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Hot weather and exercise post-OHS

  • 1.  Hot weather and exercise post-OHS

    Posted 06-21-2020 18:17
    My OHS was a month ago.  I've been following my recommended exercise protocol, and I'm up to the end goal of 40 minutes. Today the humidity was pretty high, and I noticed my heart rate and O2 sat rate were all over the place (I walk with a pulse ox and check it throughout the walk). Was anyone given exercise recommendations for when the heat index is high?  I'll see my surgeon for a follow up on Tuesday and will check with him, just thought I'd check in here while I wait to see him.  TIA!

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    Anne Birdsong
    Occupational Therapist
    Rural
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  • 2.  RE: Hot weather and exercise post-OHS

    Posted 06-22-2020 02:52
    Anne, as a former year round long distance runner in the NY metro area, I always moderated my outdoor running based in weather conditions.  During the long hot summer days, I would be out the door for my hour run during the cool pre-dawn and get home around sunrise.  I'd also cut back in my distance during severe heat and humidity.

    After my heart attack and surgery, I just naturally applied the same lessons to walking and other exercise outdoors.  Now, 2 1//2 years post-surgery, and with all gyms in my part if the country still closed because of the virus, I'm still doing the same thing.

    During the current heat wave, I've shortened my one hour walks aling the waterfront, where there is very little shade, to thirty minute walks through tree shaded streets.  I've also been doing pushup variations, dips, bodyweight squats and pullups in the air conditioned comfort of home, instead of outdoors in the park.  During the worst days if the pandemic, and in order to avoid contact with other people, I was walking 40-50 flights of stairs indoors every day, which was incredibly boring but effective.  In the days before developing episodic sciatica, I also used to do "bear crawls" indoors during bad weather, which provide a very concentrated combined aerobic and strength workout.  Caution:  Do not even attempt bear crawls (or any upper body exercise) until your sternum is fully healed and you are cleared by your cardiologist.

    In short, what you can do for exercise can and should be moderated by the weather, but the possibilities are limited inly by one's imagination.

    All the best,

    Ira

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    Ira Reid
    Hoboken NJ
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  • 3.  RE: Hot weather and exercise post-OHS

    Posted 06-22-2020 07:25
    Thank you Ira. Wow, it sounds like you are doing great!

    PS: What is a bear crawl? Just curious.

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    Anne Birdsong
    Occupational Therapist
    Rural
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  • 4.  RE: Hot weather and exercise post-OHS

    Posted 06-22-2020 08:05
    Hi Anne,

    Bear crawls are simply walking on all fours.  It sounds simple, but it is quite taxing, primarily because we are not meant to walk on all fours and, unlike our dogs and cats, our arms are much shorter than our legs.  As a result, more of tour bodyweight is concentrated on your arms and shoulders when you do a bear crawl.

    The starting position is similar to what people refer to as being on their hands and knees, except that you will be on your hands and feet instead of your knees.  As a result, your back will be tilting toward the front of your body owing to the fact that your arms are shorter than your legs.  You can google bear crawl and get a clearer image of what I'm saying.

    Anyway, once you're in the position, you just start walking.  It's ideal as an indoor working because you'll be huffing and puffing after 10 or 15 feet.  You'll also feel it in your shoulders, which have to work very hard compared to your longer, stronger legs.  If you're puffing too hard, just take a break and then do another set the way you would with weights.

    Again, do not do this if you have a history if back problems, particularly sciatica.  This past January, it was raining hard and I was running late for work, so I decided to skip the gym and do some bear crawls instead.  I'd done them for years and never had a problem, even after developing sciatica from a weightlifting injury to my piriformis muscle ten years earlier (its a tiny muscle in the lower back and the sciatic nerve runs through-inflamed muscle and you've got sciatica).  This time, though, it was another story.  The workout itself was great, but by the time I got to work, I was starting to feel that burning pain in my left leg and hip.  It got progressively worse during the day and I still don't know how I managed to make it home.  Ince home, though, I was out of commission for two weeks and my sole form if exercise was launching myself on my crutches between the living room couch, the bathroom and the kitchen and dining room table.  No more bear crawls for me, but they are a wonderful exercise.

