Had my Cardio - physio assessment thi... - British Heart Fou...

British Heart Foundation

32,486 members21,079 posts

Had my Cardio - physio assessment this morning

Heather1957 profile image

It wasn't too bad although I realise how unfit I am, I was struggling to answer what kind of exercise I currently do.

I did the bleep test, something I haven't done for about 30 years, we went to level 6 to get my heart rate to 120 but obviously the physio said she would be looking for constant improvement when I start the exercise programme.

Everything else was okay, nothing awful even if there is work to do.

I had the option of starting a basic programme in December in a local hospital or joining the full 6 - 8 week programme in one of the leisure centres when they start in January. I decided to wait until January and start afresh, I do need a kick up the backside to motivate myself.

I have been given a sheet with some basic exercises on to get me started but at the moment I am quite motivated, I just hope this continues.

51 Replies

I was feeling pretty old after she had given me this though!! 😀


That's a good base to work from. 90% of it is keeping the motivation going and having an objective score to improve on works well for a lot of people.

You'll almost certainly find that improvements come faster than you expect to start with, which is great for getting it ingrained into your routine - there's nothing quite like beating your last-month's self to encourage you :)

It’s easy enough , just stand up and walk out the door and start that way start walking . Put a picture of a pig on your fridge door ? Get some Whitney Huston on your Walkman and go for a run/ jog . In other words , just get of your butt and get to it 😂😂😂

What about couch to 5K? Loads of people do it, it's a fantastic introduction to a more active lifestyle.

I still have a few issues so I need to make sure (at the moment) I work out under the supervision of the medics, I am hoping when they have finished with me I will be able to do something like that.

It's literally getting off the couch. It's easy to blame this that and the other, but at the end of the day you just need the motivation to get up and do it, you have said it yourself.

I don't disagree and when I am 'allowed' I hope to really go for it. I have a list of exercises given to me by the physio and approved by her. I am certainly not going to do anything that will put me back in hospital. There is a happy medium.

Yeah but you said you were allowed to start a basic program starting December? Are you sure you are not just talking yourself out of it?? what's the point of waiting until January?

No I am not, but if I had gone to the basic sessions it would be supervised???

I get that but at the end of the day you are not going to have someone looking over your shoulder all the time, you just have to get up and go for it. The couch to 5K starts off with just walking. If you have had your plumbing sorted you just have to have the courage of your convictions sometimes.

I am going to listen to my physio for now and stick to her exercise sheet why wouldn't I?

With respect, reading through your previous posts, it would seem that in your own words you have not taken up the opportunities to make the lifestyle changes that are essential to prevent more problems down the line. Is there anything medically that is preventing you from undertaking a decent exercise program, or is it just a mental hurdle you need to overcome?

You have me somewhat confused? I am still under medical supervision and any exercise I do has to be approved by the physio, I have tried to explain this. I appreciate this Couch to 5K is a popular exercise regime and maybe when I have been discharged by the physio etc I may give it a try. What I am struggling to understand is why you would think there is something other than medical advice that is preventing me undertaking exercise? I have said previously there are still ongoing medical issues that means any exercise will be done under the supervision and guidance of the medical profession. I am not sure how I can make this any clearer.

I have to presume you are either intentionally being antagonistic (which I really don't understand) or you are not understanding what I am saying.

It seems to be getting more and more common that someone wants to turn every thread into an argument.

I am not trying to be antagonistic, I am just confused. It would help to be honest, if your profile said a bit more than "Hi I'm Helen 1957", but anyway, are there other issues, apart from your heart problems, that are stopping you from undertaking an exercise regime that is likely to benefit you? I don't really understand what a physio has got to do with heart disease.

my profile should say HEATHER 1957 and I just do not have the energy to keep answering the same question over and over again. If you don't know what the physio has to do with the recovery from/of heart disease I give up!!

I am certainly exhausted after my exchange with you, I should check my BP.

Oh I am happy to disclose my medical condition with a qualified medical practitioner not a lay person!

