British Heart Foundation
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Post CABG Exercise

Hello all.

I'm now 19 days post triple bypass, and, touch wood, all is going well. Since walking is the only exercise I can sensibly do at this stage, I'm out most days (fortunately the weather is good at the moment so its a real pleasure to be out and about). My question is 'how much exercise should I be doing'. I am currently walking a little over 2 miles at a decent clip (about 30 minutes). All of this on the flat. I feel good in myself and feel I could quite easily do more, but I have no yardstick with which to gauge what is enough and what is 'over doing it'. I don't have my first Cardio Rehab session until December so at the moment I'm making it up as I go along. Has anyone out there got any advice, guidance or experience they can share?

Cheers

Steve

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I'm not an expert, but I'd think what you are doing right now sounds like a good amount/level to keep you ticking over until you get your first rehab session? A lot of people without health issues would be pleased to do 30 minutes of brisk walking each day and you don't want to risk pushing yourself too hard. December sounds a long time off, but it's not really, I would keep doing as you're doing until the experts can give you more detailed advice.

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Hello Laura

Thanks for the clarity of thought - I know many 'fit' people who do not do the 30 minutes each day and its good for me to remember that. I've upped the time slightly to 40 minutes, but that is just because it makes the route a little more interesting. I'm going to keep it to about that level now until Cardiac Rehab and see what they have to say. Thanks again

Steve

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19 days and already up to two miles, well done you. I am very impressed, watch out for tiredness and mind your leg wound(s). I take it still wearing the support socks? If not i would either invest in a few pairs to help. Also from personal experience watch out when it gets colder, your veins constrict as do your lungs both of these are bad post heart surgery and make your heart rate leap.

One more, rest days, make them mean rest days. By all means wander about the house but your body does need time to recover

Good luck

Mark

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Thanks Mark. The tiredness angle is on the money. I like the walking and my stamina is certainly improving, but 2 days of hard work has tended to mean that day 3 is a 'rest' day just wandering around the house, in the warm. So 'rest' does mean rest. Yes, I'm still in those infernal compression stockings but I've been really lucky with my legs - I have had absolutely no issues with the scar from day one and walking has had no detrimental effect - so far!

Cheers

Steve

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If you aim to continue the walking get yourself some other compression socks as well, 20-30 mmHg. Use them after you've not got to wear the hospital ones, they're not as constricting but give you good support and aid the blood flow

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Hi Mark

Thanks for the advice - I confess I hate those bl**dy stockings with a passion, but regard them as a necessary evil and they do keep my legs warm when I'm out walking .... lol.

Can I just check - are you are suggesting that once I can remove the hospital supplied stockings for good (another 3 weeks), I should wear these other ones you have suggested just when I'm out walking or all ways?

Cheers

Steve

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Just when walking, after the hospital ones are off you will notice your ankles swelling in normal socks these just ease that

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OK. Great, thanks Mark. I'll get some on order in preparation

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On from the note from Mark, I agree, you think your superman/woman, but 19 days is still very early in terms of heart surgery. I didn't brisk walk that soon I just did two lots of 15 minutes to start with and gradually increased up to 20 then 25. However, you are way ahead at this point, but listen to your body and take lots of rests when you need to. It took me a good few months to walk a couple of miles and I still can't do a hill 8 months on, which is a bit of a nuisance as I lived at the top of one. However, my recovery was recovery was a bit slow. Now I attend the gym and do cardio and body toning which has really helped. Although it's a wait for your rehab, it is done to give your body time to heal.

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Thanks Twobells.

I don't want to give the impression that I hit the ground running as it were. My early walks barely managed about 400 yards and needed rests stops en-route. So getting to two miles (or 30 minutes) has been a gradual process over the 18 days. All of my walking has been in good weather, on flat, even ground - I haven't introduced hills yet.

When I left hospital I didn't get any real steer on how much was enough or too much. All I was told was try to exercise for about 30 minutes to get pink cheeks but still be able to hold a conversation - I think I'm doing this and I'm trying to be very disciplined and do it every day. As luck would have it I will be back at Basildon next week and will try and see the physio team to see what they say.

Cheers

Steve

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Nobody really knows how much is too much you just do a little bit more each time, but I get fatigued very easily. Funny, after gym I feel really great, but the next day I'm shattered. Most on here value rehab, but I didn't find it helped me personally so I was given a referral from GP to attend 8 sessions one hour a week which suited me better. Good luck and keep up as best you can.

Fran

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Thanks Fran. I'm learning that there isn't a one size fits all here, but to guard against doing too much too soon. I'm a little concerned about gym work since I have always loathed it - give me a good walk any day :-).

Cheers

Steve

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I just hate the cold lol. But I walk a fair bit too. The gym has just helped me focus as like you had HA then triple within few days. It knocked the stuffing out of me, so gym helping my mental health as well as keeping me Focused.

Hope your good today

Fran

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