    Goid luck,

    Ira

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    Ira Reid
    Hoboken NJ
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  • 5.  RE: Hot weather and exercise post-OHS

    Posted 06-22-2020 10:08
    Hello Anne,
    I was able to exercise easier with low humidity. While living in Barstow CA I was able to go for long walks in temps as high as 85 degrees due to the low humidity there.
    While visiting Philadelphia in September I was having trouble walking at a normal pace. I had to take a slower pace and it was only in the low 70's. I also had to stop and rest more often. 
    Weather changes directly affected my ability to perform physical activities for my first 12 to 18 months. A lot of this depends on each person's condition and how much work was done to the heart. 
    Healing is a process that at best can only be measured in averages. We are all so different even if we had the same procedure done by the same surgeon on the same day at the same hospital. 
    Be patient, it does get easier. Just be sure to listen to your body. If it says rest and get out of the heat, do it. A few weeks later it may tell you it is ok to go around the block one more time. 

    Be well
    Richard Short 
    Chapter 395





  • 6.  RE: Hot weather and exercise post-OHS

    Posted 06-22-2020 10:45
    ​Richard makes a good point about humidity, but even low humidity can have its dangers.  I was once out in Salt Lake City on a business trip and decided to take my morning run before heading in to the office.  When I ran past a digital thermometer near the hotel, I was shocked to see that the temperature already had reached 90 degrees.  It felt much cooler than that and the entire run was quite comfortable.  In fact, I didn't even break a sweat.

    When I arrived at the office and told the story, my colleague's response was, "Don't kid yourself.  You were sweating just as much as you would on a 90 degree day in New York.  It's just that the humidity is so low here that your sweat evaporates from your skin before you're even aware of it.  You need to drink plenty of water to avoid dehydrating."

    Who knew?

    Best,

    Ira

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    Ira Reid
    Hoboken NJ
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  • 7.  RE: Hot weather and exercise post-OHS

    Posted 06-23-2020 14:19
    Anne,

    I agree with monitoring yourself and making the appropriate adjustments. My experience is that I vary somewhat in many aspects day-to-day.

    When I lived in Houston, I jogged three miles everyday starting at 7 AM as, in the summer, most days would be double 90's. Jumping into a pool would prevent the sweats. However, when I put on a tie, the delayed sweats would hit hard. One recommendation is post run wear clothes that permit air to circulate within them. I traveled quite a bit for business, and even when it was chilly, I followed the routine of an early morning run in just shorts and light top, with time to cool down before putting on a suit and tie. Gosh,I don't miss ties, and recently even forgot how to tie one.

    Hope this helps,

    Brent Zepke

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    Brent Zepke
    Santa Barbara CA
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  • 8.  RE: Hot weather and exercise post-OHS

    Posted 06-23-2020 18:36
    Thank you, I will ditch the tie from now on.  Lol!  Jk, I take your point.  Good advice about allowing the body an increased cool-down period. Thanks!

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    Anne Birdsong
    Occupational Therapist
    Rural
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  • 9.  RE: Hot weather and exercise post-OHS

    Posted 06-24-2020 15:44
    Good afternoon folks. I live in Houston and had a heart attack in 2006 and as a result have scar tissue on about 25% of my heart, in my second pace maker and am currently battling stage 3 cancer. Before the attack l ran 3-5 miles daily, worked out with weights and probably ate better than 95% of most people. I now walk regularly 3-4 miles and play golf 2-3 times a week. I swear like crazy and cool down before taking a shower. At the end of the shower l turn on the cold water and never have had any problem about sweating after showering. Don

    Sent from my iPhone




  • 10.  RE: Hot weather and exercise post-OHS

    Posted 07-11-2020 15:00
    Hey Don,
    Lived in Houston for 10 years and ran almost every day at Memorial Park. I had Cabg about 8 months ago and would like your read on your recovery after serious heart attack..and I assume OHS. I'm still having breathing issues and heavy chest after OHS. Did you have similiar experience as what I'm now experiencing.at 8 months. Many on the board say it just takes time...I guess I'm just impatient and want to get back to feeling normal again.
    Glad to hear your doing well,

