Leg Conditioning

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paulcw16

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Nov 5, 2015
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RI
I'm probably expecting too much too soon, but 5 months post AVR (Edwards bovine) and Asc Aorta graft, I kind of thought (hoped) I'd be moving faster. 12 minutes of walking at 2.8 mph and my legs have had it. I'm 64. Appreciate hearing about others' experience.
 

honeybunny

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Jun 20, 2015
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Outside Houston, Texas.
I am also 5 months post op, age 61. I'm doing 51 minutes of cardiac rehab 3 times a week; 5 minute warm up, 20 minutes each on the treadmill and exercise bike, and 6 minute cool down. On the treadmill I am up to 2.5 mph with a 3 incline. I started out at 0.6 mph with 0 incline. The nurses gradually increased my speed and incline. If you are on a treadmill, I recommend adhering to warmup and cool down time. Yes, it's very boring walking at 0.6 mph, but it helps with stamina.

The exercise bike is what wears out my legs. As the level of resistance has increased (up to level 8 now), my pedaling has slowed down so I'm not so quickly worn out. The nurses said this is OK. Try slowing down your pace from 2.8 to maybe 2.5 with the warmup and cooldown.

Main thing is, you have got to build up your exercise routine gradually, even if it seems painfully slow as it does with my rehab. Remember, you are still recovering so baby steps.
 

Superman

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Oct 3, 2009
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Grand Rapids, MI, USA
Something I need to do as well - but I've found that there is a limit to how much I can improve if I don't incorporate leg strength training. I've taken to stepping away from my desk for a short break each day to climb the stairs from the basement to the top floor (13 total stories - 263 steps). Not a mountain by any stretch, but I've noticed on my weekend walks, I can now continue my conversation with my wife when we are walking up the steeper hills in our neighborhood. Before I started the stair climbing, I had to take a break in the chatting until we got to the downhill and I could catch my breath.

I can only guess that if I actually got to a gym and did some real leg lifts, this would improve even more (maybe even start running again).

Treadmill alone is better than nothing, but it isn't as good as adding some level of strength training.

Five months out - maybe as little as walking up and down your stairs at home a few times.
 

epstns

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Dec 26, 2002
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Chicago area
paulcw16;n862902 said:
I'm probably expecting too much too soon, but 5 months post AVR (Edwards bovine) and Asc Aorta graft, I kind of thought (hoped) I'd be moving faster. 12 minutes of walking at 2.8 mph and my legs have had it. I'm 64. Appreciate hearing about others' experience.
Stay with it, Paul. You're still in the early stages of real recovery. Yes, you can rejoin your life, but your endurance has not returned by any means. I started cardiac rehab at 12 weeks post-op due to some intestinal complications. I was able to walk the treadmill only about 2.5 mph for 10-15 min. By the end of the 12-week rehab course, I was walking my 15 min at 4+ mph, with the treadmill inclined to 10% or more. It just takes time, and you have to push your limits.

Even now, almost 5 years post-op, I still walk the treadmill for 15 min. at 4.3 mph, with a 13% incline, 5 days a week, as part of my normal fitness routine. Until very recently I also rode a stationary bike (Airdyne - great machines) for another 15 min a day, but the bicycle seats just aren't designed for my anatomy any more. So, I now do 15 min. on an elliptical machine and 15 min on the treadmill, in addition to my free weights and floor exercises.

The more you do, the better you get. Push your limits, but push gently. You won't break anything.
 

paulcw16

Member
Joined
Nov 5, 2015
Messages
21
Location
RI
Thanks everyone. It helps a lot to hear from you. I decided my legs were not going to get stronger slogging along, so I've switched to faster interval walks with hills, 3-4x a week , and a longer endurance walk 1-2x.
 
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