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Old 02-06-03, 03:20 PM   #1
easttexan
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Building wind

I am a reformed smoker and had my last cigarette when I had a heart attack and bypass surgery on July 11, 2002. My conditioning seems to be progressing properly, but I wonder about my wind. I don't necessarily run out of air, but sometimes you can hear me blowing for a mile. Any suggestions about what I need to do to build my wind up. By the way, whether it's my age or the effort I am putting into it, I don't remember running, biking, weight-lifting, etc. as being as painful when I was last in shape? Even though we always talked about "no pain, no gain", I don't know that I ever really hurt like I do now.
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Old 02-06-03, 03:32 PM   #2
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Next Friday will be 2 years since I quit smoking I still huff and puff ,especially riding up hill but it has gotten progressively better as time goes on. As for the pain you talked about I guess it depends on what kind of pain I know that when I first started to ride again it was a bit painful when it came to hills and of course I had to work my way up on distances and still sometimes experience a little pain when ridding up hill. I do not have any pain when I am done with the ride or the next day' I would say that if you are experiencing a lot of pain you may want to visit your friendly neighborhood doc and see whats up you may be trying to take on to much at once. The Pain no gain theory is a myth it shouldn't hurt a lot to exercise. Good Luck!
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Old 02-06-03, 04:03 PM   #3
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The Pain no gain theory is a myth it shouldn't hurt a lot to exercise. Good Luck!
The only pain you should feel during exercise is a "burn".
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Old 02-06-03, 04:18 PM   #4
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I quit smoking in 1983, its been twenty long years, and I don't regret one bit, I am a happy camper
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Old 02-06-03, 04:20 PM   #5
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Obviously I am the only person with 2 bad shoulders, 1 bad knee, a hip that pops when I squat and assorted other maladies that come from 52 years of football, wrestling horses and cows, car wrecks, etc. When I exert myself on anything, something hurts. I just don't remember the joints hurting, the muscles burning or just the pain of exertion when I was younger.
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Old 02-06-03, 06:32 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by easttexan
I am a reformed smoker and had my last cigarette when I had a heart attack and bypass surgery on July 11, 2002. My conditioning seems to be progressing properly, but I wonder about my wind. I don't necessarily run out of air, but sometimes you can hear me blowing for a mile.
Steady aerobic exercise is the ticket, and if you were a heavy smoker for many years then eight or nine months is a little early to expect great improvement.

I had my first heart attack (and last cigarette) on April 11, 1998 and bypass surgery this past April. I've got pretty good wind, now, especially since I started exercising vigorously after the bypass healed. I'm up to a bit over an hour a night on an elliptical glider, at middle resistance and fast pace (I exercise to CCR "Chronicle," usually).

The key to getting your wind back seems to be to concentrate on aerobic exercise for a period of at least 45 minutes (you'll have to work up to it, of course). Before, when I was working out vigorously but only for 30 minutes I'd still tend to get winded. Now, after a few months at 60 minutes a day I'm not even much winded after hammering out "Sweet Hitchhiker" at about 14MPH on the glider after 60 minutes at around 10MPH.

So, check with your doc and work your exercise time up gradually. If you are feeling sharp pains (as opposed to just a burn in your muscles) get it checked out -- you don't want to strain something or you'll be off exercise for weeks getting that straightened out!

John
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Old 02-06-03, 06:39 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by easttexan
I am a reformed smoker and had my last cigarette when I had a heart attack and bypass surgery on July 11, 2002. My conditioning seems to be progressing properly...
Way to go, Easttexan! I quit in 1990 after smoking about three packs a day for 15 years (and living off coffee.)

Now I can run upstairs or do just about anything without getting out of breath. Give it some time. In addition to lung development, I think part of what makes your breathing better is the increased capacity of your cardiovascular system and your muscles; it takes time for those to develop.

As long as your physician has cleared you for intense exercise, you might try hitting the hills. Also, go for some long, slow rides. It's a balance between intensity of exercise and recovery.

Above all be patient.
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Old 02-06-03, 10:22 PM   #8
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Easttexan....what you gotta do is enjoy the ride and not worry about it, the wind will come, the muscles will come.

As you can see by the replies not all cyclists are young viro men that race. But all sorts that enjoy the sport as much as they can.

