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  1. #1
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    Quad bypass recuperation

    My brother recently had a quadruple bypass at 63. He's recovering pretty well, with no complications, and will start rehabilitation next month. He's not a cyclist, and doesn't have any regular exercise that I know of.

    I'd like to get him a heart rate monitor and a book on exercise to read while he's recuperating, and I thought this forum would be a good source of advice. If I can turn him on to cycling, then even better.

    My initial thought is to get Smart Exercise by Covert Bailey and a Polar HRM (A3 or FS3), and some of the Pollar literature.

    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ tg/detail/-/0395661145?v=glance - 94k -
    http://www.polarusa.com/Products/fse...p?cat=consumer

    I have a Polar S150 and I love it, but my brother is a technophobe, so a complicated HRM is out. I don't know what kind of flexibility he'll have; I presume he'll be able to manage a chest strap, or does that go right across some incisions? Do the wrist-mounted HRMs work OK?

    I really like the Covert Bailey book, because it explained things at my level of detail, and drilled into me the benefit of exercise in general. I also like Joel Thiels's Cycling Past Fifty, because he promotes the idea that the severe decline of performance with age is statistical and does not necessarily apply to an individual. ("There's hope.") He also relies heavily on HRM's and training zones.

    Recommendations?

  2. #2
    Senior Member FXjohn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leucadian
    He's not a cyclist, and doesn't have any regular exercise that I know of.
    I really doubt he needs a HR monitor anytime soon.
    Sounds like the guy needs to recuperate and start walking, and maybe casually some light bike riding, and work his way up to a HR monitor "someday".
    Comedian Bill Hicks once said, "Money can't buy happiness, but it can buy a jet ski, and you never see an unhappy person riding a jet ski."

  3. #3
    Around now and then DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FXjohn
    I really doubt he needs a HR monitor anytime soon.
    Sounds like the guy needs to recuperate and start walking, and maybe casually some light bike riding, and work his way up to a HR monitor "someday".
    I agree with FXjohn. Generally a HRM is used for more sophisticated training. Get your brother walking (walk with him) on some easy trails. Build up his/your endurance level - go from 1 mile to 2 miles to 3 miles, then go at a faster pace, etc.

    Do some gentle biking (bike with him). Start easy.

    When you get to pushing the edge a bit is when you want the HRM.

    Using a HRM now may get him to fixate on pulse rather than just getting out. Every once in a while, just stop and take a pulse to see how you/he is/are doing.

    Have fun.
    DnvrFox - still bicycling, swimming, walking and weight lifting at 74yo is participating a bit in BFN 50+.

  4. #4
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FXjohn
    I really doubt he needs a HR monitor anytime soon.
    Sounds like the guy needs to recuperate and start walking, and maybe casually some light bike riding, and work his way up to a HR monitor "someday".
    Completely disagree. I had a triple in 99 and for peace of mind, that heart rate monitor was ideal.I know I had been using one before the bypass, but not on a regular basis, plus the fact the batterys were flat, and I felt it would be time to get an idea of what my heart rate was at various stages of exercise. I got the basic polar model with a chest strap, and the chest strap works just as well above the belly bulge as around the chest.

    Your brother has a good few weeks where just walking to the local paper shop will be enough exercise. In my case this was a round trip of 1 mile. First morning I used it, I was surprised to find that I was getting up to 110 at the slow crawl I was making. In a few weeks, I was walking briskly, and getting to 110, then within a month I was walking into town every morning- about 1.5 miles, having a coffee, and walking back.The heart monitor, gave me confidence that I was not exerting myself too much, even though I was pushing it quite hard. This I later found out was that the beata blockers were keeping my heart rate down, so pushing myself probably got me pretty fit fairly fast.

  5. #5
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    Completely disagree. I had a triple in 99 and for peace of mind, that heart rate monitor was ideal.

    I have had a Myocardial infraction and accelerated angina. The recommendations I would give for your brother is - It Depends-.
    If he has had a coronary incident is his injection fraction (how well the heart is pumping) such that he can tolerate exercise. During rehab he will be given guidelines for a safe recovery.
    I ended up with a good injection fraction and took my experience to (pardon the pun) heart. I have slowly but surely increased my exercise tolerance from a ten minute walk to a forty five minute jog. I ride my old bicycle about three times a week for a least an hour.
    My advice is to go for very slow improvement. My goals where set small and I knew that I had to keep at it. Your brothers quality of life will improve but he has to be sure of his safety.
    Additionally I have found a heart monitor to be very useful. It helped me to be consistent in the amount of work I was giving my heart and I liked the assurance that I was within safe levels.
    When I was just walking I used a MIO but found it difficult to use when running. I now use a Reebok and it works for me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Leucadian
    My brother recently had a quadruple bypass at 63. He's recovering pretty well, with no complications, and will start rehabilitation next month. He's not a cyclist, and doesn't have any regular exercise that I know of.

    I'd like to get him a heart rate monitor and a book on exercise to read while he's recuperating, and I thought this forum would be a good source of advice. If I can turn him on to cycling, then even better.

    My initial thought is to get Smart Exercise by Covert Bailey and a Polar HRM (A3 or FS3), and some of the Pollar literature.

    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ tg/detail/-/0395661145?v=glance - 94k -
    http://www.polarusa.com/Products/fse...p?cat=consumer

    I have a Polar S150 and I love it, but my brother is a technophobe, so a complicated HRM is out. I don't know what kind of flexibility he'll have; I presume he'll be able to manage a chest strap, or does that go right across some incisions? Do the wrist-mounted HRMs work OK?

