Rehab It with Digifit
Testimonial from Digifit User – Allen N.
My story may be similar to many other people that are looking for ways to increase their cardiovascular health or general physical condition. This story has been many years in the making and has many chapters that cover a multiple of activities that have produced many different levels of physical conditioning. However, the latest chapter is the most significant. One often regains important focus when life is threatened, as mine was.
The day before Christmas 2009, a scant three months after turning 60 years old, I was in my driveway shoveling fresh snow. This is something I always did as quickly as I could. I always took pride at the fact that my driveway was normally cleared before any of my neighbors. This morning was going to be different. Five minutes into the task at hand, I started feeling some tightness in my chest and throat and was a bit short of breath. I stopped shoveling and rested for a bit and continued. This feeling reoccurred several times before I went in the house, leaving the driveway only partly cleared of snow. With encouragement from my wife, I remained in the house and didn’t have any more problems. The next day was Christmas, family was scheduled to come by and the driveway was cleared by two of my son-in-laws.
Mid January found me in the doctor’s office getting checked out. Through a series of tests, that spanned several weeks, my doctor rendered his report. First on his list was my weight, 219 pounds. Now, I will be the first to admit that I was too heavy. However, my rational was that because of my history of weight lifting and strength training, I had maintained my body weight at 210 to 215 for the last twenty years, so 219 was fine. At 5’ 10” and 60 years old, 219 is not fine, it was part of the recipe for disaster that was just around the corner of my life. Had all the rest of my indicators been fine, the weight may not have been that big of a deal. Here’s the rest of the story: a history of high blood pressure and on medication since 1998. Blood chemistry test bore additional bad news: LDL cholesterol at 133, not all that bad, HDL was too low at 34 and the total cholesterol was over the top at 241. Triglycerides were way out of line at 371, which put my CHD risk factor at 7.1, 2.6 points above desirable levels. My glucose came in at 122, which indicated impaired fasting glucose. Needless to say, my doctor was rather firm with me regarding my diet.
Because of these numbers and my recent chest discomfort, he scheduled an EKG followed by a stress test. These tests and an additional stress test concluded the need for a Coronary Angioplasty. As I was being prepared for this procedure, I was told that if any blockages were found, they would be taken care of with a stent and anything more serious would be taken care of in another hospital in their system. The angioplasty did find two blockages, one 90% in a major artery and the other 80% in a minor artery. A clot was also found which was destroyed with a drug that was interesting. Two stents were inserted to open the blockage and the problem was solved.
Now the hard work started. I determined that I would do my own rehab work and purchased a treadmill. I received my personal training certification in 1991 and have been in many different training environments over the years. My focus has always been upon strength training so I was never concerned with my weight or diet. I also did a short tour of duty at a rehab facility in Texas where I worked with many folks with heart conditions like mine. Why I didn’t do more cardiovascular fitness training will also be a good question. However, I put together a progressive program but needed to monitor my heart rate in a very positive manner. I went to the local sporting goods store and picked up what I thought was a good monitoring system, and for what I paid, it should have done the job. I wasn’t satisfied and began an online search for something better. I came upon the Digifit System that was designed to be used by the iPhone, iPod touch or iPad. After talking to a very knowledgeable person on their sales staff, I bought it. I started using Digifit Connect and iRunner immediately and quickly determined that this tool was exactly what I needed to make sure that I could meet my training goals and do it within the limits of my cardiac health.
Now the good news. Sixty days later I’m back in the doctor’s office, the scales read 185 pounds. My blood pressure is near normal, where it was high and lowered with medications. Another blood sample was taken and the results blew me away. LDL is now 96, HDL at 36, total cholesterol was 147, my CHD risk factor is now 4.1 which is .4 points to the good side of desirable. The big gain was the triglycerides, 77 as opposed to 371. Finally, my glucose dropped from 122 to 88, well into the normal range.
I’m still working hard to improve my overall level of fitness. I’m doing my treadmill work every other day and working on my strength training on my non cardio days. My goal is to get totally off my blood pressure meds, reduce my body fat to as close at 10% as I can get it and increase my cardio endurance steadily using the Digifit system to monitor and track my progress.
I want to thank the staff at Digifit for their commitment to developing a wonderful and useful tool for people like me. My thanks also to Kelly Lazarus, who convinced me that I needed the Digifit heart rate monitor, she was right. I can now look forward to many more years of healthy living and for that I will always be grateful.
-Allen N., Digifit User
(Kansas City, MO)
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