I DO PLAN ON RIDING THE FULL HHH100 WITH YOU IN AUGUST.

Maybe we can start a HEART ATTACK BACK club.
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Old 02-06-03, 10:58 PM   #9
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E. Texan, congrats on quitting smoking. It is great to see that fitness is a priority for you.

How long did you smoke for?


I quit 5 years, 1 month and 4 days ago. Now that I began biking, I really regret ever smoking.
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Old 02-06-03, 11:19 PM   #10
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Great job on quitting the cancer sticks. I would think that it will take a long time for the lungs to recover completetly (if posssible) from the smoking.

It really depends on your age and how long you smoked as far as what you can expect. But just kicking the habit is an admirable accomplishment. I quit chewing tobbaco when I was a teen and it was tough. I grew up in an area where chewing tobbaco was like drinking water. You just did it.

Congrats...
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Old 02-07-03, 08:14 AM   #11
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I smoked for 33 years and was actually smoking when I had my first chest pain. I had tried quitting many times before, and although I came close, I never actually went a full day without a cigarette until the heart attack. Have no desire for one, but the smoke doesn't seem to bother me either. I usually exercise in some form for several hours every day, but really enjoy biking, partly because it doesn't absolutely "KILL ME" like running does. I get out there by myself, turn the switch off and watch the miles roll. Ain't life great.
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Old 02-07-03, 09:11 AM   #12
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easttexan,

firstly, congratulations.
now, about the pain, aches, etc. in joints & muscles.
I'm bettin it has more to do with being 55 than it does
with the smoking. Not being a spring chicken myself
I noticed when I climbed back on that it hurt ALOT more
than when I was 20. . . no biggie, just takes a bit
more time getting back into shape.
I'll see ya at HHH if not Collin classic, or maybe
The Tyler ride, Beauty and the beast.
1oldroadie, I haven't had a heart attack but I had
chest pain once, can I still ride with ya?

I usually build wind after a double bean burrito, and
I'm guessing ya'll didn't really want to know that.

Marty
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Old 02-07-03, 10:00 AM   #13
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Congratulations on giving up smoking. :thumbup:

I never smoked, just grew up in a house with parents who both smoked.

Quote:
Originally posted by easttexan
Obviously I am the only person with 2 bad shoulders, 1 bad knee, a hip that pops when I squat and assorted other maladies that come from 52 years of football, wrestling horses and cows, car wrecks, etc. When I exert myself on anything, something hurts. I just don't remember the joints hurting, the muscles burning or just the pain of exertion when I was younger.
I'm 58 and my knees have always popped, even as a kid.
When I don't exercise for a while I hurt too. It's part of being out of shape and over 30.

Give yourself some time and keep at it. You'll make it.
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Old 02-08-03, 02:08 PM   #14
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Wow. This is absolutely great to read about how many non-smokers there are taking charge and getting their health back. I think that if there were one thing I had power to change in this world it would be to somehow get my mother to quit before it kills her. She has been a "closet" smoker for over 30 years now and confronting her only makes her resentful and angry--although I do it anyway since "resentful and angry" is still a better set-up than "dead." What makes this so difficult is the fact that my father-in-law was diagnosed with advanced emphysema after years of chain-smoking and now it's easy to envision my mom in the same situation: hooked to plastic tubing and oxygen 24/7 and fighting for every breath. She has heard my stories about the things my FIL has to go through ...how even a simple cold could kill him.
What does it take? Now when I see someone smoking, I just want to rip it out of their mouths and stomp it. I don't hate the smoker, I hate the cigarrette themselves.

These stories are a real source of encouragement.
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Old 02-08-03, 02:43 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by psycholist
What does it take? Now when I see someone smoking, I just want to rip it out of their mouths and stomp it. I don't hate the smoker, I hate the cigarrette themselves.
In my case it took four days in a hospital bed where they wouldn't let me smoke, and then several weeks of recovery at home where I didn't have to be around smokers. I don't think even the heart attack would have stopped me if not for the initial period of enforced non-smoking followed by an extended period not being around smokers. By the time I went back to work I could walk past the folks standing outside on a smoke break with little more than a twinge of desire to "bum one."