    Thanks for sharing any guidance
    Robert Sauder



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    Robert Sauder
    Cumming GA
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  • 11.  RE: Hot weather and exercise post-OHS

    Posted 07-12-2020 18:19
    I asked my cardiologist about exercising in the warm weather.  I live in Woodstock, GA just north of Atlanta.  It is very hot and humid here in the summer plus my workshop is not cool, and although shaded it gets very warm even though I use a floor fan to keep the air moving.  Her answer to my question was "exercise."  She cautioned me to drink plenty of water, not to get over heated, wear sunscreen and a hat.  So I walk three to four miles in the early morning when it is reasonably cool but quite humid. I am soaking wet with perspiration at the end of my walk. I drink water while walking, consuming about 20 oz during the walk and another 20 after the walk and my shower to cool off. I say exercise unless you are advised otherwise by you physician but have an exercise buddy. My wife walks with me.  We both carry cell phones just in case we need them.  Haven't had to use them for almost three years.

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    George Hess
    Accredited Mended Hearts Volunteer and Chapter Membership Chair
    Chapter 081
    Altanta, GA
    (404) 452-8464
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  • 12.  RE: Hot weather and exercise post-OHS

    Posted 06-24-2020 15:48
    And l truly hate autocorrect. I’m on my 2nd pacemaker and l don’t swear but so sweat like crazy. Don

    Sent from my iPhone

    > On Jun 24, 2020, at 2:43 PM, Donald Harris <mdh25211@att.net> wrote:
    >
    > Good afternoon folks. I live in Houston and had a heart attack in 2006 and as a result have scar tissue on about 25% of my heart, in my second pace maker and am currently battling stage 3 cancer. Before the attack l ran 3-5 miles daily, worked out with weights and probably ate better than 95% of most people. I now walk regularly 3-4 miles and play golf 2-3 times a week. I swear like crazy and cool down before taking a shower. At the end of the shower l turn on the cold water and never have had any problem about sweating after showering. Don
    >
    > Sent from my iPhone




  • 13.  RE: Hot weather and exercise post-OHS

    Posted 06-25-2020 08:28
    Donald, I think I liked it better when I thought you "swear like crazy".  Lol!  Thanks for the laugh.

    Anne

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    Anne Birdsong
    Occupational Therapist
    Rural
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  • 14.  RE: Hot weather and exercise post-OHS

    Posted 06-23-2020 18:46
    Thanks, Richard. I just saw my surgeon today for my follow up and he said basically the same thing, to just listen to my body.  In fact, he told me to ditch the pulse ox and the spirometer bc I'm doing just fine and I'm probably stressing over the details.

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    Anne Birdsong
    Occupational Therapist
    Rural
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  • 15.  RE: Hot weather and exercise post-OHS

    Posted 06-23-2020 20:33

    Anne,

    I never believed in those outpatient, digital, finger testing oxygen devices or most of the portable, digital blood pressure monitors.  They're incredibly inaccurate and inconsistent, from ine minute to the next.  If some of the readings I got when I was in rehab were real, I'd be dead.  Blood oxygen levels of 80 something one minute and 99 the next.  

    Trust how you feel.  It's the best guide.

    Best,

    Ira



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    Ira Reid
    Hoboken NJ
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  • 16.  RE: Hot weather and exercise post-OHS

    Posted 07-27-2020 14:05
    I live in Charleston, South Carolina...so you can imagine what it's like this time of year (we refer to the period from July 1 - September 1 as "Hell's Sauna", lol).  Since I have just started exercising after my heart attack and two stent placements, my cardiologist told me to be careful when it is really humid, but encouraged me to try something early in the morning before it gets too hot.  I've found that I enjoy riding my bike more than walking....creates more of a breeze to dry the sweat, lol....

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    Tracy Rhodes
    Charleston SC
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