Posts Tagged ‘FitDeck’

A Weighty Matter

November 17, 2010

Some not so wonderful news to report: Children with Congenital Heart Disease (CHD) are more and more overweight.

That’s not good. While Cardiac Kids may be slow to add weight when they are young, most of us “catch up” later. We may be a little bit thin, but our weight is acceptable. But this study contends that once we catch up, we keep going! The reasons are many and varied, and usually just as applicable to Heart-Healthy kids: video games, fast food… you’ve heard all this before, I am sure.

But CHDers need to keep their weight under control. (…says the Funky Heart, who could stand to lose a few more pounds himself.) Every extra pound we carry means that our hearts have to work harder to pump blood through our body. That may not be a problem for the average kid, but our hearts are already bruised and beaten up; they have been cut apart and stitched back together again.  We need to make it as easy on them as possible.

So how much should you weigh? The research article cited above mentions the Body Mass Index (BMI) as one of its comparison tools.  The BMI is OK for use as a comparison, but don’t use it as your source for your proper weight. Ask your Cardiologist for advice about a good weight range to stay in. Many people contend that the formula used to calculate your BMI number is flawed. You have to wonder if they may not be on to something, since according to their BMI numbers, former President George W. Bush is a fatso and actor Tom Cruise (five foot, seven inches tall; 160 pounds) is plump.

So find out what your healthy weight range is, and do what you can to keep it there. Be sure to discuss any exercise plan with your doctor first – overdoing it and damaging your heart while you are trying to take care of yourself defeats the entire purpose, after all. Go outside and play; don’t think about exercising, just go have fun. Take a walk through the neighborhood, at your own pace. Get FitDeck Exercise Playing Cards. FitDeck Junior is great for Cardiac Kids, providing that their Cardiologist gives their approval. It’s all fun and games… but they are really exercising! (Shhhh! Don’t tell ’em the secret!)

I often remind my readers that CHDers are living longer and better lives as modern medicine develops new ways to overcome our Heart Defect. But it doesn’t “just happen”, we have to contribute to our own well-being.

New Routine

May 3, 2009

I am still trying to get my stamina and strength back, and it is coming along. I’m satisfied, but I’m in bit of a rush because of a big event that is coming up. (You’ll read about it soon, a few final details still have to be ironed out) If I were to go to visit someone in the hospital like I did a few weeks ago, I wouldn’t feel worn out… but I need all the juice I have, and more.

*Sigh* I wish I was like my cell phone – just plug myself into the wall overnight and recharge! But it doesn’t work that way.

So I’m watching what I eat and getting good exercise. In fact, I recently tried something new: a FitDeck.

FitDeck Exercise Playing Cards are a group of exercises, each one printed on an individual card of playing card stock. There are 56 cards in the basic packs (there are several different basic packs, and also several 26 card “Booster Packs” with more specific exercises.) I purchased the Bodyweight pack – no exercise equipment needed. Just you.

Fair warning, the Bodyweight pack isn’t easy! The first thing I did was look at all the cards, and take out the one that I don’t feel I can perform just yet. I didn’t throw them away; I keep them close and if/when I get into good enough shape to try something more advanced, I’ll slip a few back into the rotation. But right now I’m a loooooong way from that happening.

So every morning, I get out and walk. After I finish my walk and rest for a few moments, I walk up and down a “flight” of stairs. It not much of a challenge with only four steps, so I go up and come down as fast as I can, and keep doing it until I’m worn down. And I aim to do it for one more second that I did it yesterday! And then after I catch my breath, out comes the FitDeck. I shuffle the deck, draw a card, and do that exercise. If I’m not “whooped” (A good Southern term meaning “to tired to carry on!”) I reshuffle and draw again.

While the Bodyweight pack is hard, I don’t want to move down to the Junior version – hey, if I can’t do the kid’s exercises, what does that say about me? – nor do I want to move to the Seniors version. What I am thinking of doing is buying several different packs and mixing and matching the cards… creating Steve’s Congenital Heart Defect Customized FitDeck!

Seriously, I tend to get bored too easy – the same routine, day after day, and pretty soon I am not looking forward to it at all. I can give you 16,735 good reasons NOT to get outside and walk, and that is without really trying. And it’s too easy to let it slip.

But my defective heart needs all the strength I can build. And if the FitDeck can keep enough variety in my exercises to keep me interested, that’s just what I need!