Firstly, my background. Age 56 with no risk factors then had an unexpected heart attack with a single stent inserted in January of this year. Since then it has been a very steep learning curve. I am on all the usual post MI medications and thankfully everything has gone as well as can be expected. I followed all the advice given and attended cardiac rehab. The rehab was difficult to come to terms with at first. I have always been a keen exerciser, attending circuit training and boxercise sessions. I had to learn to take it easier to allow the heart to heal. But I got there and was allowed into the gym on a reduced heart rate level. I had never bothered to measure heart rate so this has again been been something new to learn. This is where I am now having a problem. I am now in the wilderness of being left on my own, having been discharged by the healthcare system. Last week I attempted a return to my circuit training class with the support of the instructor. How the mighty have fallen!
I am having difficulty coming to terms with the loss of physical fitness. Having spent several months keeping my heart rate at very low levels and taking medications to keep it at a lower level, I was horrified at how quickly, even with just the warm up, my heart rate shot up to a very high level.
I am unsure whether I should continue to exercise at a much reduced level or endeavor to return to what I would have regarded as “normal” for me previously. Will I damage my heart by exercising more intensely or will it do it some good to be pushed a bit harder? I would appreciate the views of members who have exercised intensely prior to a heart attack. I am particularly interested to know what you are all doing now. I understand that we are all individuals, so the responses are likely to be diverse. Having travelled this far safely, I wish to continue the journey even if it’s on a path that I would not have chosen previously. Good luck to everyone out there on the same journey, I look forward to reading the responses.