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When is exercise good or bad?
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Ok so I was admitted to hospital with bilateral pulmonary emboli 4 weeks ago and I know it is going to be a slow but sure recover but how much exercise is good and when is it bad? I'm in therapeutic range with my anticoagulation but have no idea what level of exercise is best for my recovery. Is it best to push myself to my limits to sort of retrain or do I need to keep things slow? What guidelines do I work on? Can I make things worse if I push myself too hard? I don't mind being out of breath and tired if it is going to help me to recover some cardiovascular fitness quicker but I just don't know if that is a good idea. What have other people been advised about levels of exercising?
Take care everyone.
Posted on 06/05/09, 02:40 pm
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Reply #1 - 06/05/09  3:01pm
" Low impact is best at this point. You should be able to do what your body will allow. Just listen to your body and if it hurts, back down.

For me, about three months after my DVT/PE I started training for Mt Bike races. Most of that time was riding the roads trying to build endurance A six months post DVT/PE, I was racing (just as I cam off Coumadin).

Bike riding (road), walking, and swimming should be alright. Get your doctor's green light regarding your exercise plan before proceeding. "
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Reply #2 - 06/05/09  3:32pm
" Yeah, I would definitely talk to your doctor before beginning anything, but I think exercise on some level is always good. My doctor had me up and walking at least 3 times a day even while I was still in the ICU, he felt that it was so important. I was so weak I had to be accompanied by a nurse or physical therapist, but he wanted me up anyway. And he told me later that whatever I felt able to do was fine, I wouldn't hurt myself. I did push myself, but in my case that just meant pushing myself to walk a little further every day. It was really hard, but things slowly get better and I think a little at a time you learn what your limits are and what's reasonable for you. "
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Reply #3 - 06/05/09  4:47pm
" I am 6 months out and was told by my pulmonologist today that I should still be taking exercise slowly.
We all differ but as a rule if it hurts then slow down. I know I'm doing too much when I get light headed. It's frustrating but you'll get there xx "
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Reply #4 - 06/05/09  5:44pm
" I had a similar situation as Shilosmommy, where my doc had me walking daily for very short distances when I was in the ICU and then once I was in the regular ward, walking several times a day as much as possible up and down the halls. It was painful because of the DVT and I was incrediblely week but it really prepares you for recovery and getting your strength back. Once I was out of the hospital, my doc said to go slow for a while , but otherwise, I had no real restrictions, except he didn't want me lifting weights. But within a few months, I was good to go. But you really have to talk to your doc first. "
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Reply #5 - 06/05/09  6:40pm
" Listen to your body. I was back in spin class a month after PE. I had to take it a little slower and take several breaks, but I'm convinced it's helping to keep me strong.

My Dr's have said it's best to keep moving but to absolutely listen to your body. If it says to stop, stop...if you need to take a break, go with it.

I agree with everyon's sentiment of getting the green light from your Dr before diving in. Walking is a great way to start. "
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Reply #6 - 06/05/09  8:38pm
" Your medical advisor is your arbiter.

In my case, the medical adviser was new to all this. I had the general guideline of "activity as tolerated" and was training for marathons again 3 weeks out of the hospital. I was running and finishing them 5 months out. Eventually I told him what I was doing and he did not object.

More on afflicted athletes is available at http://clot-buster-triathlete.blogs... . "
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Reply #7 - 06/06/09  1:28am
" It's amazing how different the recovery is for everyone. I am almost two years out and I'm still not running. I have asthma so that doesn't help (it is activity induced). I would suggest walking. Of course use common sense if your chest is killing you it may be a good idea to not work out so hard! lol. My goal is to start back walking and try to progress again! good luck! "
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Reply #8 - 06/06/09  2:44am
" Thanks for all your insight and advice. Yes I am planning on discussing this further with my Dr but at present he has said not to push things and just let my body recover for a while. It is really good to hear some of the activities you are doing now after your PE - gives me motivation to do the same. :)

I enjoy walking and have been doing daily walks for the last couple of weeks. I'm still trying to find the right balance though. Yesterday I walked probably 2 or 3 miles across a 4 hour period with a few stops at coffee shops. When I started feeling SOB I slowed down a bit more and it seemed to be OK and not too strenuous whilst I was doing the walking. However, in the evening I was very tired and went to bed early and now this morning I don't feel very rested and the tiredness has carried over.

Just out of interest has anyone tried using a Powerbreathe as part of their rehabilitation after PE? "
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Reply #9 - 06/06/09  4:43am
" Not tried the powerbreathe yet, but have been thinking about it, be interested to hear anybody's experiences on it.

In case some people don't know what it is, I believe from reading about it, that it is essentially a device that adds resistance to airflow causing you to work harder to breathe. "
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Reply #10 - 06/06/09  6:12am
" If anyone wants to know more info on Powerbreathe and inspiratory muscle training there are some excellent articles here http://www.fletchersportscience.co.... just keep in mind that these are generally for athletes rather than people with medical conditions. "

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