anyone of 62 years let alone a heart attack survivor.

    If you want to get back quickly do what the professionals suggest. For extra exercise I really do recommend mile after mile of walking.
  11. DRM

    DRM Über Member

    West Yorks
    I have only done about 6 or 7 miles on road with a café stop, and did 13 steady miles on the MTB, in about 1.75 hours, prior to the heart attack I would do about 32 miles in just over 2 hours on the road bike, so I am basically starting from scratch, plus I am doing more walking than I used to as well the rehab, they did say not to rush into it but I absolutely hate sitting and vegetating in the house.
  12. Yorksman

    Yorksman Senior Member

    They have to play it safe with the advice because they have no real idea of what you mean by cycling. I have been cycling for a few years but have never cycled 40 miles. The max has been 20 miles and its more like 10 miles and even then, it's on the flat, no hills at all. At the start I spent 2 - 3 months on a turbo trainer with the power set at 60% only . Keep the muscles used to the movement but don't try and build up your stamina by hard work. Also walking is a good start to the recovery process.
    bladesman73 and classic33 like this.
  13. dave r

    dave r The Little Diesel

    Holbrooks Coventry
    I think its about time I wrote down what happened to me, I've mentioned it on several posts in Mundane news but I've not told the full story. Out on a Sunday at the beginning of November and had a lovely ride to the Charlecote Garden Store, on the way back on the climb between Snitterfield and Norton Lindsey I had what felt like a recurrence of a shoulder problem I'd had, it was actually a major angina attack, the first one I'd had since I had stents fitted in 2008, I finished the ride slowly and then it settled down and I wondered what was going on but carried on as normal. On the Thursday I set out on another ride but it was obvious I had a major problem so I turned back and went down the doctors, they couldn't fit me in so I went down the Walk In centre, they rushed me into A&E who admitted me into hospital. After tests I was told I'd had a small heart attack and they were going to do an angiogram to see what was going on, the angiogram showed up a blocked artery so they cleared it and fitted another stent, I've now got 5 fitted. So I'm home and have my first cardiac rehab session on Monday, no driving no cycling. I've got mixed feeling at the moment, I'm extremely frustrated at being grounded, but grateful I'm still here. I find myself thinking about a cycling friend of mine, he was 75 and had been stented like me, in the beginning of October He'd collapsed and died on the way back from a ride.
    Last edited: 24 Nov 2016
    Slick likes this.
  14. OP

    Colin_P Veteran

    It is difficult @dave r , I have been through two lots of six months off from driving on medical grounds. It is also difficult to internally compartmentalise heart problems as they can be so sudden and with no second chances.

    Glad you are ok Dave and sorry about your friend.

    To anyone who has any doubts as to what to do when it comes to any kind of chest pain, that is to get it checked out immediately and even call 999. Don't do the blokey, i'll be alright and fight through it thing as this isn't something that can be shrugged off like a cold.
    dave r likes this.
  15. mjr

    mjr Wanting to Keep My EU Citizenship

    I agree with that advice. Call 111 or go to a walk-in or a good pharmacist if you really can't bring yourself to call 999. They'll tell you to go to the doctor if they've any doubt. Even if it turns out to be nothing to worry about and the doctor looks at you funny for worrying (as I feel happened to me recently - but they must have thought there was something wrong after all, as they've given me a short course of a drug sometimes named in doping bans! :biggrin: ), the reduced worrying once you've been checked over is worth it - and it's far far better than if you don't act and it is something serious!