Sunday, March 16, 2008

Strengthening My Heart & Lungs

My doctor told me in late February that I could stop using supplemental oxygen and enroll in a cardiopulmonary rehabilitation program. So, last Monday, I started the program at a local hospital. The goal is for the program to increase my endurance, to condition my body, and to strengthen my lungs.



I crawl out of bed at 5:45 AM on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday to drive 30 miles to the hospital. The rehab room is a buzz when I walk in about 7:10 AM. The nurse takes my blood pressure and checks my oxygen saturation level before I start exercising on the available equipment. I usually begin with the treadmill. When I walk as much as I can at the prescribed pace and incline, I stop, and the nurse records my blood pressure and oxygen levels. She records this information for each machine that I use and each exercise that I complete.


I enjoy using the stationary bike at the hospital because the fan cools me as I pedal. My recumbent bike at home has an advantage over the one in the rehab room because it provides more support for my back; however, my home bike does not allow me to exercise my arms while I pedal. I definitely prefer the bikes to the treadmill since inclines are difficult for me to manage.





I use a resistance band at home, but the rehab room has hand weights as well as a machine similar to a stationary bike, but it is for arms. I had no idea how little upper body strength that I had until I began using that machine.





It is too early to determine if the program is working, but I enjoyed the first week. I am optimist that I will be able to meet all the goals that my doctor set for me.

2 comments:

  1. I bet you'll meet all your goals. And great news about not needing the supplemental oxygen -- I'm sure the rehab will help you feel even better!

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  2. TIM'S BEEN THROUGH IT TWO TIMES. ONCE IN 2000 WHEN HE HAD A LIGHT HEART ATTACK AND IN 2007 AFTER HIS TRIPPLE BY-PASS AND PACE MAKER INSTALLMENT. HE FELT SO MUCH BETTER BY THE TIME IT WAS OVER. I KNOW YOU WILL TO. IT GIVES YOU A LOT MORE STRENGTH AND ENERGY. YOU JUST DON'T THINK SO AT FIRST. GOOD LUCK.

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