Yeah I understand very well what needs to be done to increase cardio capacity, you have to get off your bum and get moving! You can pull all the excuse cards out of the pack as much as you want, you have alluded to this in your own words, but you need to start now! You have said you need a kick up the backside, so just get on with it. The couch to 5K starts with walking, are you not able to do this at least? You don't need a physio to be able to walk, and then walk briskly, and so on, do you? Quote "Everything else was okay, nothing awful even if there is work to do."

In ANY WAY do you think you have done anything to encourage me to exercise? I NEVER asked for your harassment. I have ALWAYS been grateful for the advice and encouragement from people on here but you took it several steps too far.

If you think you have been helpful TO ME you have not.

By all means carry on posting about this, your kind of 'encouragement' may be more appropriate at a boot camp not for my recuperation.

Have a lovely day!!

Heather I really can't understand why you think people are looking for arguments or "harassing" you when you reply to posts, I am merely trying to help you. I am not suggesting you embark on a half marathon program, just steady walking. You have said yourself there is no reason why you cannot do this, it's your health at the end of the day, so good luck. If there is a reason why you can't begin with steady walking, then it would help if you enlightened us as to what it is, rather than suggesting I am harassing you. I know of at least 2 people who have began exercise programs in this way and ended up completely changing their live's, I am not trying to get you into a boot camp.

You are not even reading my replies or choosing to ignore what I am replying!

It is NOT just lack of motivation - I HAVE medical reasons for following a specific regime at the moment, there is NOTHING wrong with my mental health (well there wasn't until you started your harassment) I have a set of exercises given to me by my Physio which I intend to follow.

Oh and it is not people it is YOU!!

I am DONE!

Twobells profile image
Twobells in reply to Heather1957

Bloody hell Heather, you must have the patience of a saint. I'd of blocked lateguitarist by telling him to go and strum his information. We've heard it all before 😂. Who on earth is he? A Professor cardiologist know it all, but knows nothing. He possibly has broken his guitar strings 😅😅😅 and he has nothing better to do. One bit of advice to him is swallow his own medicine as he is obviously spending far too much time on his bum typing messages and blogs on here.

Take Care love your ally ❤️❤️❤️

Heather1957 profile image
Heather1957 in reply to Twobells

I really don't know what got into him! LOL

Hi Heather1957

Maisie 1953 here and I did not get any Cardio classes after my AVR last January.

I fact my Cardio rehab went - do a bleep test- go walking - goodbye 👋

Don’t blame them as it was post pandemic and there was very little they could do. No classes and no mixing indoors. So, I went walking.

I do try but it’s not always possible as I live a rural existence and it’s been snowing. My excuse this week.

Motivation is the key thing and walking the very best exercise!

Keep on keeping on!


❤️Maisie ❤️


Thanks Maisie, I am very lucky in that classes are starting here again and until the classes start I have approved exercises that I will do based on my age and fitness level. so hopefully by the time I start the classes my ability will be slightly more than it was yesterday.

Hi Heather, I completed my "on line" cardio rehab course today and I get my last call from the physiotherapist in the morning.It's been brilliant.

I was fairly active before my HA and angioplasty, attended a couple of Fitsteps classes a week, ballroom dance classes and social dances plus plenty of walking and gardening.

I was surprised after my week in hospital with the HA how "unfit" I felt and how a simple walk round the block actually wore me out!!

The best thing about the rehab was the targeted heart rate they gave me for whilst exercising, they sent me a pulse/oximeter to monitor my performance, it gave me the confidence to push myself.

Over the last week I've attended with my wife 2 Fitsteps classes, a ballroom dance class and 2 social dances.....and the good news is I feel fitter than I've felt for years and I can manage the fast dances, even a Lindi hop without getting out of breath.

The confidence and motivation my physiotherapist has given me has been incredible.

I hope yours goes as well as mine.

I think the word "physiotherapist" may be getting a bit misused here. A physiotherapist is usually used to help people after an injury? I think in this context it would be more apt to use the term motivator, which is often all that is needed, as Maisy 1953 has alluded to.

