One of the body's natural stem cell varieties, EPCs repair arteries and keep them healthy. But things we do and eat can interfere with their function and how many are circulating, making arterial damage more prevalent and more difficult to recover from.
I've found many articles on Pubmed with good information on EPCs. The goals: Increase number of circulating EPCs, and improve their function. A summary:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16322535 - all Cardiovascular disease risk factors lower EPCs, reduce endothelial health, compounding risk of arterial disease. As you cease or stop various heart disease risk factors, your arteries can heal more quickly. (very good)
Heart patients are told to eat a lower fat diet, and some get a good explanation why.
On return from my emergency triple bypass, I adopted a very low fat diet. This helped prevent a lot of angina.
At 4 months after surgery, my LDL had dropped from 137 to 87. At 8 months, it had further dropped to 57.
Why is the lowering of LDL significant in rehab ? Anti-oxidants and blockage growth. Blockages grow by the ingestion of oxidized LDL from the blood stream. How can someone reduce or prevent that ? 1) Lower the LDL. The less LDL there is, the less oxidized LDL there can be. 2) Add more anti-oxidants to your diet THROUGHOUT the day. These molecules neutralize oxygen activities, and keep LDL UN-oxidized, so incapable of increasing blockages.View Thread
Rehabilitation is for recovery, from illness or injury. The benefits of even light exercise are many. Among those are increased blood flow to the heart, and production of inflammation fighting substances that are carried by the blood throughout the body, helping you heal all over.
Getting tired in rehab is counter-productive, since you then had a negative experience, and may think "I can't do this."
One begins with what is doable. When I returned from the hospital after emergency bypass surgery, it was already a week since surgery. Walking was so slow, I think my steps were no more than a few inches long.
The first week home I did not do anything except walk to the bathroom and back as needed. very slowly .
The 2nd week I felt a little better, and I would add a walk to the kitchen and back to the couch once every hour, besides my bathroom walks.
Third week, I think I made the walk to the kitchen in a double loop. Increasing my distance. I could also walk a little faster.
You get the idea.
But as I progressed, I did not think of a "this is my final goal". Every week I wanted to do a little more.
About the 6th or 7th week, I could walk slowly around the block, about 1/3 of a mile. But I just did this once a day. I was also doing other short walks, normal things, around the house. Slow, but not as slow as before. My steps progressed to more than a foot long.
But if I did too much, and I tried to avoid that, I paid. If outdoors, I had to sit where I was about 15 minutes, then I could try to go back in the house, or get home to go back in the house. And I would be on my back a couple hours resting.
Managing the time and how hard the heart is working is aided by the heart rate monitor.
I was able to return to my workplace after 8 weeks of recovery. I still walked slowly compared to others at the office, but I was still improving every week, and my slow pace was in comparison to healthy people.
You can't plan on 8 weeks, but you can plan on slow and steady improvement.View Thread
The heart starts to tire before you FEEL tired. By using a monitor, you can exercise safely without fear of sudden fatigue. When the heart does begin to tire, the pulse rate will start a gradual but continuous increase, sometimes called cardiac drift.
By watching for cardiac drift, you can push to near the maximum exercise you are capable of at that time, then slow down, yet not overdo it and to be fatigued for hours afterwards.View Thread
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