Walkin' The Walk!
Today, at 11:00 a.m., everything I've done in the last 13 weeks in the Cardio Rehab program comes to light. Everyone from the two 37 year-old army base men, (who you could hardly believe had experienced heart attacks) to the three 78 year-olds with me in between, will find out how much we've improved since the start of the program, when we had the initial stress test.
All that sweating on the torture treadmill, the many fast-paced laps of the hospital basement, the tiring 10 minutes of groaning on the the bikes, and the sets of shoulder-burning hand weight exercises all culminate in this tell-tale test. Too late to study now!
I know I've improved but the long road to full capacity stretches out before me yet. These programs are much too short and I feel like a young bird being pushed out of the nest before learning to fly. The goal is to do 30-60 minutes of exercise daily, with 20 minutes in your target heart rate zone. Everyone's target zone is different depending on your age, resting heart rate and condition of your heart. My zone is 125-137 beats/minute which seems to be high.
Most of us have not worked in that zone for even 10 minutes. Some days it is more of a struggle to get there because you may be more tired that day. Some medications make you feel tired and some just make you sweat like crazy! I really wish I could sign up for another session. Other programs are 6 months to a year. I'm sure there will be a certain percentage of people who will just be unable to carry on the program in a similar way, especially elderly people who may not have access to equipment or safe places to walk.
But I guess the bottom line upside is that we are all a heck of a lot better than we were at the beginning of the program, and this must be very rewarding to the doctor who is testing us today! He'll certainly be smiling and I will smile back. (And I'll say a thank-you as soon as I catch my breath!! HA! HA!)
Mother of Invention, doing my stretches!