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British Heart Foundation
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new year, new (old) me

Those of you who've been using this forum for a while might have wondered why I suddenly became all humble and stopped bragging about how I'd joined the gym. Well, remember that wipe-me-out cold I had in EARLY NOVEMBER? I hadn't been back to the gym since then...until today! I'm just back from a meeting and workout with the Live Active adviser at my local gym, so I'm now armed with goals, motivation and a new and improved regime. Whoop! (You might remember I was disappointed not to be eligible for the Live Active scheme because I have a defibrillator, but my GP got in touch with the consultant who fitted my device and he contacted the scheme to recommend I was accepted for it and to give them further info about my device and, voila, five months later, I'm in. Gawd bless my amazing and proactive GP!) The Live Active adviser I'm working with seems great, very friendly and encouraging, pretty clued up/on top of things and straight down the line about everything - just what I need to keep me on the happy straight and narrow.

My new regime is not hugely different from what I was doing previously, but is a bit longer and a bit more challenging. I'm doing 15 minutes' warm-up on treadmill/bike and then 30 minutes of cardio on treadmill/bike/rowing machine (my surprising new fave!) then three sets of 12 reps on four different resistance machines, then ten minutes' cool down on treadmill/bike. I'm supposed to do this 2-3 times a week, but I'm going to start out with twice a week and maybe add in a swim while my daughter does her swimming lessons. I think that's more realistic for me time-wise at the moment. I'm feeling good to be back on it.

Talking of feeling good, I've given up the booze! Now, I know it's only 12 days into my tee-total life, but I am such a convert, totally loving it! My Fitbit tells me my resting heart rate began plummeting the very day I gave up the booze, the graph is truly a thing of undeniable wonder. It's great (and a bit scary) to see the positive impact this decision is having on my heart already and I'm looking forward to feeling better and better as 2018 progresses. All this said, I've had a spell of feeling crappier than normal the last three or four days, puffing and panting after one flight of stairs etc, but I'm confident it's just a blip and I'm riding it out.

I love January enthusiasm, whether it sticks or not, but the changes I'm making this year feel like real life changes, I'm confident I'm going to benefit from them long term. Hope all of you are feeling good about the new year too. I suspect many of you are, given my fall from grace on the Fitbit leaderboard :)

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Hi Laura,

Glad to have you back, and good for you with the Live Active scheme! You will do brilliantly, as for the puffing and panting thats down to a good Christmas and the break from the regime, you'll be back to it in no time!

I look forward to my tumble down the stats on the leaderboard

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Yes, I do think the overindulgence in food, drink and lazing probably has a lot to do with it, sure I'll be hot on your heels again in no time ;)

Today is the last day of the Workweek Challenge I'm doing on Fitbit, competing against a pensioner and two twelve-year-old girls. I'm currently in second place...but only because the twelve-year-olds can't synch their Fitbits while they're at school! Ha! I took a screengrab so I can savour the glory a little longer.

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You've done so well before and will again. My daily target as I said to you now is 14000 steps a day or 100k per week, have to build up to that mountain somehow and doubtless you will be there or thereabouts 😊

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Hi Laura, I really wish I was as proactive as you! Fully intended to get on the fitbit wagon this Jan but so far, have only stepped foot in the gym once. I really have no excuse but your post has rekindled my enthusiasm!

I also love the rowing machine - so therapeutic!

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Strictly speaking I've only set foot in the gym once this year too, I just make it sound impressive! 😂

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Gosh Laura, what an inspiration.

I have just about kept up my 10k over the last few weeks, but it has been acrosss wet, foggy, Moors and somedays I struggle to get my boots on.

I did manage 1,777 miles last year and have 2,000 as a goal for this year so need to find some way of improving my daily total.

I have thought about a gym although I will have to drive 20 miles to find one. Can I ask what Live Active is? Google isn't really saying much on the subject.

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It is a struggle to drag yourself out when the weather is so dreary, isn't it? 2,000 miles sounds a good goal for this year, definitely achievable with a bit of forward planning, I'd say. Good luck!

I think Live Active might only operate in the Glasgow area (?) but I'd imagine there are similar schemes elsewhere. Basically, a few of the council-run gyms in the area have a dedicated Live Active adviser who can work directly with anybody who has a health issue (mental or physical) that stands in the way of them exercising as they should or as they would like. It's linked to the NHS, so you have to be referred for the scheme by your GP. Once you are on the scheme, the Live Active adviser will get all the relevant medical info from your doctors and then meet with you to tailor a programme more specifically suited to your health needs. For me it was about wanting to do the maximum good for my heart, but not being sure what that maximum was, as I've never been offered any sort of cardiac rehab.

You do your first session in the gym with the adviser by your side and then (once you are happy enough to do it, which I was after the initial session) you start following the regime more independently. There's a time once a week where the adviser will be available in the gym to offer help/advice for anyone on the scheme, and you meet with them one-on-one every month or so to reassess your goals and adjust your exercise regime accordingly.

I would say that my new regime is not hugely different from the one set during the "normal" gym induction, but I have a lot more confidence in it and it's nice to know there's someone who has a full understanding of my situation. Since I'm not a gym bunny (not by any stretch of the imagination!) and don't know much about what I'm doing, it's great to know that someone will keep my regime challenging and productive as I progress. It's also good for me to have someone to be a bit accountable to. We talked about lifestyle goals to pursue outwith gym time and I've agreed to cut down my fatty/sugary snack consumption and monitor my daily fluid allowance more closely. I always mean to do these things, but knowing there's someone who is going to check up on me soon is a good motivator for me. I hate being told off! Ha! So really it's nothing too fancy or revolutionary, but a really valuable service, I think.

I'm feeling really good today (woke up in such a great mood!) and am itching to get back to the rowing machine. I don't have spare time to do it until Tuesday and that seems so far off! This sort of enthusiasm will surely come in handy :)

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Nothing wrong with being humble. I grew up scared of exercise cos of my heart condition but wen I’ve recovered from this op I’m looking of starting a sport so I’m walking around more than I used to at the mo.

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