I think that's something that health-insurance companies really need to take a hard look at. Resident non-smoking programs are almost 100% effective while non-resident programs are something like 15% effective (I might be off a tad on the figures, it's been several years since I read the article). Yet, almost no health-insurance plan covers resident non-smoking programs nor do most employers grant time off for a resident non-smoking program. As a consequence, there are very few resident programs and they are quite expensive.

I was so addicted that as I was laying on the floor waiting for the ambulance (when I had my big heart attack in '98) I was looking up at my cigarettes hanging over the edge of a table and wishing I could reach them for a last smoke because I knew they wouldn't let me smoke in the ambulance!

In spite of all that I don't really hate cigarettes. People choose to ruin their health in any number of ways and not only is attempting to regulate that sort of behaviour invasive, it simply doesn't work. If you "criminilize" smoking all you do is create more ways for criminals to prosper and more ways for politicians to interfere in our daily lives. Prohibition was possibly the biggest mistake in domestic policy since the civil war. Even now we are paying costs associated with the entrenchment of organized crime that prohibition facilitated. (And yes, I'm dead set against the draconian "drug war" here in the US in spite of the fact that I'm a very conservative non-drug user, myself.)

I know people who used to criticize me for smoking while they were killing themselves with food faster than I ever did with cigarettes. There is nothing more laughable than someone who is 5'8" and weighs 350 pounds, all of it jiggling blubber, telling someone else they should have more respect for their body!

I know most reformed smokers tend to become anti-smoking nazis, but I'm not one of them. I had to drive to a business meeting in another state last year with a co-worker. We were using a rental car and I told her to crack her window and go ahead and light up 'cause it wasn't going to bother me (and I remember what torture it used to be riding with non-smokers), and she about wet herself!

Finally, most "confrontational" attempts to stop a loved one's smoking are counter-productive. We humans have a stubborn streak and don't like to be told what to do, especially not by our children. Far better to let a loved one know you're ready to help when they're ready to quit than to constantly badger them. All badgering does is raise the stress level and make them want a smoke even more badly!

John
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Old 02-08-03, 03:37 PM   #16
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Let me chime in as another who has quit smoking after a long addiction -- I smoked for 22 years before I quit last July. I found out that I had high blood pressure and high cholesterol, and up until that point I hadn't been doing any exercising at all. I quit smoking cold-turkey and it was tough going for about the first month or so, but now it's no problem at all and I wouldn't dream of smoking another one. I started riding to get back into shape and the difference it has made is astounding! Your wind will come back gradually -- even if you hadn't ever smoked you would still need to build up your stamina to some degree when you first start out. Keep at it and good luck, and congratulations on quitting!

Seven months, 19 hours, 7 minutes and 3 seconds. 2157 cigarettes not smoked, saving $377.72. Life saved: 1 week, 11 hours, 45 minutes.
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Old 02-08-03, 03:38 PM   #17
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If you really want to do the most you can to build your air compacity up you should do some reading of bicycle sports training books. The racers and their trainers have studied all the ways to increase your " air " extensively. Just because you don't race, that doesn't mean you can't use some of their techniques. I've found that even if I'm not actually training, just knowing about the lingo helps. i.e. I'm not gasping for air, I'm increasing my air intake power output ratio! That's how racers talk, and it works.
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Old 02-08-03, 07:25 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally posted by orguasch
I quit smoking in 1983, its been twenty long years, and I don't regret one bit, I am a happy camper
you've been smoke free longer than I've been alive

good job

my problem is that my parents still smoke, and I have yet to figure out a way to bring up the issue of stopping... as I would rather see them stop then ignore the issue. Anyone have advice on how to tell my parents they should break the habit?
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Old 02-09-03, 08:51 AM   #19
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[
my problem is that my parents still smoke, and I have yet to figure out a way to bring up the issue of stopping... as I would rather see them stop then ignore the issue. Anyone have advice on how to tell my parents they should break the habit? [/B][/QUOTE]

hey...who knew that inhaling hot smoke would turn out to be bad for you?
hahaha.