I've never met Rosie who phones me, the letters I've received from her tell me that she's a physiotherapist.....you are right, as Maisy said she is a motivator, on saying that I needed no motivation to keep the nails away from my coffin....I just needed to know how far I could push myself.

Milkfairy profile image
MilkfairyHeart Star in reply to lateguitarist

Prof Patrick Doherty, Head of Cardiovascular Health, York University is a Physiotherapist.


Physiotherapists are very much involved in the provision of Cardiac Rehabilitation.

Members of the British Association of Cardiac Prevention and Rehabilitation, BACPR, include nurses, physiotherapists, cardiologists, GPs, dieticians, psychologists, occupational therapists, exercise physiologists and exercise instructors.


Heather1957 profile image
Heather1957 in reply to JohnH100

It seems locally there is quite a lot available, even after the 6 - 8 week course it seems there are things in place for continued activity.

Personally I am a walker, I love the outdoors more than a gym, so hopefully when the course is over we will be heading into the Spring so a lovely time to take advantage of the walks around my town.

I am about to start taking a new tablet for my diabetes (Gliclazide) which I was advised can play havoc with my blood sugars (as well as bringing them down) and could cause a hypo, I have to monitor this along side any exercise as this too can bring down my blood sugars.

You seem to have embraced what the physio was saying in that this becomes a way of life from now on.

It certainly helps when you have a partner to join in, maybe we'll see you on Strictly soon. LOL>

Hi Heather, you are doing the right thing. If you were to start now, as you say it would be a short programme verses the more involved programme starting in January. Now you can enjoy Christmas with the knowledge that next year will be a new beginning. In between times do the self help exercises as best you can, but it isn't the end of the world if you don't. Had the 'January' programme started this week you wouldn't have been able to do the self help first so in January they should start as if you have done nothing.

Most importantly though, you must not miss the start in January, if you do, unless you have a relapse between now and then, you may be making excuses to yourself.

Heather1957 profile image
Heather1957 in reply to Wooodsie

My thoughts too I was also told they close for 2 weeks over Christmas so I wasn't quite sure how much time I would actually have with the team.

For me it was a no brainer to take up the full course when it starts and in the mean time make use of the exercise sheets I was given.

I totally agree with you, why set yourself up for failure.

When I started excercising after my HA there were some days that I just didn't fancy it....I felt a little bit off it, I however forced myself to do it..... amazingly on every occasion an hour later when the excercise finished I felt brilliant.Only once when it was very hot in the studio did I feel a bit rough afterwards.

I used to go to a sit fit class but it was closed due to Covid . And our teacher gave us an exercise sheet. I did them at home but lost motivation. So was determined to get back to a class.

I live in the north west and our council run some exercise programs which are GP referral. So I ask and my GP sent in the referral..

I do a class which is called active aging main aims are strength and stability. First 12 lessons are free them £2.50 a week. You get a free resist band green to start now on pink. A pack will pictures and explanation of the exercise.

The class lasts a hour then hot drink and biscuits. We do exercises sitting down then holding on to the back of a chair and walking exercises. I walk with a walking stick. Since starting the class my strength and stability has improved. And do the exercises at home.

There are 11 in the class in a a large well ventilated hall. Always 2 teachers. I am the youngest at 63 oldest 92. We have fun and laugh a lot.

If you want to exercise try your council and Age UK .

Heather1957 profile image
Heather1957 in reply to

I am hoping this is the kind of thing the physio meant when she talked about a continued programme after the course.

Nothing will motivate you more than enjoying the exercise you are doing and something like this sounds like fun.

Hi Heather1957, I totally agree with were you are coming from. Stick to what cardio physio have told you. I had HA with left ventrical damage and blood clot in January this year. Long story short, been back & forth and in and out of hospital several times. Now have 3 stents fitted and also suffer from heart disease and pericarditus. Like you been told by cardio physio just to walk every day. Although most days even that is a challenge due to peri. They won't even consider putting me on a exercise programme just yet. I have found that every heart condition is different, no two are the same. Listen to your body and the specialists. You will get there. Well that is my motto anyway. Best of luck with your roa d to recovery and a new lifestyle going forward. Jo


lateguitarist profile image
lateguitarist in reply to madfox

That is fine for you, as unfortunately you have been left with damage. In this case, we have to assume there is no damage, or any other reason not to embark on an exercise routine, be it class based or self administered. The OP has stated that other than being unfit everything else is OK, other than a bit of a lack of motivation. As Maisy said the best thing to do is get your boots on and get walking.

