This afternoon I’ve got cardio rehab gym session number six (of twelve). Along with other guys who’ve recently suffered heart attacks, I partake in these National Health Service (NHS) provided classes, consisting of twelve different circuit exercises.
I’m slowly but surely feeling improved fitness benefits from this routine. This despite a worrying glitch in my heart rate wrist monitor which, when first connected, briefly indicated my cardiac beats per minute measured 212!!…… A reading that would’ve been believable in the dark days during my flawed ‘reign’ in IT Incident Management, but less likely since my departure from that role.
Thankfully, the heart rate monitor automatically recalibrated to advise me my resting heart rate was normal at 59. The Grim Reaper stood down and, under the guidance of a fitness instructor, I proceeded with a pre-exercise warm up with the rest of the group.
The Grim Reaper didn’t seem happy about being duped by the erratic heart rate monitor. He (or she) petulantly storming into the corner of the classroom, hurling their scythe against the wall in anger, prior to chuntering “I’ll be back for you soon, Strachan!….,. Just you wait!”
I’d be lying if I posited the exercise is easy. However, I’m sensible enough to know it was always going to be hard. My fitness levels took a real hammering from January’s heart attack, along with April’s gastric haemorrhage which made me anaemic. The two stints on spinning bikes particularly challenging, although manageable.
The sloth-like pace of rehab after a heart attack can be frustrating at times. However, the post-incident treatment is a great deal more beneficial to the patient than the accepted recuperation of a few decades ago.
If I’d have suffered a heart attack, say in the 1960’s, before research unearthed the requirement for the afflicted to exercise sensibly asap after the event, I’d have spent months in hospital. My days no doubt spent in a ‘Carry On’ universe of misogynistic banter in the company of Sid James, Kenneth Connor and Bernard Bresslaw.
Thankfully I didn’t, though, and although my recuperative demands are far tougher physically than a double-entendre laden few weeks with Sid and the lads, they’re proven to be a darn sight better for your health.
Chasing a nurse Benny Hill style around the hospital ward may provide exercise benefits, but the physical activity old Benny sought is not recommended shortly after cardiac arrest……… Or so my wife once advised me to warn against intimate acts. Bizarrely that was in 1993 and I didn’t have my heart attack until 2019!
As well as two rehab gym sessions a week, I gain cardiovascular benefits by undertaking twice weekly garden maintenance. On discharge from hospital, my cardiologist stating sensible exertions tending herbaceous borders and lawns would contribute majorly to my recuperation…… Or he did until I finished revamping his garden for him – After which he told me I’d been highly irresponsible undertaking such exerting labour!
I need to conclude this essay now as I need to adorn my lycra gym wear and leg warmers in preparation for this afternoons gym session
Don’t put the blame on me!