anyway, it is hard to say, because people are motivated in different ways. but i am of the thinking that you would want to quit on your own terms rather than having a doctor tell you that you HAVE to quit or else. I'd say 'hay, you've enjoyed smoking for X number of years now. Nothing bad has happened yet....you've looked death in the eye & you've won. for now. now is the time to think in today's terms'

knowing what you know about smoking today....would you still start now? being addicted to an inanimate object is a *****.
but this is a lifestyle choice. you can't legislate a healthy lifestyle. that person has to want to change for him or herself. not because a spouse or a child wants them to. that is doomed to failure from the start.

you don't have to cold turkey it. if you smoke 2 packs/day that is 40 cig's. every week smoke one less cig. and in 40 weeks (a small time in the larger scheme of things) you are done. that will give the person enough time to adjust to the new lifestyle slowly instead of shocking the system (like calorie deprivation in drastic diets)
take away the cues. take away the creature comforts of smoking. take away the favorite lighter. change coffee mugs. sit at a different place at the table for breakfast, dinner, etc.

if you have ever seen an older person on a fixed income have to come up with the money for inhalers and nebulizers and oxygen tanks - and the look in their faces at the desparation and effort needed to inhale oxygen....

the lungs were only meant to take in oxygen and blow off carbon dioxide.
every time you inhale hot smoke, you aren't taking in oxygen. calculate the puffs then figure out how many inhalations aren't including oxygen.

monitarily, take any money saved and collect it. then offer to match it. the smoking cessation products cost the same as cartons of cig's. . .

or to illustrate: blow up a balloon and paint it. let the paint dry then see how elastic the balloon is.

or just say 'i don't want you to die'

or say if you want to be efficient about inhaling smoke, you can stand behind a city bus and inhale the fumes. why spend the whole day inhaling little bits of smoke. be efficient!!

time is a nasty equalizer. you aren't 20 anymore.
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Old 02-09-03, 01:29 PM   #20
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I was getting ready to say "....addiction to ANYTHING is unhealthy..." and suddenly realized that I myself may have a problem.

After about 36 hours of no cycling I get this weird twitch...and those little voices, too
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Old 02-09-03, 06:36 PM   #21
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thanks RiPHRaPH you gave me some good ideas.
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Old 02-09-03, 06:47 PM   #22
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RiPHRaPH said "you don't have to cold turkey it. if you smoke 2 packs/day that is 40 cig's. every week smoke one less cig. and in 40 weeks (a small time in the larger scheme of things) you are done."

I'll agree with that, but you do have to eventually quit. I really think my smoking had ended up being more of a lifestyle than an addiction. Then, once I had no choice to change my lifestyle, it really was easy to quit. I really feel that I should try to convince people to quit smoking, but from my own experience, most smokers know that it is bad for them, and they just have to come to your own decision and then just do it!
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Old 02-09-03, 07:31 PM   #23
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Smoking YECH

I agree with easttexan it is a lifestyle issue rather than a straight out addiction, i knew i needed to change my routine to stop reaching for a 'deathstick' when habit dictated i do so.

So no lifestyle change better than a change of jobs.
The day i left was the day i quit and i havnt even thought about smoking since, really was easy once my routine had changed.

I have excercised on and off over the last year after i gave up, i know the pain you describe easttexan, i took boxing classes and pad work had me thinking i was going to die. I say work through the pain it will subside, i have and i only ride now, with little or no pain and my aerobic level is improving. Its gone from Sh*thouse to well below average but if thats the only price i have to pay for smoking im happy.

How did you go with your weight after giving up, i put on 4 stone in 6 months.
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Old 02-09-03, 07:42 PM   #24
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Peddler - I have dropped 25 pounds, but have also converted alot to muscle. My weight loss has been disappointing to me, but the doctor says most of the important numbers have nothing to do with weight. So, I worry about my pulse, blood pressure, cholesterol, etc. and try to lose about 1 pound per month. Working pretty good so far. My pulse has dropped from 105 to around 60 and my cholesterol is half what it used to be and my good is high and my bad is low. In some ways, eating is worse than smoking. I only smoked 32 years, I have been developing my eating style for 52. Oh well, if it wasn't one thing, I guess it would be something else.
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Old 02-10-03, 07:25 AM   #25
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i agree with the liefestyle thing....but taking someone from smoking to a healthy lifestyle in a day or week will never happen. people are inherintly lazy and uncompromising. it is human nature. people were built for comfort, not speed.
going from one extreme to another will never last.

"quiting is easy....i've done it a thousand times"
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