Have you bothered reading my replies to you?

madfox profile image
madfox in reply to lateguitarist

I use this site for encouragement and support. And I am sure others do too. I have enough trouble coming to terms with this new life that restricts me so much. We don't all go into detail about our heart conditions. So cutting people some slack is a good thing to do. Giving encouragement without judgement is the kind thing to do. If that is not possible then don't comment.

lateguitarist profile image
lateguitarist in reply to madfox

That's just what I am doing! You are unfortunately in a worse condition than some, and are obviously doing your best. You can "cut slack" to a point, but it comes down to motivation. What I am suggesting is as hard or easy as you want to make it, we have not been informed that Helen needs a stick to walk like yourself, in which case things are obviously going to be harder. The profile on this forum is there for a reason, I am not being judgemental and there is no need to tell me or anyone else not to comment, this is an open forum, I have not told you not to comment further have I? I think you will find there are plenty of people here who agree with me.

Who is Helen? Oh and you are being incredibly judgemental.

madfox profile image
madfox in reply to lateguitarist

Hi I do not need a stick to walk and by the way Heather1957 is her name not Helen. Stick to what you do best and have a nice day. I'm done.

Heather1957 profile image
Heather1957 in reply to madfox

Thank you for your well wishes, I am just starting this fitness package so need to be guided initially to know what is okay, you never know I may be running a marathon at the end of it! LOL

madfox profile image
madfox in reply to Heather1957

Hope you can run a marathon at the end of it. Wouldn't that be a marvellous achievement. Love your positivity. I just want to be able to garden once again. To weed and dig my own garden would be fab I am working on it, even if it is all in my head at the moment. Jo🌻

Heather1957 profile image
Heather1957 in reply to madfox

I hope you can get back to your gardening again as that would be such a visible achievement. Just take it easy with the digging as I am sure that's quite strenuous.

Thanks Ric and it sounds like you have a very supportive wife who will keep you motivated.

I do need to find an exercise buddy as there is no doubt that person will help motivate you.

That stone will soon come off and you'll be back to fighting weight. Good luck for your assessment and hear is to both of us having a fit and healthy 2022!!

madfox profile image
madfox in reply to Heather1957

Hi heather1957, quite happy to be your online exercise buddy if it will help? Jo

Heather1957 profile image
Heather1957 in reply to madfox

Aw thanks, I believe there is a way that fitbits can be linked so maybe a bit of healthy competition among wearers starting January?

I was just replying to you Pauline, it is good to celebrate the positives while we can.

You are doing the right thing in listening to your professionals, I found the rehab team were brilliant with their encouragement and knowledge.

Finished my 8 week course not long ago, and decided to join the gym after I asked them and they gave me a bespoke exercise plan so I can continue my improvement.

You certainly don't need anymore motivational help, the thought of getting out for walks in the spring is shows you know what you want.

Just improve at a pace that suits you and your body and you will soon get to where you want to be.

Good luck.

Hi Heather, I know how tough it can be to get started especially when the weather is bad. I also know how scary it is to exercise unsupervised. Going to cardiac rehab gives you confidence. The British Heart Foundation have some exercise videos on YouTube which start off at a very easy level. However, they are a bit boring and go on for ages. I would try something like Qi Gong on YouTube. Very easy 10 minute programs that are good for exercising your whole body without exertion. All the best!

Heather1957 profile image
Heather1957 in reply to DunnoY

Thank you, I didn't take advantage of all that was available after my bypass in 2017 but will take all available this time especially as it seems that the deterioration of my RA has happened in the last 4 years to the surprise of the cardiologist.

You may also like...