I was a very fit former runner and mountain biker when I suffered a mild heart attack last January whilst out in very cold conditions on my mountain bike. I was eventually diagnosed has having a blockage in my left coronary artery and narrowing on the right side.
Due to various side affects i.e. Atorvastatin messing my liver function I had to wait until October before having a PCI under Dr. Nick Palmer at Liverpool Chest & Heart Hospital and the procedure went well and Dr Palmer told me to "take easy for a couple of weeks and gradually get back to what I's been doing previously".
Enter the Cardio Rehab Team at my local hospital in Wales! I went for a rehab assessment and was totally undermined by the Nurse and Pharmacist present. Throughout the eight months prior to the PCI I had been cycling (rides of up to 2hrs on the flat) and swimming (up to 800m), but keeping my heart rate under 130bpm avoiding Angina symptoms. This assessment had me walking up and down between cones in a Sports Hall grandly called a "Human Performance Laboratory with two people alongside who admitted they never take exercise. They then tried to tell me I needed to keep my exercise under 120bpm and the Pharmacist wanted to put me on a beta blocker which she said would lower my heart rate(I already have a resting heart rate of 50bpm), give me fatigue and make me impotent - she was not a very good saleswoman for the drug!
I have overcome this very disheartening experience (no pun intended) by turning to my local fitness Club where the Manager is trained to Cardio Rehab Level 4. She has worked out a program to restore my fitness and they have exercise equipment which monitors the body under exercise including average and a maximum heart rate read outs. The program will be reviewed regularly.
Surely any Cardio Rehab Team should have empathy with individuals who are used to exercising and listening sensibly to their bodies not blindly following guidelines set at the lowest level for unfit people who are over-weight, smoke and not used to exercising. They need training properly me thinks.