    I really like the Covert Bailey book, because it explained things at my level of detail, and drilled into me the benefit of exercise in general. I also like Joel Thiels's Cycling Past Fifty, because he promotes the idea that the severe decline of performance with age is statistical and does not necessarily apply to an individual. ("There's hope.") He also relies heavily on HRM's and training zones.

    Recommendations?

    Totally agree with the HRM, the cardio re-hab therapists will tell him he needs to monitor his own workouts after he's done with the entire regimen of classes. They will suggest that he get an HRM to do this. The Cardiac re-hab is also only 3 times a week & he will be allowed to fill in the other days with his own excercise. For peace of mind, it's also invaluable in letting the recovering patient know just how far they will be able to push themselves.

  7. #7
    Senior Member FXjohn's Avatar
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    How long after the operation can you work out?
    I mean it must take some time for stitches to heal and so forth?
    Scary!
    Comedian Bill Hicks once said, "Money can't buy happiness, but it can buy a jet ski, and you never see an unhappy person riding a jet ski."

  8. #8
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FXjohn
    How long after the operation can you work out?
    I mean it must take some time for stitches to heal and so forth?
    Scary!
    I was back on the bike after the 3rd week. just a gentle 2 mile pootle, but at the 4th week, after a new stem to shorten and raise the reach, I went for a 10 miler. at week 7 I did an organised slow ride of 30 miles.
    However at week 9 I did a 40 miler. and pushed it where it mattered- Downhill and on the flat. I'll be quite honest and if I had realised how hard this ride was going to be, I would have trained for it. The only effect on this ride was That I found out I had muscles in the front of my shin bone. End of the ride I felt fine,loaded the bike on the car, sat down and changed my shoes, stood up and BANG. that hurt. I could not walk. Problem was- I needed the loo and it was 200 yards away. I could not walk, so a long slow hobble to the loo's and a long slow hobble back. when I got back the first aiders came up to me all concerned, and enquired as to what the problem was. They could not understand why even though I was in so much pain, I was elated that I had done a ride only 9 weeks after what was major surgery.

    I did not get offroad for a further few weeks, and when I did, The downhills were taken with a modicum of sense and very slowly. On the 40 miler, I used my new HRM and I did get my Heart rate up to 165 up a hill. What was more pleasing though was that I beat a crowd of "Mountain bikers" up this hill, who had been riding with me for about 5 miles. Mind you, I did rest at the top waiting for the HR to come down to something sensible, and that that took a long time.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by FXjohn
    How long after the operation can you work out?
    I mean it must take some time for stitches to heal and so forth?
    Scary!

    Generally, the doctors will tell you to not lift anything over 20 pounds for the first 4-6 weeks. They don't want you ripping any of the internal stitches. That also goes with bike riding since a fall off the bike can be very dangerous & cause internal bleeding.

  10. #10
    Let's do a Century jppe's Avatar
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    I picked up a basic Ciclosport model on ebay for $25 shipped!! It has all the features I need-average hr, max hr, time spent below, in and above the range. It's easy to program and operate as well. I would recomment it but not sure of the exact model.

  11. #11
    Senior Member capejohn's Avatar
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    From experience I can tell you not to expect much for 8-12 months. He may try to do physical things, but will tire easily. I play racquetball regularly and it was about that long before I could again go "full out".

    He will have his heart monitored regularly during rehab. And....before very long he will start to feel really good. As a matter of fact he may fell like a 25 year old. That!!!!, would be a good gift for him. (a blond one).
    Bike riding Northern gentleman.

  12. #12
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by capejohn
    From experience I can tell you not to expect much for 8-12 months. He may try to do physical things, but will tire easily. I play racquetball regularly and it was about that long before I could again go "full out".

    He will have his heart monitored regularly during rehab. And....before very long he will start to feel really good. As a matter of fact he may fell like a 25 year old. That!!!!, would be a good gift for him. (a blond one).
    Agree about the 8 to 12 months. I did manage to get out and ride, but it was 5 months before I went back to work full time, and for the first year after the op, preparation for a ride meant plenty of rest after the ride, a habit forming malady that I have still got. Problem is, You have a reason for taking it a bit steady. If you do not "FORCE" yourself to get out and work, depending the level you want to get to, it is too easy to be content to be at the back of a group, too easy to slow down drastically on the hills, and too easy to say, I am not exercising today.

    Just as I was getting my full fitness back, 2 years after the op, I had another problem with prostate and another op. That hit me and a year later, in late 2002, I was thinking of giving up riding. I set myself a target for 2003 and that was to do a big ride I had not done since 1997. Trained for it, got out on the bike as much as possible, got the Tandem to ensure I had to work as that thing is not easy and did the Ride. I haven't looked back since.

    A target or goal has to be set. Perhaps not as high as mine was, but you must not let the Heart problem or any other medical problem get you down. In rehab, there will be other people and you can pick out the ones that will not be around in 5 years time. A heart bypass is a reconditioned heart. it will work better than the old one did at the end of its life, so take advantage of it. I did and I have that new lease of life. Now all I have to do is cut out the ****, the booze, the women, and the Big meals out, and I'll be able to ride a bit more often. Forgot, I did that 6 years ago, so all I have to do is find more time to ride more often.

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